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Relactation

(12 Posts)
brettgirl2 Sat 30-May-09 14:08:53

OK feel free to tell me I am absolutely crackers if that is the case.

My DD is 6 weeks old. I BF her for two weeks then due to weight concerns (that I've since discovered were not actually that bad), being told different things by different midwives about what to do and a fairly significant negativity from other members of my family about BFing (the only person who managed it at all was my grandmother) I gave up after 2 weeks.

I really hate giving her formula - I didn't know I would feel like this till I had her. I have been kind of pushing it to the back of my mind and getting on with it, but every time I think I'm OK I get upset about it again.

Anyway, I am still producing some milk - if I squeeze nipple it comes out. Obviously I realise probably not much after 4 weeks of not feeding. This morning I was in bed and I tried to BF her and she latched on fine one side but not the other. I've just tried again and got her to latch really well onto both sides and 'feed' for about 30 minutes each side. I realise that she may not have got much but there must have been something there or she would have got bored fairly fast. I gave her some formula after and she didn't take as much as usual (and by this time it was 5 hours since previous FF).

That's it really - am I completely crackers or is it possible to even partially BF after a break of a month? If so what can I do to increase my supply? DD was 9lb2oz when weighed on Thursday so she still isn't any bigger than some newborns.

whomovedmychocolate Sat 30-May-09 14:14:05

It's possible but it takes a lot of effort. Good for you for trying - go to the Kellymom site and read up on it.

Sorry must run, escaping urchins!

Mij Sat 30-May-09 14:19:43

Wow, well done you for giving it a go. Mum's who aren't ready to stop bf produce milk for longer after stopping than those who are ready for it - aren't our bodies amazing?!

You're certainly not nuts for trying. kellymom has lots of good info just like whomovedmychocolate says. As you probably already know, the more stimulation your breasts get (through feeding or pumping, although babies way better at this than pumps!) the more milk you will produce. So if you offer the breast as often as your DD wants it (and maybe get a couple more skin-to-skin contact feeds in if you can, like in bed or in the bath) that will boost your supply.

No-one can tell you how long it will take, or if, you can stop using formula altogether (if that's what you want) but I'd heartily recommend getting in touch with an NCT breastfeeding councillor for some extra guidance, or at the very least a bit more support than you're getting from your nearest and dearest!

Very best of luck smile

SOLOisMeredithGrey Sat 30-May-09 14:24:06

Hope it works out for you.

brettgirl2 Sat 30-May-09 16:06:59

Thanks all. I'm going to get a pump and also try some herbs, as mentioned on the kellymom website.

I don't necessarily expect to get to the stage of exclusive bfing and would be quite happy if I could achieve a mix so at least my daughter gets some benefit and I can just see formula as 'pudding'. One of the problems is that I worry that she can't be getting much goodness out of anything that comes in a powder. I wouldn't live on powdered food myself hmm

bubbleymummy Sat 30-May-09 21:25:25

Good for you brettgirl. I hope it works out for you. It does sound positive if your DS is latching on well and sucking for that long. Agree with MIJ - lots of skin to skin - baths are great. My DS2 sucks a lot even just for comfort so if you ever find your DD a bit fussy see if she will latch on and suck a bit for comfort - all good to stimulate your supply again!

NBM Sat 30-May-09 22:31:03

I am so pleased that you are trying this because it is what you want. I gave up BF after 7 weeks with DD1 and 4 years later still regret it although I am more 'at peace' with it now because I have an 11 week old who I am still managing to feed. smile Good luck.smile

WTSS Sat 30-May-09 22:38:47

good luck and well done for trying.
FWIW - i produced more milk when I expressed once or twice a day as well as feeding. Its a bit of a faff but it might help boost your supply

Mij Mon 01-Jun-09 10:26:09

PS meant to say please don't put too much store by the weight charts for comparing to other babies. They're a useful tool (just one of many) to check a baby's health, but ^only when compared to themselves^. My (extremely healthy and developmentally normal) nearly 3-year old has always been 'low' on the weight chart but has pottered along just above the 9th centile. So that's normal ^for her^. The 9th, 50th or 95th centile aren't goals, they're just growth averages to check your own baby's progress, not something to aim for. So as long as she's growing approximately in line with whatever curve she's nearest to (and there will always be fluctations due to growth spurts and timing of weight-ins) all is well smile.

BTW, do you know if you have the new growth charts based on bfing babies rather than ff babies, in your red book? Cos you may see a slight change to her growth pattern, depending on how much bf vs f your DD ends up getting.

duchesse Mon 01-Jun-09 10:34:41

If you're still producing milk (and many do in small quantities for months after stopping), then it should comparatively easy to relactate as long as your daughter co-operates! Plenty of skin to skin time with free access to the milk bar may convince her. The only way to increase your supply is to feed more. So aim to feed her very frequently during this time.

duchesse Mon 01-Jun-09 10:38:39

Oh and both fully b/f daughters born weighing 7lbs 8 oz were just a smidge over 9 lbs at 6 weeks. They grew from birth at a steady rate of 2oz a week. Bothered first HV like hell, second HV who had nursed starving babies just looked at her and could see she was healthy. Daughters are now 14 and 11 and disgustingly hale, hearty, on the small side for their ages but definitely still growing. Some babies just grow slower. As long as they are healthy, I can't see that it's a problem.

picc Mon 01-Jun-09 10:51:03

Hi, just to let you know a similar thing happened to me and I managed to get back to exclusive BF (although I now give one bottle of formula at night, so DH can give DS one of his many night feeds!)

however, I hadn't got to exclusive FF, just top-ups. Also I started topping up at 2 weeks, and then tried to stop topping up at 3 weeks!!

But I can tell you what I did, in case that helps.

I spent a couple of mornings and afternoons in bed skin-to-skin with DS, feeding almost constantly. (You really need an understanding DP for this, so you can just stay in bed for half a day at a time!!)

I took fenugreek.

I always offered the breast when he cried for a feed, before topping up with formula if necessary (and cutting this down VERY slowly!!)

I'm not saying that's necessarily the correct thing to do. I don't know! It just worked for me.

But it was really hard at times. In the middle of the night, when DS wasn't latching on well, when I was in pain, and when it all just seemed too difficult, I would've given up without the support of my DH.

Also, it took a good month to get to the stage where it wasn't tough any more.

HOWEVER, now, apart from the one bottle at night, he is feeding well, and I absolutely love it! Really do!! He's now nearly 17 weeks old, and I am so glad I fought for this.

Am so angry now at being told to top-up (he was also low on the weight chart. I just didn't know enough to argue with the midwife). I really don't have any opinions against FF necessarily. It's everyone's own choice. But I have to say, I'm so glad I am now BF.

Good luck!!

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