Relactating: A Journey Begins

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I previously blogged about my problems breastfeeding when the boys were born.

For their first 3 or so months, I convinced myself that I did everything I could to nurse my boys. But then I began to wonder, and research. Then I evaluated the situation and I asked myself again… did I really do everything I could?

I concluded that I needed to try harder, again.

So my research led me to relactating. Because I no longer produce breastmilk, I need to trick my body into doing this… again!

In my research, I learned that many women have been successful doing this. Including women who have never been pregnant and have nursed an adopted child.

There are “protocols” to follow. And I have looked into them all and going with what I believe will work, and what I can afford. Here’s my plan:

Domperidone.
This is a prescription medication for indigestion. The side effect is the increase of prolactin which in turn, helps build breastmilk supply.

Herbs.
Fenugreek, Goats Rue, Blessed Thisle, Fennel, Nettle, Shatavari – all shown to help increase the production of breastmilk. So much so that many companies, like Motherlove create a combination of these herbs and market them for increasing breastmilk supply. I picked up one of these combinations at a whole/organic foods market.

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Medela Pump in Style Advanced in Messanger Bag.

Pumping.
I know I had a good pump the first time in what my sister-in-law loaned me. But I have since given that pump back to her, and she has sold it. So I picked up one that I believe to be even better – Medela Pump in Style Advanced.

How I’m Working This

The domperidone and herbs I am taking 4 times per day. This is 40 mg of domperidone and 4 ml of herbs.

For pumping, I try to get in 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. If I can do shorter sessions more often, I try that as well. If I could sit with the pump hooked to me 24/7, I’d do that too. Unfortunately I can’t do that. I do have infant twins!

What’s My Goal?

My sister-in-law, Nikki and my friend, Tiffeny have been gracious enough to provide as much breastmilk to my boys as possible. My main supply however, has been Nikki. She has finally reached the point in nursing my nephew, that she no longer has to pump.

I had always hoped that I could make it 6 months with donor milks for the boys. But I always dreamed of nursing until they were 2. So when Nikki quit pumping, I wondered – can I produce enough to fill the void that it would leave when Nikki’s milk is gone?

For me, setting a goal too high would be heart breaking if I don’t fulfill it. But setting a lower goal that I think is obtainable and passing it – that would mean everything!

So, my goal is to replace what is currently being provided to them in donor milk. If I could do that much, that would be enough for me.

Getting Back to the Boob

Many women struggle with the idea of having their baby latch again when they are older. But for more than a month now, my boys have used me as a human pacifier and “comfort nursed.” Because of this, I also have them to help stimulate the production of breast milk and I do not have to teach them how to latch.

I do worry that they have a good, correct latch. My boobs aren’t sore, so I imagine that they do. However, I plan on seeking the advice of a lactation consultant, again. Just to be sure things are happening as they should be; and because there is never a shortage of support for those attempting to breastfeed.

Where Is This Going?

I don’t know yet.

I will continue to blog about my progress. If anyone has any suggestions or advice… or been there, done that stories, please feel free to leave it in the comments!

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