Moving back to breastfeeding: re-lactating

April 29, 2016

 

There are many reason why you might be wanting to return to breastfeeding. Baby might not be tolerating the bottle, you may have decided to give breastfeeding another try, you may have introduced the use of a bottle and now struggling to return to feeding at the breast. What ever you reason there are steps you can take to return to nursing at the breast.

 

Babies are hardwired to nurse at the breast and with the following tips baby should soon remember. This will take some dedication but you should hope to see milk secretions within 5-15 days. Please contact for advise on medications that can support this process.  

 

1. Pick up milk supply...stimulating the breast to produce milk via supply and demand. We need to demand that milk by pumping, hand expressing or putting baby to the breast at least eight to ten times in 24 hours and at least once in the night. I have actually found that not having a pump schedule and by mimicking babies natural feeding behaviors by expressing 10 x for 10 minuets at a time works really well.

 

Natural remedies such as Fenugreek and Blessed thistle are known to increase supply but please contact for advise.

 

2..Lots of Skin-to-Skin contact and let baby restart all those natural reflexes and feeding behaviors. Feeding in the bath is a good tip. Look on 'you tube' for the videos showing the 'birth crawl' this will show you what babies are capable of if given time.

 

3. If baby can attach well at the breast learn to recognize and notice rhythmic sucking at the breast which indicates milk transferring to the baby. Visualize milk flowing and feeding baby to help keep you calm and your Oxytocin (a hormone know for inducing calm and feelings of love) flowing.

 

4. Using a milk supplementer can reduce 'suck confusion' and reduce time feeding your baby. Cup feeding  whilst re establishing breastfeeding is also beneficial for these reason. Please again ask for advise about either of these things

 

5. If baby has been used to the bottle then moving back to breastfeeding can seem like a battle for some.

If baby doesn't latch well at the breast:

a, When supplementing try and get baby feeding closer and closer to a nursing position. 

b, Try baby at the breast for just 10 minutes at a time, or maybe less if baby becomes distressed. Try not to latch baby on when they feel very hungry or really full. Try getting baby to root at the breast and suckle a little

c,Be persistent and keep trying, and do not take it personally. Try and pick a good time of day when your baby will be most receptive to trying.

d, Invest in a sling or visit www.babywearing.com to find a sling library near you. 

e, Nipple shields may help but please contact for advise before trying

f, Feed for comfort and not for nutrition

g, If baby can feed for a short time try breast compression's to encourage them to suck more.

 

 

 

 

 

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