I Stopped Breastfeeding 3 Weeks Ago, Can I Restart My Breastmilk

Relactating is Definitely Possible but May Be Challenging

Hi Toni

I want to know if it will make my breastmilk come back, I stop breastfeeding for 3 weeks now but i think i still have a little bit of breastmilk left. I really  want to breastfeed my son, but he got frustrated because its not enough so then he refuse the breastmilk. Im a working mom and I do want to breastfeed him everytime I am at home..I believe that its best for babies…Please let me know if your pills will help me recover my breatmilk
supply…Thank you very much.

Toni’s Answer

Hi,

Let me begin by saying that many mothers have relactated, and the information in the blog comes from mothers who have been successful with relactation. Starting up again with breastfeeding, relactating is definitely possible. 

Our bodies are designed for feeding babies, for nearly our whole lives. I’m not saying this will be easy at first, but since you have recently been breastfeeding, your body is already set.  You just need to start some hormones back into action, again.

Your biggest challenge may be getting your baby to accept breastfeeding again.  Nursing requires more effort for the baby than a bottle.  Sometimes babies refuse to accept nursing once they have a bottle.

To begin with, breastfeed with your baby in a quiet place that has no interruptions and low lighting.  You may have more success if your baby is sleepy but not fussy.  Play soothing music and be very relaxed.  Be patient; you may have to do this a number of times to get your back on breast. If you are relaxed during each session, your baby will be too and your success may hinge on your attitude when you and your baby begin this process.

To bring your milk back, you might want to do some breast pumping with a hand pump or an electric pump. Begin with 6 – 8 pumping sessions each day.  This is important to regaining milk supply; begin 2 night pumping sessions will go a long way to increase breastmilk.  The reason for this, is a hormone that women produce during weaning, called “feedback inhibitor”.  This hormone is triggered when a mother produces less milk.  Even if you pump during the day, without night pumping, you may not be able to get an ample milk supply. 

During, at least half, of these pumping sessions, empty your breasts, once your milk comes in, even if you are only getting small amounts. Emptying each breast completely 3-4 times a day will do two things. First, you will be getting to the “hind milk”, the richest milk and when this milk is removed, another hormone is signaled to increase milk supply.  The second reason is that this is the milk that babies love.  It is richer, sweeter, and more satisfying to the baby.

All the milk you pump, can and should be saved in the refrigerator or freezer. You can read the article about Breastmilk Storage on our website for detailed information about saving your breastmilk for future use.

If your baby takes to the breast easily, you may be able to cut out a lot of the pumping, especially if you milk comes back with enough volume to satisfy your baby.

Try to avoid a pacifier, even if he is using one now.  Instead, let your baby come to breast when he needs to suck.  This will also help bring your milk back faster.  This may be difficult for the first few days, but there are lots of success stories about relactating.  But pacifiers can be a big part of why a baby won’t come to breast.  After several months of breastfeeding, you might let your baby have one, but anytime you add a pacifier you take the risk of the baby giving up on breastfeeding.

I hope this gives you some help toward relactating.  This is a great choice for both health and financial reasons for your baby and your family.  Here is another article that will give you great information on the cost of using formula, it is called Mother’s Milk Makes Cents.

The Milkmaid Tea, Fenugreek and More Milk Plus Vegetarian Capsules are good for any lactating mother. You could take them right away.  Even mothers who have never had a baby can lactate by using the techniques I have noted above.

The last piece of information I would like to share with you is to have confidence in your ability to regain your milk supply.  Believe in your ability to produce enough milk for your baby.  This process worked for thousands of years, before bottles and formula.  To say the least, it is tried and true.  The last 4 or 5 decades, women have done a lot less breastfeeding and this has led to a loss of knowledge and lack of confidence in mothers about breastfeeding. 

I wish you the very best in your efforts to breastfeed your baby.

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