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Restarting breast feeding

(11 Posts)
rattling Fri 21-Aug-09 14:01:13

I gave up breastfeeding my twins at about 6 weeks, having only really started at 3 weeks as they were premature and in SCBU. I have expressed since then (they are 15 weeks old now), but EBM is providing a gradually smaller proportion of their daily milk. Last week it looked like my milk was pretty much over, so to get it going again I put the boys to the breast. Both of them took to it in a way I wish they had at the start and it was totally painfree!! (gave up because their little mouths were just agony to me). M. will take it or leave it - I fill him up from the bottle, I've come to like knowing how much they are taking and he is just starting to go 4 hours between feeds, but he goes on the breast to help get him to sleep or soothe him. A., however, seems to be on (bottle) hunger strike since being re-introduced to breast feeding.

So I think I have to choose. Go back to constant feeding to get my supply up and breastfeed as I'd always hoped to do. Or never let him on the breast again. I'd love to know if there are other options, or if anyone else has gone back to breast feeding at this stage..

BertieBotts Fri 21-Aug-09 16:55:36

Hi - sorry, I don't have much advice, just didn't want this to go unanswered.

It has definitely been done before, so it is possible. Restarting breastfeeding is known as relactation and there is lots of information here:

Good luck Hope it works out for you.

BertieBotts Fri 21-Aug-09 20:13:08

Sorry, I accidentally bumped this at rush hour! Bumping again for you.

thisisyesterday Fri 21-Aug-09 20:22:39

i would def go back to breastfeeding, i would breastfeed both of them tbh, i think in the long run you;ll find it easier than expressing and feeding them

do you have a local baby cafe, or LLL group?

BustyMcGee Fri 21-Aug-09 20:26:39

Hello, not done it myself but have read about it in La Leche League books. There's some detail on their website at relactation or try their helpline, or your local leader for more advice
I hope you succeed smile

logrrl Sat 22-Aug-09 19:52:07

I am seriously impressed with what you are doing for your babies! I think there may have been a recent thread about someone else who did this, with one baby. Sorry I've no more help, just wanted to send some good luck...

HappyChildminderBerkshire Sun 23-Aug-09 17:37:22

I relactated when my LO was 4 months old and its the best thing I ever did. I got help from the La Leche League and it took a few days of lots of feeding in bed, plus around 7 weeks of slowly phasing out bottles. My little girl recently got swine flu and BFing her helped so much, definitely worth the effort. Hope it all goes well for you.

rattling Sun 23-Aug-09 21:24:23

Thanks for the messages. I've decided to give breastfeeding another shot with A. (I realise this is a bit unfair to his brother who will mostly be on formula, but he is content with the present situation. Getting him back to being a breastfed baby would be a mammoth task. I am aware a better mother would undertake such a task). I have, however, been surprised that he isn't demanding to be fed all the time which was the one thing I expected and wasn't sure I could cope with. I think I'll take him along to the baby clinic this week to check his weight and try not to panic (yet) if he's dropping even further behind his brother - he'll make it to the size he was intended to be eventually won't he? So difficult not to worry about weight gain, particularly in a low birthweight baby.

I'll take the advice here and phone LLL tomorrow to discuss it.

purplejennyrose Sun 23-Aug-09 21:35:01

Hi sorry quick post - I did relactate although at just 4 weeks (had been in hospital very ill for 3 days) - it took at that stage about 2 weeks of intensive feeding and phasing out bottles. So yes definitely possible though in a sense hard work - you'll need people to support you practically so you can concentrate on just feed, feed, feed, and I guess they'd need to understand what and why you were doing.

As I understand it, milk production is pretty much set in the first 6 weeks or so, and you made (it sounds?) a good start, so there doesn't seem any reason why you can't build up your supply again - as long as you're prepared for lots and lots of feeding for a while.

The kellymom page is really good. And even if you don't manage to exclusively breastfeed, what's the phrase, 'each breastfeed counts'!!

Good luck!!

purplejennyrose Sun 23-Aug-09 21:40:51

Sorry x-posted!

Sounds like you're doing brilliantly already - and perhaps have more milk than you think if he's not hungry that often....(don't take how much you can express as an indicator of supply.)

And his brother will be getting more than you'd think in his comfort / sleepy feeds. smile

TeenyTinyToria Mon 24-Aug-09 01:17:19

I've been attempting to relactate for the past 3 weeks with my 8 week old. I've had to accept that she probably won't be exclusively bfed because she is taking so much formula that I couldn't keep up myself (24oz a day). However, she has one EBM bottle a day, and goes to the breast before every bottle feed. I can also use breastfeeding to soothe her, or as a snack to keep her going until I can find somewhere to heat a bottle.

I haven't regretted my decision to try this again, and I would say go for it!

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