Your relactation stories please

An area to discuss relactation and adoptive breastfeeding.
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Your relactation stories please

Post by ArielMack » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:09 pm

Hi ladies
I am starting my re-lactation journey have got some great advice and support so far however I would love to hear your story for some motivation and more encouragement. As you can imagine and know; it's a bit of a daunting process and you certainly need patience. I am so looking forward to bf again even if it's just partially, and if I am unable to I will know I have done it all (literally) and be at peace.
My story : I had to stop bf at 9weeks and I wish I didn't however my mental health was suffering as I had had a tough birth (4 days of inducing/labour then in the end had to have c-sec) then my son had tongue-tie, I got nipple thrush and bf was never pleasant but I stuck it out 9 weeks and I am proud of that however I can't get past the fact I couldn't continue so I am going to give it another crack.

So lil Mister is now 7 months so it's a 5 month gap. I have been expressing/massaging boobs for a few days now. Using manual hand and pump every 3 hours I was getting yellow beads (just one really after some time - it is hard work) now it's turning white so that means milk woo hoo. But only a bead or two a day not even each boob each time it's a bit random. But I am remaining positive that my milk will come back perhaps slowly but surely.

Lil bub boy is being exposed to my boobies again with no pressure involved (doing the best I can with this, as much as I want to shove it in his face lol) he has put his mouth over the nipple but unsure what to do and as their is no milk there is no reward. He has licked the beads off when I have offered it to him once or twice, so I am hoping he will come round to boobies again even if just a few times a day for snacks.

So what is your story ? Anyone start re-lactating after a fair gap? (more than a few months) I would love to hear your success stories or otherwise. I am going to try doing lac cookies next week but for now I don't want to do meds or electric pump want to keep it simple and see how I go in the next week or so. If it gets more and more then I'll just keep on going. :-)

It's very hard though; although my hubby is very supportive I am not sure he understands why I would do it. I think it's because he saw what pain and disappointment I went through before but I have to do this so I know I definitely have done Everything.

Thank you very much
'Every adversity has a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit' - Napoleon Hill

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Post by Gwen's Mum » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:32 pm

What a breastfeeding journey you've had! :)

It sounds like you're already doing lots of the things that are suggested in cases of relactation - frequent breast stimulation, pumping, and lots of no-pressure opportunities for your little one to figure out breastfeeding again.

As for personal experiences of relactation after a long-ish break - I don't have any experience of my own, but I'm sure others will be along soon. There might also be some stories already in forum threads - might be worth a search to see what comes up? I know that there are definitely mums who have either relactated after a fair period of not breastfeeding; and also mums who have induced lactation to breastfeed an adopted child (so in some of those cases, the mum hadn't even been pregnant - but was still able to produce milk). So it is certainly possible! :)

Just wanted to offer my support and a listening ear. Hope to 'see' you back here and hear how you're going. :)
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Thanks for Support

Post by ArielMack » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:23 am

Thank you for your support Gwen's Mum I do really appreciate it.
I have had a bit of a squizz at old posts and it is rather inspirational, I just want to stay focussed, supported, positive and inspiration definitely helps.
My hubby is starting to question why I am doing it, it's too hard for him to understand and hard to explain. Although I know he supports me mostly he is not completely on the bandwagon. After a few comments this morning I am a little disheartened but I am not going to give up.
Thanks again
Ari x
'Every adversity has a seed of an equivalent or greater benefit' - Napoleon Hill

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Post by Penguin » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:30 pm

No story from me but I wanted to offer my support.
Karleen is the guru but I think she's OS at the moment.
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Post by Brittany » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:29 pm

I don't have a story but am also about to attempt re lactation after not breastfeeding for 5 months. Like you we had problems with thrush that went undiagnosed (not for lack of trying) and attachment issues as well as bleeding. It too began to impact on my mental health and stopped bf. Unfortunately the level of pain and injury caused to my nipples was quite traumatic for me and I am now only just game enough to give it another go. I will be starting next week when my pump arrives and I have fenugreek and maxalon on hand to hopefully give my body a boost as I am getting no sign of milk as yet. Just thought I would share that you are not alone in your journey. Good luck!

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Post by Mummy woo! » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:59 pm

ABA has a very helpful booklet on relactation that is available from Mothers Direct here

There is a lot of information there to help you out, including a simple exercise to encourage sucking.

Good luck!
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Re: Your relactation stories please

Post by Juwairia » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:22 pm

I also don't have a story and wish someone would post a story here so people like you and me who are trying to relactate could get some encouragement. I've been trying for about 20 days but I coudn't pump alot and am having trouble establishing milk.


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Re: Your relactation stories please

Post by Parla. » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:47 pm

There are stories in the booklet Mummy Woo! posted, if you're able to get a copy of that. It's true that you won't be able to ask any of those mums for more detail, but at least you'll know you're not the first to start down this path, and it discusses some things that have worked for other women.

Many mums quite naturally struggle to find time to pump when they also have a baby to care for. If your baby is willing to attach, maybe after she's had a bottle feed so she doesn't get too frustrated, that is another way to get breast stimulation.
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Re: Your relactation stories please

Post by Oscar'smum » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:55 pm

I have a successful relactation story. But I will start by saying it is very, very hard! My son (who is currently two weeks away from his first birthday) was a preemie, born a month early. He was in the special needs nursery for the first week because he couldn't latch. They had to feed him through a tube up his nose. He was given formula by the hospital to top up my EBM. I was pumping every 3 hours or so, but it took about 5 days before I could pump enough to meet the amount he required. A hospital lactation consultant tried him on a nipple shield, he took to it straight away and he was released home. I exclusively fed him (no pumping) but the nipple shield was driving us both insane (kept slipping off as he got bigger) but he just couldn't latch without it. Finally at 2 months I went to see an LC who diagnosed tongue tie. I was mad it wasn't picked up in hospital. I had ut snipped days later and the nipple shield was gone. But then a month later he started arching his back after a minute or two on the breast and screaming in agony. It was agony trying to get him to feed during the day - at night he ate ok. But he wasn't getting enough and his weight gain slowed to only 30-50 grams week. We went to see the GP who diagnosed (correctly) silent reflux. He said to give him a bottle of reflux formula before the breast at each feed. So I bought thevformula and some bottles and tried it. This was Friday. He happily drank the whole bottle, but refused the breast afterwards. The next day I decided to offer the breast first and he still refused it, but wouldvthen drink the bottle. So by the end of the weekend I had a bottle baby. I was sad to oose the breastfeeding bond, but rationalised that my milk hurt him and the formula didn't so it was for the best. By Sunday my breasts were horribly painful, red, blotchy and engorged. Then overnight it went away and they became floppy.

Monday morning came...and when I offered the bottle of formula to my 4 month old he went beserk. Screamed, thrashed about. Wouldn't let it touch his lips. In desperation I put my breast towards his mouth and he latched. But it was empty!!! I couldn't believe the milk went so soon. Friday milk - Monday none! I panicked about what to do and rang the LC who helped before. She said to go to GP and get a script for re-lactation drugs. Then drink lots of juice and water, eat lots of protein and put baby to the breast at least every two hours and pump for 10 minutes on each breast afterwards.

I followed all of those instructions and what followed was one of the worst days and nights of my life. Pumping would get nothing but droplets the first day. Then that night I just let bub sleep on my boob all night. He sucked it happily like a dummy for hours. But it was very stressful as I had to make sure he didn't get dehydrated and gave him formula with a medicine dropper.

Over the next few days the milk SLOWLY started to return, thanks to the drugs. After a week I stopped pumping and offering bub formula top ups. We also went to the pediatrician and got great medicine to control his reflux. He was on it until his reflux went when he learnt to sit at 7 months.

The relactation drugs started off with taking 2, 3 times a day. Then every few days you reduce it by one tablet (so from 6 a day to 5 etc). When I did this my supply almost went again because that weaning for me was toovfast. SovI went back up to the 6 a day again to get it back and then dropped one tablet a day every 2 weeks. This worked for me.

My little guy hasn't touched a bottle since that horrible week at 4 months and we're both very happy with our feeding relationship. At 11 months he still has 6-7 feeds a day and I love it.

My advice to anybody trying to relactate is...

Go and see a good lactation consultant
Get a script from your GP for the relactation drugs
Wean off them very slowly
Hire a hospital grade pump
Offer bub breast as often as possible
Pump as often as possible
Drink lots of fluids - especially water and juice
Eat lots of protein
Sleep and rest as much as you can

Good luck!!!

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