If you took a break from breastfeeding or need to induce lactation, there are certain challenges you might face and certain aspects you should take into account. For example, some mothers are forced to pause breastfeeding due to medical conditions. In contrast, for others, it can be a personal decision.
Either way, if you want to start breastfeeding your baby again after you took a long pause, you have to know that it might not be as simple as expected.
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Reasons To Induce Lactation
If you stopped breastfeeding, you might have several reasons to pick this type of feeding up again.
- Your baby is not responding well to formula: Babies are different, and they have different needs. If your little one got used to your breastmilk, it might be challenging to adjust to baby formula. If your infant is not gaining weight as they should once you switched from nursing to baby formula, you might want to consider re-lactation. At the same time, your doctor will recommend you to do that according to how your baby reacts to baby formula.
- You feel the need to restore the emotional bond: Some mothers can develop depression once they stopped nursing their babies. Breastfeeding supports a special and unique bond between the mother and her baby, which can’t be replaced. To recreate the bond between you and your baby, you can try to induce lactation again if the break you took was not more than a few weeks.
- You can’t afford baby formula: Baby formula can be pricey, and you also need the right conditions to prepare it correctly and hygienically. If you find yourself struggling with these aspects, re-lactation can be a great and healthy alternative.
How To Start Lactation Again?
Starting breastfeeding again after a break is a process that involves both you and your baby. First, you will have to retrain your body to produce breastmilk, and at the same time, you will have to re-teach your baby to latch and eat directly from your breast rather than a bottle.
- If you had a good milk supply in the first month of breastfeeding, it would generally be easier to pick up the lactation process after a break of two or three months. This happens because your body has a memory that it will access. Your baby will also remember how to latch out of instinct. Here are a few tips that will help you restart the lactation after a break!
- Start by latching your baby often: In the first few days, you might want to breastfeed every two to three hours. This frequent nursing session will help stimulate your breasts and start the lactation process faster. In the first latching sessions, your baby might not get too much milk or even any at all. But the simple act of sucking will give your body the signal to make milk.
- If your baby does not latch easily, you can start with pumping sessions: Pump your milk every two to three hours until you get a steady milk supply. You can then store your breastmilk and feed it to your baby in a bottle or cup for future meals. Even if your baby has no problem latching, you might want to add some pumping sessions in between meals to make sure your breasts stay stimulated.
- Try lactation supplements: You can also help your body by taking a lactation supplement based on herbs and other natural ingredients. If you are not sure what type of supplement to invest in, your doctor will definitely guide you in this respect. In addition, having a lactation consultant will help you with the diet and supplements you can consider taking to facilitate re-lactation.
As you can see, restarting lactation doesn’t have to be as stressful as it might seem, even after a break. You can definitely get your body and your baby back on the nursing schedule as long as you are consistent.
If you have any trouble with inducing lactation after a few months of break, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or lactation specialists.