Very low milk - "relactating" at 5 months?

An area to discuss relactation and adoptive breastfeeding.
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Falkor
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Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:27 pm

Very low milk - "relactating" at 5 months?

Post by Falkor » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:54 pm

Have been reading this section of the forum - what a great place for support!

To cut a very long story short, I am trying to build a low supply. Although my son had issues latching in the beginning (and has always had a preference for a nipple shield...!) I had excellent supply & he was exclusively fed breastmilk (bf & ebm) for 10 weeks.

Rightly or wrongly, out of desperate need for more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep...I caved & gave formula at night, as it meant at least 6 hours of sleep. I was suffering quite bad anxiety at the time, so I did what I had to do to get through that time.

Fast forward a few more months & until this point we've been mix feeding quite well. Except, over time, without noticing...the supplementation has increased so he's been mostly on formula & only bf a few times a day (& me pumping sometimes during the day....if I found time).

I have returned to part time work, am exercising quite a lot & to be honest, got a bit lazy as until recently my husband has been home on holidays, enabling me to be away from baby a lot more. I thought I was ok with weaning soon....but now it's come to the crunch...I'm not! :(

So now, the quest to rebuild my supply has begun. Until last week, I could pump up to 40-50ml in a sitting, triggering a noticeable letdown still. Today, I pumped or nursed every 2-3 hrs & was luckly to be getting 10-15ml per pumping session, with no big letdown. :( Bub will still latch with a shield, but only suckle for a few minutes before either screaming or clamping down on my nipple in frustration (and then scoffing 120-150ml of formula in a bottle). Breastfeeding first thing in the morning is our most successful feed.

I have ordered an SNS...I think this will help, as it means more stimulation whilst I supplement, rather than feeding formula & pumping seperately (I used a basic one in hospital when teaching him to latch). Have been drinking lots of water, taking brewers yeast & now looking at all other options. Will ring an ABA consultant shortly!

Questions...

Can I build my supply again without prescription medication?

Given I still have a small amount of milk, what are my chances of building up to at least being able to provide half his needs BF? I am not worried if I can't exclusively bf.

How helpful are herbs for increasing supply?

I think that's all my questions for now. Any ideas, help & support would be most greatly appreciated. :D

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fellare
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Post by fellare » Fri Jan 31, 2014 11:04 pm

Welcome to the forum!!

There are a lot of things that may happen. So please do contact a counselor!! They will be able to talk things through more completely.

It you have had a full supply, I can't see why you couldn't build it up again. You just need to someone increase demand. It may take some time and determination.

As for getting less when expressing. A let down is regulated by oxytocin. Any stress or worry can reduce oxytocin and you get less milk out. Could this be why you got less, last time? There are a few other factors involved and, again, would be easier to discuss on the phone.
I'm sure others will come and share stories in the morning.
Boobymonster weaned at 3.5yrs.
Ms Firestorm born august 2015
Whatever you perceive to believe, dream.... be free.... (eMDee)

Juwairia
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania

Re: Very low milk - "relactating" at 5 months?

Post by Juwairia » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:49 pm

Hi Falkor,

Good luck with your endeavor to increase your milk supply. My girl is 5 months now and I am trying to relactate after exclusively bf for 1.5 months and then introducing formula with bf and then exclusively moving to formula. I didn't know if I could establish milk supply again and due to some other reasons (a medicine I was taking) I eventually got very low supply and then it finished. I did some research on relactation and am convinced that if I try I may get to a point where I can actually build a supply to give half a day's feed through bf. So, you can definitely do it, but I think you would need a good quality electric breast pump or you could rent a hospital grade pump. I tried doing it with a manual pump, and it didn't work. Regarding prescription medication, I think as you still have a supply, you can pass that for now but I would recommend you use fenugreek seed or breast feeding support having fenugreek and blessed thistle. This has certainly helped me and I hope it does help you too.

All the best and do inform us of your progress.
J M

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Monicat
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Re: Very low milk - "relactating" at 5 months?

Post by Monicat » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:45 pm

Some good info here, good luck with it, if your supply was fine before you should be able to get it back up to a good amount. Look at paced bottle feeds too, this is better for breastfeeding babies as your bub sounds like they have definitely developed a preference from the easy flow from the bottle. A call or email to the counsellors will help you get a plan in place :)

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply- ... ow-supply/

http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basics/ ... e-formula/
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Monicat
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Re: Very low milk - "relactating" at 5 months?

Post by Monicat » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:48 pm

Also I just wanted to say that how much you pump is in NO WAY an indication of your supply. I have exclusively breastfeed my twins but can barely get 5 or 10ml if I pump. If you are pumping, do it with the aim of stimulating the breasts to make more milk (although bub will do this more efficiently) not output.
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