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Chicken Soup for the Relactating Mother's Soul(lol Success stories)

Posted by on Jan. 13, 2009 at 5:27 PM
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So I have decided to make a sticky of success stories for encouragement for all of our relactating moms! Your are not alone! =) I will try to post them at least weekly(or as I find them) and they will be posted as replies in this thread! Enjoy!
amg01
27-11-2005, 12:56 PM
Hi I have just seen your post and would like to tell you a bit about me. I was posting on this website for about 2 months while I was going though the relactation process. I had stopped feeding at 4 weeks and never got over it. It drove me almost insane. I went to see the Lactation consultant who had tried to help me in the beginning when my DS was about 14-16 weeks old I can't quite remember. I was told that it could be done and I also had been on the Australian Adoptive Breastfeeding site which was quite helpful as there is a place in there for biological mums relactating as well. I am in NZ and information was no where to be found. I had no milk whatsoever and had been dried up for over ten weeks. I started pumping with a hospital grade BP hired from my lactation consultant and was also taking Fenugreek. There was nothing to start with and after two weeks I had colostrom forming from both breasts but not enough to be dripping. I was also eating everything that I had been told that could possibly increase milk supply, rolled oats, a bit of beer (yeast) and goodness only knows what else. But I wasn't making any more progress. It would have been made alot easier if my DS didn't have such a major breast aversion, as they said 10mins of the baby on the breast is the equiv of about four pumping sessions! I was at this stage unsure if my son would even take the breast again as it had been such a horrific experience for him in the beginning.

IN the end I went back to the LC who advised me to get a prescription from my GP for a drug called Domperidone. My GP agreed to prescribe me this medication which isn't actually recognised for this purpose but it used widely for this very reason. I started out on two tablets four times a day and within two days my milk was pouring out. Then the biggest thing was to get DS on the breast. We tried everything and finally after two weeks and ALOT of tears from both of us I was about to face the reality that I had done all I could and it just wasn't going to work out how I wanted. Then for some reason the very next day he took it. I still got sore and all the old cracks re opened but I had so much determination that I dont think I felt the pain. I got through it and was still topping DS up with the bottle at night for the first week or so, more so because I was scared he wouldn't sleep through if I didn't.

SO it is now almost 5 months later and we are fully BF and loving every minute of it. I am so pleased to have that bond back with my son and when I feed him it is even more amazing than I thought it would be. I never expected to feel that way. BF was one of those things that I was never worried about, I used to say oh well if BF doens't work I will just give the bottle. Well, it was a whole other story in reality. My LC said that you can't control how BF will affect you and that it is something to do with hormones and it's an urge and desire that some women have and some don't. When iwas crying everytime I gave him the bottle and leaving my mothers group cos I couldn't stand to watch the others all BF, I knew I had a problem.

All I can say is yes it is tough and alot of hard work, esp when you are sitting on the pump all the time. But in the end what you get back far outweighs what you have to go through to get there. I'm so pleased that I did it and wish that more women knew that it can be done there would be alot less guilt in their lives.

Feel free to e-mail me privately if you want and i'm happy to answer any questions that you may have. Good luck and I hope you can achieve your goal.

Ang

PS When pumping pump for short periods of time, often. No more than ten mins each side at a time. I pumped when i could but tried to get it done every two hours and a bit more at night when hormone levels are alot higher.
                                               
by on Jan. 13, 2009 at 5:27 PM
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sp4rkl3z
by on Jan. 26, 2009 at 1:05 AM

i hope you find more stories like this.  i haven't been able to breastfeed because my 3 week old son will not latch, but i have been pumping and bottle feeding since he was born.  he started fussing soon after every feeding early last week, and not figuring he was naturally trying to increase my supply last wednesday, i started feeding him formula because i thought he was starving.  well, now my my supply has significantly diminished in just 4 days. i was able to pump 2.5-3.5 ounces just a week ago - and now i can barely get 2 in 3 hours.  i am devistated.  it is bad enough that i can't get him to latch...but now i can't hardly satiate his appetite naturally.  i just discovered yesterday the concept of relactation and i am trying so hard.  it is nice to read that it can work!

Daynaof3
by Group Owner on Jan. 26, 2009 at 3:32 PM

If you go into search posts in the browse group column on the left of the home page and type success into the search bar more will come up. I will try to get around to copying and pasteing them in here later today, right now I have to run I am late for work! lol, sorry I will do it when I get home. Also here's a kellymom link for you and check out the resources sticky for other useful links. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/baby/back-to-breast.html
 It's still early and your chances are excellent to get him on the breast and nursing from you completely. Good luck and keep us updated.

Quoting sp4rkl3z:

i hope you find more stories like this.  i haven't been able to breastfeed because my 3 week old son will not latch, but i have been pumping and bottle feeding since he was born.  he started fussing soon after every feeding early last week, and not figuring he was naturally trying to increase my supply last wednesday, i started feeding him formula because i thought he was starving.  well, now my my supply has significantly diminished in just 4 days. i was able to pump 2.5-3.5 ounces just a week ago - and now i can barely get 2 in 3 hours.  i am devistated.  it is bad enough that i can't get him to latch...but now i can't hardly satiate his appetite naturally.  i just discovered yesterday the concept of relactation and i am trying so hard.  it is nice to read that it can work!


                                               
Daynaof3
by Group Owner on Jan. 27, 2009 at 1:10 AM

http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/bf/relact.asp

Relactation: It Was a War, and I Won

By Lisa Bryan

My son was born three weeks early. My head was in a spin. I was a new Mom, with all the doubts and uncertainties that come with the territory. I had an unexpected cesarean section, my baby had a terrible head cold and I couldn't get a decent latch out of him. I was feeling like a complete failure because I couldn't deliver a baby naturally and I couldn't breastfeed.

I got in touch with some breastfeeding moms online who gave me advice and even phoned me to encourage me. I was so overwhelmed that I just couldn't "hear" what they had to say. I quit breastfeeding. I was sure it would be easier and at the time I just NEEDED easier.

So here I was with my baby on formula at a month old. We hit a new roadblock. He has HORRIBLE colic. I swallowed my pride and went marching right back to the women whose advice I'd shunned weeks earlier. There WAS a powerful force within me to breastfeed. I'd just temporarily stopped recognizing it. With open arms they began to help me through what would be the hardest three weeks of my life. I was going to relactate and get my baby OFF of formula.

This is how I began. I set a date when I would begin the battle and then set out to get everything ready. I built what I affectionately called a war room. In it I had in inflatable mattress, two gallons of water daily, a TV, a CD player, the TV guide, pillows of many shapes and sizes, toys, clothes, easy to grab foods (bananas, apples, pears, mangos, cheese, milk, crackers) and, of course, my lifeline to support : my computer. Anything I needed to eat I didn't have to fix.

My next step was sitting down with my husband and telling him that this was something I had to do and I was going to do it. If he wanted clean clothes he had to wash them. If he wanted dinner, he had to cook it. If he wanted the house cleaned, he had to clean it. The only thing I was dedicating my time and energy to over the next month was relactating.

So we began. My house was a wreck, the clothes piled up and my husband ate a lot of fast food. None of that mattered. What mattered was getting my baby back to the breast.

When we started, my baby was eating four ounces every three hours of formula. We breastfed every hour on the hour for two solid weeks. I slept when he slept. Even at night every hour on the hour. We never stopped. He nursed for twenty minutes on each breast every hour. Then he got two ounces of formula every three hours with a dropper. I threw away every bottle I had in the house, just discarded them and didn't look back. No bottles at all. No artificial nipples at all. The women that were helping me were so right on this score. It will not work if you don't throw out the bottles. They are too big a temptation when you've become accustomed to using them and the baby has, too. In the middle of this battle, the temptation would have been too great. Take them to your Mom's if you think you can't make yourself throw them away but get all bottles out of the house.

We worked everyday weaning him off the formula. For four days he was at two ounces with a dropper, then we went down to one ounce every three hours and then after three and a half long weeks, he was solely breastfeeding.

It was the hardest three weeks of my life. I don't regret it for a moment. What I would have regretted was not trying at all.

I used fenugreek and blessed thistle to help boost my supply. Neither of which tasted very good. I used teas and they tasted awful to me. I learned that if you put enough sugar in anything you can stomach it.

I ate in my war room. I slept only one hour at time for about two weeks. I was exhausted. It was very hard, but it is all so worth it now. I have a breastfeeding baby, just as I always knew and dreamed it should be.

If you are a mom reading this and you're still in the deciding stages of whether to breastfeed or formula feed, please consider how much better breast feeding is than formula. If you think it will tie you down, let me tell you from experience that it's a lot easier to pick up and go when you're breastfeeding than it is if you're formula feeding. You only need yourself to nourish your baby. Just think, when you formula feed you have to pack bottles, warmer, formula, and cold pack. When you breastfeed all you need is YOU.

I got off on the wrong track, but I didn't stay there. I won't kid you. Relactation is extremely difficult, but the key is that it is possible. It is more possible than you may realize. It is more possible than anyone in your life may tell you. If you need the support that isn't available to you, you can find it here online. There are women like Cynthia, Susan, Cherri, and many others that held me up and kept telling me I could do it as many times as I needed to hear it.

If you got off to the wrong start and are looking down at your bottle feeding baby with regret, DO something about it. It's not too late. Just take charge and do it. You don't have to wait for another chance. You don't have to wait until the next baby. Do it now. Get the support you need, get the information you need, and do it now.

                                               
Daynaof3
by Group Owner on Jan. 27, 2009 at 1:11 AM

http://home.ca.inter.net/~jfisher/handouts/handout_relactation.html

Relactation Success Story

Where do I start?  Our daughter was born on Sunday, March 24th 2002. I had an easy delivery, only 6 hours start to finish, with only 30 minutes of pushing. For whatever reasons, I did not get to nurse for the first time until she was nearly 6 hours old. I called the nurse in to help me. She came, and we tried to put the baby to the breast but she refused, she just would not latch on. The nurse swiftly looked at me, and said,

"Look, your nipples are flat, and your baby won't take the breast. You won't be able to breastfeed. We have to give her a bottle, or she is going to starve." Being a new first time mom, I unknowingly let her give the baby a bottle. That was big mistake #1!

After that, at each feed I would try to latch the baby on and get her to nurse, but she would not latch on. It was an endless fight. I'd try, she'd scream, the nurses would ram her poor little face into my breast, which would just make her scream more. I started to pump to get my milk supply going. We would try for 15 minutes to get her feeding at breast, and then we would give her a bottle. I finally saw a lactation consultant in the hospital on the Tuesday morning, 2 days after the baby's birth. She tried to help, and she would succeed at getting the baby to latch on, but then the baby would suck for 5 seconds and let go screaming, because now she was used to how easy it was to get milk from the bottle. The vicious circle had begun with that 1st bottle.

On the Wednesday, I went home. That morning my milk came in. I was sent home pumping every 3 hours. Within 2 days I was pumping 8 to 10 ounces each time I pumped! I had enough milk to feed the neighbourhood! The latching on was not working, so I had given up. I was so disappointed because my whole pregnancy I had looked forward to nursing my baby. I had come to the conclusion that I would just pump my milk, and feed it to my baby via a bottle. When the baby turned 3½  weeks old, I could no longer take the pressure of the demands of pumping. We switched the baby over to formula. I stopped pumping.

On the fourth day of formula only, the problems began. First the baby developed severe diarrhea, and she would scream all the time. We took her to see our paediatrician at the time (we NO longer see her). She recommended we put the baby on soy formula, so we did that. The poor baby then became constipated, and would scream every time she tried to have a bowel movement. She also started projectile vomiting. After that we tried every kind of formula on the market, but nothing made her better.

After 3 weeks of this, I looked into relactation. I decided that I was NOT going to give up until my baby was getting nothing but breastmilk, and I wanted her to be breastfeeding at the breasts, not with a bottle. I had been pumping again for about a week and I was lucky to get 1 ounce a day! And I was pumping every 2 hours! That is when I came in contact with Joan Fisher, my wonderful lactation consultant. She truly was the one who got me through my relactation period. I truly had no more milk. She suggested I get a prescription for domperidone in order to reinduce lactation. I did that, and then purchased a Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer which would allow the baby to latch on to my breast, and get formula through a tiny capillary tube. It worked! The baby would latch on, and actually nurse! I was SO thrilled!

Within 1 week of using the Lact-Aid at every feeding, and taking domperidone, I had a full milk supply, and was able to discontinue using the Lact-Aid. My baby was now exclusively breastfed! I could not have been happier, and my wonderful little baby was now happy again, and thriving. She started gaining weight again, and hasn't stopped since. I had one consultation with Joan for positioning at the breast, as I was not doing it properly in the beginning, and the baby was pinching me. It only took 2 hours, and we were a happy nursing couple, and have been ever since.

I am proud to say that I now have an exclusively breastfed 6 month old baby who is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen! I cannot say just how happy, and proud of myself, I am, for having achieved my goal, but I am reminded every day when I look into my nursing baby's eyes, and she lets go to give me one of her big smiles, as if to say, "

Thanks, mommy!". I plan on nursing my daughter until she is good, and ready, to wean by herself, and not a day before. I guess my message to all you new moms, or moms-to-be, out there, is that breastfeeding may seem difficult in the beginning, but with the right help and support, and most of all, perseverance, you, too, can achieve this wonderful gift only you can give your baby!

                                               
Daynaof3
by Group Owner on Jan. 27, 2009 at 1:11 AM

http://www.breastfeedingsupport.co.uk/Our%20Stories/CharlieAndDaisyRelactation.htm

Charlie and Daisy's Relactation Story.

OK here's my breastfeeding journey, which I hope will be an inspiration to some of you.

Daisy was born at home in a pool with no complications at all, the midwife wrote down that i had a 5.5 hour labour ie: from 3 cm's onwards, but in reality i'd say it was a 10 hour labour as that's how long i was having painful contractions for.
I hadn't really given breastfeeding much thought, i'd worried myself silly over the labour and i just thought that as long as i can get through that, then the next 18 years will be a doddle, oh how silly was I !!!

I didn't' try and latch Daisy on straight away because i was in the pool and i was worried about drowning her, i was also knackered and just wanted to get out of the pool and deliver the placenta then i could look at her properly.
So it was probably an hour after the birth that i tried to breastfeed and it went ok, but she was very sleepy by then so we didn't' get very far.
I continued to try to breastfeed for the next two weeks, first of all it took a while for the milk to come in and the midwives said she was jaundice so we had to formula feed her (i think this was a big mistake) I kept putting her to my breast but she was not good at latching on, her mouth seemed to small and i couldn't quite get my boob in whilst her mouth was at it's widest, it was all so awkward, she was so tiny and i was so tired. Then my nipples started hurting a lot, it was horrendous, they were very weepy (not bleeding) and they seemed rather swollen, so i used nipple shieds, which as i have discovered since is really not a solution seeing as it teaches the baby to latch onto them and it reduces your milk supply.
Then i started to feel flu-type symptoms, i woke up in the night shivering trying to feed Daisy but i'd be dripping sweat all over her, it was a dreadful experience, one minute i was boiling hot, the next minute i was freezing cold, then i noticed a big red patch on my right boob and it was only a couple of days later that a friend of mine told me it was mastitis, so I had to get antibiotics from the doctor.

I soon realised that i really wasn't enjoying breastfeeding, it was awful, i felt awful, Daisy didn't seem to be happy, she would get frustrated on my boob (still using the shields) and she would cry. Straight after a nightmare feed i would start to dread the next one, and in Sainsbury's i would start to longingly look at SMA Gold tins and all the bottle paraphernalia etc... Imagining how much easier it would be with bottles etc....

So after two weeks i quit breastfeeding and starting formula feeding. At first this seemed brilliant, my boobs went back to normal, i felt human again and it was easy to feed Daisy, she wanted feeding every 3.5/4 hours and i could go out and about and begin to enjoy being a mum.

Eight weeks later when Daisy was nearly 10 weeks old, after going through several weeks of feeling guilty and that i really should have tried harder, i decided to give breastfeeding a go again. Several people on the iVillage breastfeeding support board told me to latch Daisy on as often as possible and to try taking Domperidone (Motilium over the counter), a breastfeeding councillor also recommended the same drug which can kick start your milk again, so i phoned my doctor just to ask her advice. She'd never heard of the drug being used to re-lactate but she read out the details of Domperidone to me over the phone and it did say that a side effect of the drug was to bring about lactation in some circumstances so i went and bought a packet from the chemist.

This time I didn't use the nipple shields, I was determined to try it with naked skin. Thankfully Daisy instantly latched on (i don't think i'd have managed it if that part had been a struggle) and it didn't hurt half as much as it did before, i started to take 3 Motilium tablets every day, i also took Fenugreek tablets, Milk Thistle & Nettle drops.
I started latching her on before every bottle, at first she would only suck for 20 secs each boob and often she would look at me like i was mad for even offering my boob, but if i didn't look at her she sucked for longer every time.
At first i also pumped straight after giving her, her bottle and i couldn't get anything out at all but i persevered.
I took my concoction of legal drugs three times a day for 10 days, i started to get a tiny bit of milk with my pump which was probably about 5ml, then i cut down to two tablets a day for 10 days, this was when i noticed that Daisy would latch on for a lot longer now and she was drinking less of her bottle, hooray, i had been told that a baby is far more efficient than a pump so i just had to keep remembering this so that i didn't give up. By this time i was only pumping once a day at about 10pm when Daisy was in bed, i just couldn't bare to sit there and pump for so long only to get hardly anything, then suddenly I noticed that if I pumped in a hot bath, that I could get 1oz, then it shot up to 2oz, i was amazed that it was finally working.
I cut down to only one concoction of lotions and potions a day for a further 10 days and i noticed that straight after her morning breastfeed 6/7am, she started to not want hardly any of her bottle so i cut that bottle out straight away, then a couple of days later i was able to cut out the next bottle 9/10am so she was purely breastfed in the morning.

Now we only take fenugreek twice a day and Daisy only has one small bottle of formula around lunchtime as my boobs seem to run out around this time, she takes between 2/3/4 oz, and occasionally she goes without completely, then at bedtime after her bath she has a bottle of expressed milk from the night before. How much i can get the night before depends on what time it is and what i've done that day but usually i can get 4oz, sometimes only 3.5, occasionally 5oz, i'm hoping to increase it more and more so that i can give Daisy expressed at lunchtime as well, but at the end of the day I'm ecstatic that I have managed to breastfeed Daisy again, one bottle of formula a day is better than five/six.

She is now over 15 weeks old, and we've been breastfeeding for over 5 weeks and I can't believe how normal it feels, I'm beginning to forget the 8 weeks of sterilization hell I went through and I love that fact that I can just give my boob to Daisy and she's happy scoffing away.

Charlie n Daisy

                                               
Daynaof3
by Group Owner on Jan. 27, 2009 at 1:12 AM
 I did it!


Hi Liss

Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you that I relactated 8 months after stopping. It can be done and this is my story ... *very breifly, of course*

When my son was born nearly five years ago, I was determined to breastfeed. Always wanted to... and always knew that was the way in which all my children would be feed. After I gave birth (3 days later), I tore all the muscles up the back of my spine and through my left arm.. (unrelated to the birth, just a freak thing that happened). This accident left me with a frozen left arm, hense leading to great difficulty in latching my son on the opposite breast, my right one. This in turn, lead to me getting a massive crack in the right nipple. As I could not correct the latch (due to the frozen arm and mass amounts of pain) the crack never healed and contined to bleed and expel green puss at every feed. Four weeks later, mastitis set in. The doctor's believed that infection had found it's way into my nipple through the crack, and burrowed deep into my breast tissue. For 7 days I took oral antibiotics to no avail, then the doctor sent me to hospital for IV antibiotics and heat ultrasound techniques on the affected breast. Another 5 days passed before they sent me to have an ultrasound, as my mastitis wouldn't clear. Turns out I had an abscess the size of a tennis ball under the areola and was prepped for immediate surgery. I was later informed that the abscess was so infected and severe, that I would be dead if it wasn't for the anibiotics and removal. Afterwards, I had a massive hole in my breast, that could not be stitched up, as it would cause my breast to collapse. So instead, I was packed with 2 and a half metres of gauze, that was removed and re-packed everyday.. (without pain medication I must add!  ) Needless to say, the doctor cut half my milk ducts to reach the abscess and due to the packing and re-packing of gauze, I couldn't put my son to feed on that side and my milk dried up. I kept feeding from the other breast and topping up with formula... Of course, I looked very lopsided as my left breat grew to twice the size of the right one!  After four months, my son flat out refused to nurse anymore and my breatfeeding days were over...

At first I was okay with this, as everything was such a mission anyway, but as the months passed, I grew bitter and resentful. I blamed the medical profession for allowing this to happen and was angry that no one would support me when all this was happening. I even remember a lactation consultant telling me in hospital... "Wow, you have been through a lot. Maybe it would be best if you just cut your losses and quit"  I was blown away by this! She should have been the one rooting for me!

Anyway, as time passed I became quite depressed everytime I made a bottle of formula and decided I wanted to breastfeed again. I read some books, checked out the net and decided to give it a go! I hired a hospital grade breast pump (from my local chemist for 6 weeks), pumped every 3 hours during the day and twice at night, and this is what happened over the six weeks...

Week 1 - After pumping for this week, I noticed My breasts felt 'sweaty' and alittle damp. No milk though.

Week 2 - Seen a drop appear during each pumping session. The drop never fell or dripped down, but it did form. The drop was fairly clear too .. similiar to colostrum.

Week 3 - Several drops are forming, and breasts are starting to feel more full and heavier.

Week 4 - Drops are starting to fall during pumping and even noticed wet patch on bra.

Week 5 - Drops are now flowing slowly, milk is now white in colour (no longer clear), breasts are very heavy and are definitly slightly 'leaking' between pumping sessions.

Week 6 - Sprays appeared during pumping and let-downs became apparent.

After this, I purchased an Ameda Yours Purely Double Breast Pump and continued pumping on the same schedule. Obviously my son didn't physically 'breastfeed' as he was nearly 12 months old and wasn't interested anymore, so I just pumped my milk and bottlefed him.

This whole story might seem silly and time consuming to some people, but since I was becoming so depressed and obsessed with the whole situation, I knew that this was the only solution to my feeling okay with what happened to me. Turns out I was right. I kept pumping and bottlefeeding for the next 12 months and weaned my son off the 'breast' (AKA - the pump) just after his second birthday... 

You can do it Liss and I wish you all the best.

Shelle

http://www.birth.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=5704&highlight=relactation -It's the eighth reply in the forum.

                                               
sp4rkl3z
by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 5:12 PM

i also bought a medela sns from amazon and i am waiting for that to arrive in the mail.  i will keep the group posted!  thanks a lot for making this group and putting up the success stories.

Newmommy296
by on Mar. 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM
I just found this group and think it is amazing. When you say chicken soup for the soul... it truly is. I have been nearly depressed the past few days because I thought breastfeeding was sadly coming to a premature end for me and Dylan. No one in my family or group of close girlfriends have BF and certainly can not imagine why I would want to relactate and sometimes it i sso hard because those times when I get emotional I feel like I am talking to myself. Not because they do not care or totally admire and respect my decision but because they can not understand how important it is to me. I dried very abruptly and thought i had this BF thing down after 6 months. This is such motivation I am sobbing.
myfavoriteshoes
by on Apr. 26, 2009 at 9:20 PM

I will post my success story tomorrow when I have more time :)

[[ S.A.R.A.H ]]

If you always think what you always thought
You will always get what you always got

luvbeinamommy68
by New Member on Aug. 8, 2010 at 2:31 PM

this is so encourging you just dont know! my DD is the same way right now! i love to hear that eventually it did happen! this makes me so much more hopeful! thank you for your story! 

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