Can You Start Breastfeeding Again After You Stop?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  twinzplus3 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #128268

    KatieAG

    I had stopped breastfeeding Daniel when the doctor told me I was anemic because he wasn’t getting enough Iron from my milk. I started supplementing formula and pumped breast milk for him too. Then I just stopped all together. But, now that I am not anemic anymore and I have enough Iron, I am wondering if I can start pumping again and I will start producing milk again. Has anyone tried this?

    #579227

    Brownie

    Hmmm… I’ve never tried it, but one of my (many!) breastfeeding books says you CAN return to breastfeeding, though it seems to take a lot of effort and commitment, depending on how much time has gone by since you stopped. Do you have a local La Leche League group? Or check your local library’s parenting section for books on breastfeeding for help, too.

    Apparently, putting your baby to the breast frequently will bring back your milk, but to keep the baby from getting frustrated, you can set up a thin tube from a bottle of formula for the baby to take along with it. Or, you can use a breast pump. I don’t know anyone who’s done this, and never tried it myself, but it doesn’t seem to hurt to try it

    Or, check out the following website for information — inducing lactation is halfway down the page: [URL="http://www.sahmiam.org/adopt.html"]http://www.sahmiam.org/adopt.html[/URL]

    Good luck!!

    #579237

    rowansmom

    Yes you can relactate. Put baby to breast as often as possible even if there is no milk. The more often you put baby to breast (every 1-2 hrs) the quicker and stronger your milk will come in.

    Also your iron supply in your milk is not affected by the iron supply in your body. I was anemic as well and my doctor told me that my body will depleate me of iron completely before it deleates my miilk store. meaning my baby had all the iron he needed and I didn’t I need to take supplements to boost it back up.

    Good luck and let us know how it works out.

    #579278

    KatieAG

    [QUOTE=rowansmom]Also your iron supply in your milk is not affected by the iron supply in your body. I was anemic as well and my doctor told me that my body will depleate me of iron completely before it deleates my miilk store. meaning my baby had all the iron he needed and I didn’t I need to take supplements to boost it back up.

    Good luck and let us know how it works out.[/QUOTE]
    I wish I would have known that. My doctor told me I should stop breastfeeding. If I would have known this I would’ve kept breastfeeding. :(

    #579386

    zonamytte

    [QUOTE=rowansmom]
    Also your iron supply in your milk is not affected by the iron supply in your body. I was anemic as well and my doctor told me that my body will depleate me of iron completely before it deleates my miilk store. meaning my baby had all the iron he needed and I didn’t I need to take supplements to boost it back up.
    [/QUOTE]

    i was told the same thing and continued to breastfeed and ate lots of iron friendly foods for my needs.

    sorry your doc told you otherwise :rolleyes:

    #579519

    twinzplus3

    Your doctor is a moron. I’d find a new one & I’d let him know that he screwed up. What all the lovely women thus far has said is true. . .If you’re really interested you likely need to see an IBCLC and invest in a SNS to help relactate depending on when you stopped. I am writing a blog (ahem–eventually) soon on nursing adopted children and relactating.

    #579703

    Brownie

    Forgot to mention this in my first reply, but there are claims that Fenugreek supplements (available in health-food shops) boost a mother’s milk supply. Worth trying, perhaps?

    Again, good luck, best wishes, and keep us posted!

    #579712

    mollymae

    Goodness my iron levels were below 7 after I had Josh and I BF him and the hospital promoted me doing that.

    #579717

    twinzplus3

    Yes–fenugreek works well for most women to book supply. I took it myself after I had the twins to help boost my supply. However, it won’t do the trick without the constant suckling at the breast. You might find this [URL="http://baby.families.com/blog/increasing-your-milk-supply-through-galactagogues"]blog on galactagogues [/URL]helpful. . . Any of the suggestions will help boost an already exsistent supply. Still working on that blog about the SNS. . .

    #579718

    twinzplus3

    Yes–fenugreek works well for most women. It will boost an already exsistent supply within 24-72 hours. That’s what I took with my twins when they were newborn. However, it won’t do a whole lot other than make you smell like licorice without the constant suckling at the breast. ;-) I wrote a [URL="http://baby.families.com/blog/increasing-your-milk-supply-through-galactagogues"]blog on galactagogues [/URL]that the OP might find helpful. . .

    #579907

    NikkiLDS

    Just to throw in a success story:

    My mom gave birth to my older brother & breastfed him for a couple of years (I’m not sure exactly how long…) but was then told that she couldn’t have any more children. She adopted me (just over 5 yrs after my bro was born, so it had been between 2-3 yrs since she last nursed him). She breastfed me! She used the lact-aid supplementer (which is a small tube, as PP mentioned), giving me goats milk or something through there while getting the stimulation from nursing. She said she could tell within a few weeks that I was starting to get SOME milk b/c of the change in my stools. Eventually, we slowed down use of the supplementer and eventually quit using it entirely although I continued to nurse.

    It’s definately possible! Good luck!!

    #579959

    MiracleBaby06

    i have an SNS im using right now to help bulid my supply back up….it was almost all dried up its the Medela brand….i got mine from the hospital when i came home but you can get them where Medela items are sold….when using it put a piece on medical tape(normaly comes with its own roll) on your areola right above the nipple, this piece of tape with stay there and put the hose, right at the top of ur nipple above where the holes are. Start out with the amount of formula your baby normaly eats and slowly take it down some as your milk comes in till your baby is getting enough milk to just nurse

    #580607

    aept1

    I know there is a support forum for this over at the La Leche League website. I am a member there, too – and have seen the “relactating” category.

    Here’s a link:
    [URL="http://forums.llli.org/"]http://forums.llli.org/[/URL]

    Good luck with it! I know it can be done, and, from checking out the forum, I think it is easier if your baby is young, or if it hasn’t been too long since you stopped. It sounds like you have a good chance, but it will take some committment!

    Keep us posted!

    #961960

    Erilan98

    I’m in the same boat as Katie AG I stopped for the most part for about 2 1/2 3 months now every once in a while I will try to feed my son who is now 5months old almost 6 and he a little bit will come out like a couple of drops my pump broke and now I’m waiting for the manufacture to send me a new one. I got a prescription for Reglan to take and I’m going to take organic mothers milk tea, fenugreek tea, and fenugreek pills 9 times a day and I hope it works. He knows that there is no milk coming out of my breast so he gets really mad and won’t feed off of them.

    I really would love some other suggestions I’m determined beyond nothing else to breast feed him again. Also what are those little tube things I saw some of you guys talking about. Where can I find them? What do they look like?

    I would love some help please thanks.

    #961964

    twinzplus3

    I think you mean the supplemental nutrition system. This is from the Dr. Sears website:

    [QUOTE]
    There are two kinds of supplementers: the Medela Supplemental Nursing System and the Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer System , [url]http://www.lact-aid.com/webmap.htm[/url]. The Medela SNS uses a hard plastic bottle to hold the milk; the Lact-Aid system used a plastic bag. Both come with detailed instructions on how to use the device and how to clean it.
    [/QUOTE] If you google one of those systems, you’ll get to a page where you can buy it.

    Did your lactation consultant tell you to take all that stuff? That’s an awful lot of stuff to be taking. . .I would strongly encourage you to consult an IBCLC before you start that regimen. IMO, that’s too much and I suspect it may well back fire on you.

    Also, you didn’t mention why you quit in the first place. I am wondering if it had to do with the latch or something like that. Either way, I would recommend going to an IBCLC.

    As far as the galactagogues. . .start with the Reglan, or the mother’s milk tea–not all of that. Your body will always produce a limited milk supply until your baby starts nursing again. Milk supply is highly dependent on effective removal of the milk. So taking drugs & herbs and such w/o having a baby that will effectively remove the milk is likely to cause problems.

    I would also consider ditching the bottles in the mean time. . .which I assume he’s been getting up to this point if you haven’t been nursing him. You can feed him from a sippy cup with the stopper removed, or out of a cup. It’s messier and it takes longer than a bottle but bottles are easier to suck from. . .and you want him to want to nurse.

    But a SNS will solve the problem of him going to the breast and then not getting anything. In any case, I hope that information helps and please let us know if there’s anything else we can do.

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