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Thread: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    29

    Default Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    Hi there. I hope it is ok that I posted this here. I have decided to relactate after stopping for three months. I had both yeast and reynauds syndrome and just got so frustrated with being in so much pain all the time. I didn't have a lot of support and just gave up. I nursed my daughter exclusively from birth to three months. She is nearly six months old now and is having digestive problems. It has been suggested to put her on a very expensive formula or try to get her breastmilk. I can't afford either. I also really regret stopping. I wanted nothing more than to nurse her. I miss the closeness and now I just want to nurse her. She will latch on but because there is nothing coming out she gets mad. I could really use some tips and some support. Are there really people who have started breastfeeding again after so long? I know it isn't going to be easy but I am determined.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    19,889

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    Hi Mama! I'm sorry you had such a rough time in the first three months. Thrush and Reynauds- you must have been in very significant pain.

    You can totally relactate and start nursing again. My mom did it back in 1982- she was told to wean my 3 month-old sis for medical reasons. 3 months later, she was given the go-ahead to nurse again, but her milk was gone. By putting my sis to the breast before offering the bottle, she was able to rebuild her milk supply and nurse until my sis was 18 months old. And that was 1982, and she didn't have access to any of the tools which I'm going to suggest now:
    - LLL. Go to a meeting! Someone may be able to help you, or at least to offer you support in your journey.
    - A hospital-grade rental pump or the absolute best pump you can afford. A rental should be around $2 per day, and may be covered by your insurance, presuming you have it. It's cheaper than the expensive formula, in the long run... If you are eligible for WIC, you may be able to get a pump from them. Pumping frequently will help rebuild your supply. When I had supply problems, I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night, and saw good results fairly quickly.
    - Herbs. Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and plain old oatmeal are all useful in increasing milk supply.
    - Drugs. Reglan (available in the US) and Domperidone (Canada) are anti-nausea drugs which can increase milk supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects and are not for every woman, so discuss them with your doctor or midwife before taking either one.
    - Supplemental nursing system. A SNS allows you to supplement your baby at the breast, eliminating the need for bottles. Since she sucks simultaneously on the breast and the SNS tube, she feeds from both at the same time, stimulating your supply while receiving fluid from the SNS tube.

    Until you get some or all of the junk suggested above, there are still things you can do, including:
    - Offer the breast as often as possible. The fact that your baby remembers how to latch on is an excellent indicator that she may be able to transition back to nursing.
    - Try co-sleeping. Many babies turn into all-night nursers when the breast is right there next to them, even the ones who reject the breast when wide-awake.
    - Make bottle-feeding as much like breast-feeding as possible. When it's time to bottle-feed, open your shirt and cuddle the baby close to the bare breast. Tickle her lips with the bottle nipple and make sure your baby opens WIDE before slipping the bottle in- don't let her get away with sloppy latch habits even when bottle-feeding. Pause the feeding after every oz or so of fluid, so that she gets used to the natural ebb-an-flow rhythm of breastfeeding.
    - If you have milk, try expressing a drop or two, or dribble some formula onto the nipple before latching the baby on. The taste of immediate gratification may induce her to latch on and suck longer.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    5,883

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    Great suggestions!

    I also recommend taking away the pacifier if she uses one, to get her to seek out the breast for comfort.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    Thank you so much for the tips. It was very painful and so frustrating. I had very little support then and didn't know what else to do. Now I have a ot of support and know that this is what I want and need to do. I have an appointment at the breastfeeding center on Friday and will be asking about the SNS. I was told that they will supply it if you need it. Also looking into getting a pump. I picked up some fenugreek today but the were out of blessed thistle, so will try another store tomorrow. I eat oatmeal every morning fro breakfast so maybe I will have it as a snack in the evening too then. Can't hurt and I LOVE the stuff. I found out that there is an LLL meeting next wednesday here so am going to attend. I also found out today that a friend of mine successfully exculsively breastfed her adopted twins three years ago! So hey if she can do it and she didn't give birth I am sure I can even after stopping. I know that there will be struggles for sure, but I also know that I have a lot of support and even more determination.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    After pumping only since Friday I am already getting a couple drips each time I pump! Had to tell someone!!! Many people in my life don't understand how great it feels and think that because it isn't huge amounts that this isn't such a big deal but I knew that coming here you ladies would understand this little victory!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,889

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    Yay!!! That isn't a little victory- it's a big one! Keep up the good work!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,883

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months



    If you aren't doing it already, try pumping hands free by taking an old bra or sports bra and cutting vertical slits in it to slide the horns through. It was make your life a lot easier. Pump your little heart out.

    Please keep us updated on your progress and also come when you need a little bit of motivation. You can do it, mama.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    We used the SNS to relactate. It's amazing. I want to cover it in gold and frame it on my wall... and possibly start a religiongeared towards it...
    Jaxon (07/13/08) weaned at 27 months
    Alexa and Braxton (11/18/10). My NICU miracles.

    http://swallomlife.blogspot.com

    "This above all: to thine own self be true" -Hamlet

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months

    GOT MILK!?!?! So today after my last pumping I actually HAD to wash out the bottles because they had little milk splatters in them!!! Exciting. I also spoke with an LC yesterday who has experience with relactation and she said that if I got milk after only a few days she has full confidence that I should probably have enough milk within a few weeks to be giving it to baby. I am so excited about this.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and tips. I tried the bra one today and it was perfect. I folded laundry while pumping.

    I have some concerns that the Raynaud's may be reappearing. Not to the extent as it was before but it's there. I have been making sure to keep my nippies warm when not in use. LOL That helps a lot with the discomfort.

    Will post again later.
    Last edited by @llli*mommabee; October 18th, 2009 at 12:33 AM. Reason: spelling

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5,883

    Default Re: Need some support - relactating after 3 months



    Don't be afraid to try and offer the breast. Your baby may just take it and I promise you, nothing will make your milk come fast like a baby at your breast.

    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but are you bottlefeeding in a way to emulate breastfeeding? Open your shirt and bare your breast, snuggle your baby close.

    I haven't read back through all the posts, but it is helpful also to cosleep skin to skin to encourage baby to associate the breast positively and maybe seek it out to comfort nurse.

    I too think an SNS is a great idea.

    Congrats on your excellent progress.

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