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Thread: Can I do this at 5 months??

  1. #1

    Default Can I do this at 5 months??

    I wanted to breastfeed SO much, and always assumed I would just fine.

    However, when I had my baby in May this year, I had a very difficult labour, caused by a bicornuate uterus, and then found out after an attempted manual removal of the placenta that I had placenta accreta. I tried to BF for a week after the birth but I had no milk, a jaundiced, dehydrated and very hungry baby. I ended up cup feeding formula for 3 weeks, when no progress has been made with my retained placenta (a third of it still inside me) and I still had no milk (because of the hormones still in the placenta apparently) I switched to bottles.

    I spent 11 weeks offering Freya the breast before every feed, and pumping every time she had a bottle. I was in a lot of pain the whole time, had 2 D&Cs to try and remove the placenta (unsuccessful), all in all taking a lot of antibiotics and spending a lot of time in hospital. I was so demoralised and gave up after those 11 weeks. I never produced any milk and Freya refused to latch on.

    My placenta came out at 14 weeks after another week in hospital.

    Freya is now 5 months and I am still so upset at not BFing. I would like to try to relactate, even if I only ever get enough milk for one feed a day. I am aware it may have to be out of a bottle as she has not latched on since she was about 3 weeks old. I tried nipple shields, fenugreek (which I still have available), 2 hourly pumping (I only have a manual pump), feeding in the bath, bed, skin to skin etc, nothing worked.

    How likely is it that if I try now I will achieve something? Could I ever get her to latch on? How do I go about this? I don't want to start if there is no hope or with unrealistic expectations.

    Thanks for reading, sorry it's so long.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Can I do this at 5 months??

    Hi Kirsten! Welcome and congratulations on the baby. I'm sorry you had such a rough time with her birth and the postpartum period. 14 weeks of retained placenta, plus a failed manual extraction, plus 2 D&Cs?

    It is definitely possible to relactate. Women who have never been pregnant or birthed a baby can lactate for their adopted babies, so you are ahead of the game in that pregnancy has prepared your breasts to nurse. And now that the placenta is out, there should be no hormonal impediments to success. However, after 5 months of not nursing, relactation may be a difficult task.

    Here are some things you can do which should help you restart milk production:
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. There is nothing like hands-on help!
    - Pump using a top-of-the-line pump, which may mean using a hospital-grade pump. Most moms do not respond well to manual pumps- they're usually best for a mom with an established supply who needs to pump the occasional bottle.
    - Pump frequently. The more the better. When I had supply issues, I pumped for 10 minutes per side every 2 hours during the day and every 3 at night.
    - Try power pumping. Pump both sides for 10 minutes, rest for 10, pump for 10, rest for 10, and finally pump once more for 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes of pumping in an one-hour period. Power pumping is supposed to mimic the way a baby feeds- and boosts milk supply- during a growth spurt.
    - Herbs. Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, and oatmeal may all be helpful.
    - 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 right for every mom, so discuss them with your midwife or ob before taking either one.
    - Be persistent. Don't expect results in a day, or even a week.

    Getting your baby to latch on and nurse may end up being more challenging than getting your supply going. This link has some useful tips: Help - My Baby Won't Nurse!
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; October 9th, 2009 at 06:18 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can I do this at 5 months??

    Thank you. I am going to my doctor on Tuesday to ask for Domperidone. I think I will try to hire a pump for the time being.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Can I do this at 5 months??

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*paladin View Post
    Thank you. I am going to my doctor on Tuesday to ask for Domperidone. I think I will try to hire a pump for the time being.
    Great decision about the pump!

    Are you in Canada? If so, you probably won't have a problem getting Domperidone. If you happen to be in the US, it's actually illegal to prescribe or procure Domperidone because it's not FDA-approved- so if you happen to be in the US, be prepared to be shot down or offered Reglan instead.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Can I do this at 5 months??

    I'm in the us and my dr prescribed dom for me. She just faxed the script to a compounding pharmacy that I found online. They just make it there and ship it to your house. I relactated at about that time when my son was about 5 months. I took dom, fenugreek and drank mothers milk tea. I pumped every 2-3 hours. It took a few weeks to get small amounts (like 3-5ml) but once the milk started coming it really increased well. I tried to get my son to latch but by the time I had a pretty good supply he was not going to latch. I guess he was about 6 months old before I was producing enough that he would have noticed and latched. The problem was he had 8 teeth, 4 on top and 4 on bottom and when I would latch him on he would just bite down as hard as he could. Anyhow after about 4 months into relactating I was getting 6 oz in a 12 hour period and by about 9 months I was getting anywhere from 9-12 oz. He always took the bm from a bottle but I could really tell that it was his favorite. I would save the milk in the fridge so that he could get a whole feed of bm at one time. It is a lot of work to relactate but totally worth it. I now don't have that guilt that I wish I would have stuck to breastfeeding because even though I had to relactate he still got breast milk and even though it wasn't full feed or directly "off the tap" it was well worth it. If you have any questions let me know.
    I am Kate
    Wife to Jason
    Mom to Aubrey 4/06 queen
    Mom to Nathan 5/08 Relactated for him and he got EBM for a year
    Mom to Jack 8/11

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can I do this at 5 months??

    Thanks, that really helps. .

    I am in the UK, and you can get dom ok here. I know she will not latch, and to be realistic I am aiming only to provide EBM, I tried to get her to latch for 11 weeks and it was heartbreaking. I am not aiming so high this time. I would love to be able to provide one or two feeds a day eventually, so that when she drops her feeds down to a morning and evening feed she is only on BM. That would be wonderful for me.

    Thanks for the help. Kirsten.

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