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Thread: Trying to start bf again after 4 month break

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Trying to start bf again after 4 month break

    Hi Everyone - I hope someone can give me some advice.

    I want to start breastfeeding my 11 month old after an almost 4 month break. He was breastfed from birth and always fed well until at around 7 months his feeds got shorter and shorter to the point where he'd latch on for a few seconds then would want to wriggle off my knee. I thought he was weaning himself as I had never had any issues with my milk (that I was aware of). He just seemed more interested in anything else except breastfeeding. I tried lying in a quiet dark room etc but he would just get agitated. (I really wanted to feed him for as long as he would take it so I was quite upset when it stopped so soon). I eventually gave in and started giving him formula (I've never been able to pump much, even with an electric pump so I had no choice but to give formula) and he takes his bottles willingly. I still felt bad about stopping breastfeeding as I enjoyed it so I would occasionally offer but he wouldn't even look at it. After doing some online research it looks like it may have been a nursing strike (I have nobody to get help from physically as I live in a remote spanish mountain village). Now I feel that I should have done more to get him back to the breast and I'm hoping I can try again. I have started to take fenugreek to help the milk as there is some there - however it tastes horrible, really salty and I can't get rid of it. I have tried pumping but I only get a few drops and no let-down at all. I know I need to get rid of this salty milk but I don't know how! Also, I worry that if I do somehow manage to get rid of this milk and make better milk that my baby just won't be interested in trying it... is it worth the hasssle or should I just accept that my baby will not breastfeed again?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,139

    Default Re: Trying to start bf again after 4 month break

    Welcome! How cool that you want to start nursing again. It may be possible- my mom was able to get my sister back to the breast after 3 months off.

    Here's a good link on ending a nursing strike: Help - My Baby Won't Nurse!

    And these may help you with milk supply:
    Increasing Low Milk Supply
    Establishing and maintaining milk supply when baby is not nursing
    I'm not pumping enough milk. What can I do?

    Saltiness is a normal consequence of not removing milk frequently. The only way to get rid of the saltiness is to remove milk- so, you probably need to pump, pump, pump, and then pump some more. What sort of pump do you have? Many moms use pumps that are underpowered for their needs, and particularly when you are relactating, you need a super-duper pump. It's probably worth a trip down off the mountain to a place where you can rent a hospital-grade pump (assuming there is such a place in Spain).

    Another thing which may help is using a galactogogue like Reglan (available in the US) or Domperidone (Canada and the UK). These are prescription anti-nausea drugs which can increase milk supply as a side-effect. Both have additional side-effects and are not for every mom, so you need to talk to your midwife or doctor before taking either one.

    We're all rooting for you!
    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
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Trying to start bf again after 4 month break

    Thanks for the reply! I'm using a Spectra 3 double electric pump but it was fairly cheap.... I used to be able to pump a few ounces per session with it during the first few months...I don't know why I only get a few drops now. Is it ok to keep pumping even if there's not much coming out?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,139

    Default Re: Trying to start bf again after 4 month break

    Yes, it's okay to keep pumping even if nothing is coming out. Demand creates supply!

    I'm not familiar with the Spectra 3, but I looked at it online, and it looks like the sort of thing that US moms use when they have an established supply and need to pump 1-3 times per day, max. It doesn't look like a super heavy-duty increase-your-supply machine. So I still recommend finding a rental hospital-grade pump.
    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!"

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