can i get my milk back?

Sarah - posted on 05/04/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )




i accidentally deleted this so i'm putting it back up --

my baby is a little over 6 months old and i think i am starting to feel bad about stopping breastfeeding. i had to stop nursing my beautiful baby boy around 3 months because i had to go back on medication for my arthritis and fybromyalgia. this is a choice i'm really starting to regret. once you're milk is gone there is no way to get it back is there? i haven't nursed in over 3 months....


[deleted account]

Actually, you can get your milk back, it's just a bit of work. Let me tell you my story....

My 6 1/2 month son was a beautiful nurser in the hospital, but during his first week at home he hadn't had a poopy diaper in 3 days, he had those crystals in his diaper indicating dehydration, and my milk never really came in much. I met with several lactation consultants who examined my breasts and asked me a bunch of questions about breast changes during pregnancy, etc. They came to the conclusion that I'm one of those 5% of women who have "insufficient glandular tissue" and that I'd probably never have a full supply. At that point, I wish I had looked into using a Supplemental Nursing System and taken medications to build a supply, but I didn't. I just wasn't prepared for it to be such a struggle. After a few weeks we were dealing with thrush, and because my supply was so low my flow was slow and he'd get really frusterated, so I took him off the breast. I pumped for 6 weeks and got between 5 and 6 oz. a day. By his 5th week, he was on the expensive hypoallergenic formula and didn't react well to my milk. That coupled with all the time spent pumping....and I quit.

3 months later....I was feeling exactly how you are. Sad about not contributing to his growth with my own milk (I accept that I'll likely always have to supplement). So I ordered some Domperidone from an online pharmacy, started taking Fennegreek (3 capsules 3 times a day), drinking a lot of water + Mother's Milk tea, and I rented a hospital grade pump (Medela Symphony). I have a Medela PIS, but the Symphony has a much strong vacuum, which you really need if you have low milk supply in general or you're trying to build a supply. I tried to put baby back to breast, but he's have none of it at this I pump, and pump, and pump. I try to pump 8-10 times a day, but I always make sure I pump at least 6 times. I'm actually pumping as I type this. My son is now old enough to engage in independent play while I pump, so I think it works well for us both at this point. AND.....I now get 8 oz. a day!!!! I've been relactating since mid-February, so it's been a long road, but someone who had a full supply initially might have faster results. Personally, I know I'll likely never get a full supply, but at least I can give him a few bottles a day of my milk! Oh, and it started out pretty slowly. When I first got back to pumping, there were first only drops, then after a week or so, sprays...and it's been building from there. So you CAN do it!! Let me know if you have any questions or need support as you proceed and GOOD LUCK!


View replies by

Jessica - posted on 08/28/2016




I was in the same boat when the baby was just 4 months old. I tried everything I could and nothing was coming out. A friend who is mother of three kids advised me an herbal tea healthy nursing tea. I started drinking several cups a day and it wonderfully helped and boosted my supply.

Ally - posted on 05/05/2009




You can absolutely get your supply back...but like breann said it will required a strong commitment from you. If your baby is willing to nurse just put him to the breast as often as you can and the stimulation and suckling will help you rebuild a milk supple. If he isn't into nursing I would try and start pumping and little by little it should come back. Even mothers who adopt are able to breastfeed if they want to using these same techniques! Good luck and kudos for wanting to continue with breastfeeding!

User - posted on 05/05/2009




Ring the Australian Breastfeeding Association - this requires expert help and they are brilliant.There are stories around of women who have adopted children starting to lactate and grandmothers likewise. I have even heard of men able to! Good luck

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