If you have paused or stopped breastfeeding and are looking to give your baby your breast milk again, you may consider relactation. Relactation is an option when formula is not agreeing with your baby, when formula is not available or in emergency situations.
ChristianaCare Parent Education and Breastfeeding Support – 302-301-3360. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and holidays, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
La Leche League International – 800-525-3243
Most women can relactate and bring their milk supply back whether it has been a few weeks or a few months since they last breastfed. Relactating will likely take time, patience and consistency. Here are some tips and resources to help you get started.
How to Relactate
Stimulation is key.
- Keep your little one skin-to-skin as much as possible.
- Allow your baby to nuzzle or start suckling and latching at the breast with all hunger cues. Early on, they won’t get a full feeding and will need added nutrition, but the suckling will help start up your milk-making hormones again.
- Start massaging your breasts. Don’t forget under your breasts and toward your underarms.
Get the milk flowing.
- Start with breast massage and hand expression. Watch this video on hand expression.
- Pump both breasts at least as often as a baby eats a day (eight times or more). Click here for videos and more on pumping.
- Using a double electric breast pump is ideal for maximum stimulation. Pump both breasts with a double electric breast pump at least eight times in 24 hours.
Need a Breast Pump?
Call your insurance to see if a breast pump is covered or call ChristianaCare’s Breastfeeding Support at 302-301-3360. Hospital-grade pumps are available for rental at ChristianaCare and you may find other places for rentals through the Breastfeeding Coalition of Delaware.
It takes time! It may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to start seeing breast milk. Be consistent and don’t go more then three to four hours without pumping.
Contact a lactation consultant or your women’s health care provider for more support. Lactation consultants can help you create an individualized plan that help you reach your goal.