As you know, I am a mother of 2 beautiful children, Sophia (3 years old) and Noah (9 months old). My breastfeeding journey with Sophia was difficult, I had a hard time producing milk, Sophia had a hard time latching, I was tired and overwhelmed. I was able to breastfeed her till she was 8 months old (due to a steroid treatment that basically dried my milk), then as you’ve read in my other post The Motherhood Club one of my best friends donated her milk for my baby, a gesture I’ll never forget!
With my second child (Noah) things got a little “easier”. As soon as he came out he latched on like a champ and wouldn’t let go. My milk came in and everything was going great! About 5 months in, Noah didn’t seem to get full and was constantly asking for more and more, I quickly got frustrated and reached out for formula. I started wondering… Am I eating enough? Am I eating healthy? What’s going on?
A few more weeks went by and during the worst flu season ever here in California, I caught pneumonia (great…) so I had to do rounds of steroids, and cough suppressants that had components that were dangerous to my baby. So I had to stop breastfeeding for about 15 days. (That’s how long my treatment was).
I started pumping and dumping but I was so tired and weak, I just stopped doing it because I needed the sleep, and being with my 2 kids by myself all day while being sick was just too much for me. I remember I said to myself, I’m pretty much done with breastfeeding, the steroids and the medications are going to kill my milk supply).
Those 15 days turned almost a month of recovery! I was sad I had stopped breastfeeding, and one day while talking to my very good friend who’s a lactation consultant she asked if I had thought of relactating. I was so confused because I didn’t even know that was a word. I did some research and with the help of my friend and the lactation supplements I started taking, I was able to go back to nursing my baby! We’re 9 months in and we are stronger than ever!
That’s why I want to share what worked for me in my relactation journey!
Relactation is the process of resuming breastfeeding after a period of no breastfeeding or very little breastfeeding.
You might more successful at relactating if:
- If you have a younger baby.
- A shorter gap between weaning and relactating (sometimes called a “lactation gap”)
- The willingness of the baby to take the breast.
- Having assistance from trained breastfeeding support people.
*Relactation period usually lasts about a month.
HOW DO I RELACTATE?
There are two, related parts to relactation: bringing back a milk supply and bringing the baby back to the breast. While you’re working on these goals, you’ll want to make sure that your baby continues to thrive.
- SEEK SUPPORT.
My best advice would be to seek help. To me, having my friend who is a lactation consultant made a huge difference. I probably couldn’t have done it myself. You may want to consult with a lactation specialist at La Leche League or Legendairy Milk
- EMPTY YOUR BREASTS FREQUENTLY AND PUMP AFTER YOU NURSE.
Whether you’re going to be exclusively nursing or pumping, you need to empty your breasts as much as you can throughout the day. I was nursing or pumping every 2 hours. The amount of fat in your milk changes as the feeding progresses. Towards the end of the feeding, you’ll notice that your milk is thicker and fattier. That’s called Hindmilk. Pumping a few minutes after nursing was key for me since I was completely emptying my breasts and “making space” to produce more milk.
- BRING BABY BACK TO THE BREAST
This was hard for me since my baby had been used to the bottle (faster flow) for more than 15 days, so it was challenging, but I started from scratch,co-bathing, doing skin to skin, and we started at 3 minutes or so on each breast and working our way up. Just be patient and determined! You got this momma <3.
- DRINK, DRINK DRINK !!Keeping hydrated was key for me, making sure I was taking more than enough water and fluids was a game changer. I know, you’r4e gonna want to pee every 5 seconds but hey! it’s completely worth it!
- CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTAL NURSING SYSTEM.
- Ok… This is something that I’ve never heard before prior to talking to my lactation consultant. The way an SNS works is that it allows a baby to receive formula supplements at the breast while stimulating your milk production by nursing. So, personally, it is a great way to stimulate and get baby back to the breast.
- CONSIDER USING SUPPLEMENTS TO HELP BOOST YOUR MILK PRODUCTION.
- Before trying Legendairy Milk Products, I had tried everything that was on the market, from lactation pills to cookies, shakes, teas etc. I had given up, milk production boosters were just not working for me.
The difference with Legendairy Milk Products is that it is not only ONE product, they have several supplements depending on your need. Because all of us are different! Like me, I was relactating and needed to boost my milk production but I also wanted the rich fatty milk. Other moms might be looking to have a better milk flow or to use a product that helps with a colicky or gassy baby. They have such a variety of products, and personally, for me, Pump Princess and Milkapalooza have been the game changer in my journey of relactation.
- So if you’re experiencing something like this, remember you’re not alone! Get support from a lactation specialist, friends, and family! You got this momma!