Is it possible to start lactating after your milk dries up?

Jessica - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




My son was born 6 weeks premature and was in NICU for 5 days. We were unable to nurse him at that time but I pumped every 3 hours religiously and took him the expressed breast milk. When we were finally able to nurse him he nursed okay for a few days with the help of a nipple shield but was unable to get enough to gain weight adequately. We had to supplement with a higher calorie formula (which costs more) and I was very frustrated. I was worried about having enough supply due to a breast reduction 12 years ago. Needless to say, I gave up one week after being dismissed from the hospital.

Now that he is where he would have been if he had went to our due date, he is acting like he wants to latch on. I attempted to get him to latch on this morning and he nursed for about 5 min really well without a nipple shield. But my milk has dried up I think. I am no longer leaking during the day and only a little at night.

Is it possible to restart to lactate?


Summer - posted on 03/13/2014




That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read!! If you adopt a child you are not going to produce milk!!!! C'mon now!!

Deanne - posted on 02/16/2010




yes it is possible milk is produced by supply and demand the more you nurse and or pump the more you will make and if you can still express even a little your not dried up


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Anna - posted on 01/07/2016




Actually Summer, adoptive parents can induce lactation so that they can experience breastfeeding their baby. So its not ridiculous at all.

Beth - posted on 02/28/2010




youre not"dried up" if you still leak at night , get out the pump , and start putting him to the breast , what youre doing now , since youere still leaking , youre still lactating, so its just gonna be a matter of days for your milk to "build up" adequate to his needs , definately work on supply, make sure to drink enough fluids, attempt to nurse him , then when done use the pump to stimulate further ,

FYI , it generally takes 5-8 weeks to "dry up" but many moms dont do it that fast ,

youll need help , contact your LLL or the hospitals or even your local wic office ( they are big on breastfeeding , and even if you make too much for it , they will let you talk to the LC staff there)

Jennifer - posted on 02/27/2010




and even if you are not leaking much during the day, you are still making milk. It is definately possible to relactate. Did you know that even moms who adopt babies, never having been pregnant themselves are able to induce lactation to feed their children? Also there are many moms who have stoped breastfeeding for one reason or another, only to change their minds a bit later and they are able to relactate. Your body is already functioning and primed! You just have to tell it what to do.

Definately recommend working with an IBCLC (lactation consultant) or LLL Leader.

The fact that your son is willing to latch on for 5 minutes is a great sign. To get you started while you find someone to help you, here are some quick tips:

nurse your son as frequently as possible (at least every 2 hours for a little while), as much as he will accept. Do this not with the intention of him getting a full feed (though it does sound like he's getting a bit), but with the intention of stimulating your breasts to produce more milk again. Also to get him back used to being at the breast.

If this is your first baby, you could probably do a nursing staycation, which would be really helpful. Plan to spend at least 3 days in bed with your baby, not doing much else other than self care, baby care and breastfeeding. Prepare yourself with making some meals ahead, get some good books/movies, snacks, the phone/laptop, water bottle, etc. By limiting what you are doing and keeping in close skin to skin contact with baby, it will really help you concentrate on breastfeeding to get your supply back to where you need it to be.

You might consider taking fenugreek and blessed thistle (3 pills of each, 3 X day). these are herbs which increase milk supply. these are very effective, but need to be combined with adequate stimulation.

here is some info on relactation:

here is some info on breastfeeding after reduction surgery:
the book "Defining Your Own Success" by Diana West is very good.

info on reducing supplements:

Good luck, you can do it!

April - posted on 02/16/2010




you definitely still have milk if you're leaking. i NEVER leak and i have PLENTY of milk. :)

Adrienne - posted on 02/16/2010




Yes! Just let him latch on whenever he wants to. Pump after he latches on. Pump pump pump! Offer him the breast as much as you can. You can also take Mother's Milk Tea and eat oatmeal. Also make sure you are getting plenty of luids. They also have fenugreek supplements.

Good luck and hang in there!

Lindsay - posted on 02/16/2010




yes, consult a lactation consultant. They've even had dads and adoptive moms that have breastfed.

Minnie - posted on 02/16/2010




If you're leaking you're still making milk! Seek out a local La Leche League Leader.

A Leader can help you with proper latch and positioning and provide you experienced mother-to-mother support. She can answer your questions, listen to your worries, and provide you with accurate breastfeeding information. It will take effort on your part to reestablish your supply, but from the sound of it it seems like you are still making milk- so it would simply be a matter of increasing your supply again.


"I would like to resume breastfeeding after an interruption. How do I relactate?"

Andria - posted on 02/16/2010




i beleive it is... If you pump religiously again like that your body will tell you that you need more milk. I would call your doc and ask them, Im almost sure you can becauce I have read somewhere that women who adopt can breatfeed if they pump a ton... Good luck!!!

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