Having second thoughts after stopping breastfeeding? The road to re-lactation will require a lot of time, energy and patience, but will definitely be worth the effort for you and your little one.
First get help from a lactation consultant. Valuable information will be shared on increasing your supply and bringing the baby back to the breast. Mom will need to use a hospital grade rental pump for 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours after nursing if possible.
There are special tricks to getting more milk with a pump and techniques for helping the baby to get a great latch which will increase your supply. If your baby is happy going to the breast that is a great start! If the baby has found the breast to be a frustrating experience then help will be needed to get the baby to realize that the breast is a great place to be.
For a frustrated baby, the first step is to spend a lot of time skin to skin with them. That means a baby in a diaper only and mom bare-chested. This will help them to feel happy and secure and will give your hormones a boost to increase supply. You may also find that doing skin to skin will help the baby to instinctually seek the breast. Once the baby is happy being in the nursing position, the next step is that good latch. Getting help with this is critical. Putting the baby on the breast every 2-3 hours will help the baby practice nursing and help increase your supply.
Sometimes when mom’s supply is low the baby gets upset with the slow flow of milk. A supplemental nursing system may just be the trick you need. A lactation consultant can help you with this system in which the baby receives supplementation through a tube while nursing from the breast. This increase in flow will encourage the baby to stay on the breast longer with active eating and thus will help increase your supply. If mom decides not to use the supplemental nursing system, then proper bottle feeding techniques can be taught that support the baby going back to the breast. As the baby becomes better on the breast as supply is increasing, mom will switch to less time pumping and more time nursing.
There are many foods that can be eaten to increase milk supply and herbal supplements that can be taken. Mom will need a lot of help during this time as she commits all her time and energy to the process. It may take a month for her to see a significant increase in supply.
She will be able to determine that her supply is increasing because the baby will be having more active swallowing on the breast and will start to require fewer supplements. Her breasts will feel fuller and then become softer after she nurses, and the baby’s stools will become more yellow and seedy. It is important to be sure to weigh the baby very often when the supplement is being reduced to ensure the baby is getting enough milk directly from nursing.
Motherhood Center is here to help you with the process. We have a lactation consultant, hospital grade breast pump rentals, a baby scale in-house, and scales available for rent. Herbal supplements are available and postpartum doulas are here to help mom as she learns to care for herself and baby, and anything else new and experienced moms might need.
Renee Bowling RN, CBE