If you have ever wondered, “Can I breastfeed after I’ve already stopped?” The answer is a very big “YES!”
Relactation might be overwhelming. We are here to help guide you through it.
What is Relactation?
Relactation is the process of resuming breastfeeding after a period of little or no breastfeeding. Relactation includes rebuilding a breastmilk supply after it has decreased or completely dried up.
Does the Baby’s Age Matter for Relactation?
Less than three months old – This is the easiest time to relactate. It’s easier to increase supply. Baby is also more willing to latch.
Three to six months old – It is possible to relactate, and may take more time to do so.
Six months to one-two years old – Some women successfully relactate even a year or two after stopping.
When relactating with an older baby, baby might not take the breast, and the process could take more time, so don’t lose hope!
How Long Will It Take for My Milk to Flow?
It generally takes at least two weeks to see a noticeable increase in milk supply and at least one month to have milk flowing. Relactation is a time-consuming process and takes effort and dedication. A good support system will be especially helpful to get milk flowing. Be patient and trust the process.
How Will My Body Change When Relactating?
You may go through the engorgement process as your milk supply increases. With engorgement, you will likely experience the following symptoms:
- Feelings of larger, fuller, tender breasts
- Darkening of your areolas
- Mood changes (due to changes in hormone levels)
Again, these are all typical when breastfeeding, so you shouldn’t be surprised to experience these symptoms during the relactation process. Your body will adjust. Read more about engorgement.
Will Relactation Help Me Achieve Full Supply?
Each body is different, and there are so many factors that go into breastmilk supply. Whether you achieve a full or partial supply, know that you are offering your baby an incredible substance that has benefits for years to come.
It is possible for your body to produce the breastmilk that your baby needs.
Steps to Relactation
Next, we’re going to cover the steps to relactation.
- You will need to stimulate your body with skin-to-skin contact
- Eat foods that promote breastmilk production
- Stay hydrated
- Most importantly, stimulate your breasts by removing more milk
Wanting to learn more about how to start the relactation process? Read this blog post.
Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns or to set up an appointment to discuss your and your baby’s needs.