Relactation

RESUMING BREASTFEEDING AFTER AN INTERRUPTION

The good news is relactation is possible. It requires time, patience, determination and a cooperative baby! Whether you stopped breastfeeding due a medical procedure, separation from baby, or simply bad advice, many mothers find they can rebuild a milk supply very successfully. Providing human milk for a newly adopted baby is also a relactation opportunity.

Sometimes, relactation produces enough breastmilk to supply all of baby’s needs. Other times, supplementation may still be needed. La Leche League International recommends the following strategies for relactation and induced lactation to stimulate milk production:

  • Putting baby to breast to suck at each feeding and for comfort between feedings as often as possible.
  • Using hand expression or a breast pump.
  • Using a nursing supplementer to provide expressed milk at the breast while baby sucks at the breast.
  • Taking herbs/medication that increase milk supply.

If you do use herbs or medications to increase your supply, be sure to consult a lactation-focused health care professional about your specific medical history as well as your breastfeeding goals.

It’s important to empty the breasts completely and frequently. Not only will it increase supply, it will also help avoid breast infections or plugged ducts.