An Ultimate Guide On How To Get Breast Milk Back After Drying Up

An Ultimate Guide On How To Get Breast Milk Back After Drying Up

Perhaps you quit weaning after a tough start with breastfeeding. However, you’re starting to have doubts and want to re-establish your milk supply. 

How to get breast milk back after drying up? There are three main methods.

  • Boost on breastfeeding
  • Use pumping devices
  • Take medicines and herbs

Many mothers share the same problem with you. Thankfully, bringing your breastmilk back is possible. For detailed guides, let’s follow our post!

What Is Relactation? 

The concept of re-lactation comes when a mother restarts breastfeeding after a long period. Relactation refers to the process of restoring your milk supply, whether you’ve been nursing for a brief duration or years.

Your milk production may ultimately return and be sufficient to feed your infant with 100% breastmilk. 

In other situations, depending on your choices, you may have to boost with milk replacer, donor milk, or formula.

This process requires patience, effort, time, and commitment, but it is still achievable.

Why do you want to re-lactate?

There are many reasons why you might want to get your breast milk back. Maybe you were away from your kid for a long time, or a medical procedure restricted you from breastfeeding or pumping.

Breastfeeding has several benefits in addition to supplying nutrition for your infant. It’s a solid choice to recover your nursing connection with your baby for whatever purpose.

You may want to start breastfeeding again

Factors affecting re-lactation 

Some mothers can pump a sufficient supply in just a few weeks. Some may take a little longer, and some can never return with a full milk supply.

When it comes to re-lactating, every drop counts, so making deals with whatever you have is critical.

There are a few criteria that will influence your rate of success with re-lactation:

  • It’ll be simpler to re-lactate your kid if he or she is smaller. Mothers who have kids who are three to four months old have the best chances of success.
  • The more stable it was before drying out, the quicker it is to re-establish the milk production.
  • The longer you try nursing and pumping, the better. The most significant physiological determinant for re-lactation is consistent and successful breastfeeding.
  • The smoother this approach, the more eager your child is to breastfeed.
  • The more you understand how re-lactation happens, the more likely you will achieve your goal.

Several factors affect the final result

How To Get Breast Milk Back After Drying Up? 

Milk supply reduces when you quit breastfeeding or cut down the number of times you breastfeed.

If you wish to resume your baby feeding, you must rebuild to increase milk supply. Here are some tips to help you get more milk for your kid after the drying period. 

Skin-to-skin contact

When you’re finding out how to re-lactate, one of the factors you’ll notice is the need for direct skin contact.

Your lactation consultant will advise you that you need to massage your nipples frequently if you want to restore your milk supply. Your child is perfect for the job.

Skin-to-skin time is still helpful for you even when your kid does not return to your breast. It strengthens bonding and helps in the production of milk hormones.

Breast pump

You’ll still have to stimulate the nipples if you can’t get your baby to nurse straight from your breasts. For this task, the breast pump comes into play.

Breast pumps work by establishing a seal around the nipples, delivering and relieving pressure to the nipples, which extracts milk from the breasts.

The pumps can stimulate your nipples

There are four main types of breast pumps that you may need. 

Manual pumps

Manual pumps are tools that you use by hand. To establish the pressure that will extract the breastmilk, you need to press a trigger button.

These pumps are often small, affordable, and simple to move. They’re great for infrequent pumping and short-term use.

Battery-operated pumps

This pump is quite convenient if you just want to pump occasionally. However, since it is not powerful enough to dramatically boost milk flowing, you may have to put your child to your breast for most pumping sessions. 

Battery-operated pumps are often portable and easy to operate. Yet, the cost of batteries may increase over time. 

Electric pumps

An electric pump can provide the best results to pump frequently. This tool is more potent and capable of creating, maintaining, and boosting a full milk supply. 

You can also choose a double electric breast pump. This option appears to be the most productive, saving you a significant amount of time, but it is also the most pricey, bulkiest, and demands a power supply.

Hospital-grade pumps

This heavy-duty tool is more powerful than other types. It delivers milk quickly and runs quietly. However, it’s huge and hard to move around. 

You should also expect a high price for this tool. Often, people rent it since the cost for one model is around $1,000. 

Breastfeeding

Try to breastfeed your child or pump your breastmilk directly from your breasts at least eight to twelve times every day. 

This task may need a lot of loving patience and determination if your child hasn’t been at the breast in a long time. Your infant should be able to go back to nursing easily with a bit of patience.

If your infant is experiencing difficulties latching on, check your nursing positions as well as latch methods, or seek help.

Traditional baby nursing is the best 

Power pump

Power pumping is a practice that uses a breast pump to encourage your nipples to resemble cluster feeding.

When newborns cluster feed, they nurse multiple times in a brief period. Using a breast pump, you can accomplish this by expressing your breasts numerous times in an hour.

Start your typical pumping routine. After the first pump, wait ten minutes before repeating for another round. 

If you do this repeatedly, you’ll have pumped three times in one hour.

You’re informing your body that it needs to establish more milk and send signals to do the task.

Supplementary devices

A supplementary breastfeeding device might help if the breast milk supply is poor and your infant has trouble breastfeeding.

When using the supplementer, your baby takes baby formula or the pumped milk simultaneously. 

A tube is running from the supplemental device to your nipples. The breastmilk from that device will enter your baby’s mouth when he eats at the breast.  

This advice enables your infant to nurse while also boosting your breast milk supply and ensuring that they receive the nutrients they demand.

No artificial nipples

Breasts should be the first choice whenever it comes to your baby’s mealtime.

Bottles or pacifiers can trigger nipple confusion, making it more difficult for your child to breastfeed properly. 

These bottles also waste time that a baby could spend at the breast, boosting breast milk supply.

Pacifiers are not always good 

Herbs

Study medicinal nursing herbs (also known as galactagogues) to stimulate breast milk production.

On the other hand, many others report extremely positive results from herbal products and regular breast stimulation.

Herbal therapies that may help you produce more breast milk are:

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Thistle
  • Alfalfa
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Fenugreek
  • Blessed thistle
  • Goat’s rue
  • Stinging nettle

Remember that when taking herbal galactagogues, you must stimulate your breasts by breastfeeding and pumping regularly to have outstanding results. 

Almonds and oatmeal, both milk-producing foods, can marginally improve breast milk flow.

Prescription medication

Prolactin values above a certain level may lead to increased milk supply.

Some prescription drugs can boost prolactin levels if used in combination with regular breast stimulation:

Reglan

Reglan can enhance breast milk supply by 72% up to 110% in some situations, based on how long the postpartum period is.

Reglan is not suitable for individuals with a background of depression. One of its side effects is stress. Headaches and tiredness are two more common negative impacts.

Motilium

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved Motilium, it is not accessible in the USA. 

It is a safer replacement to Reglan in Canada and other nations. There are fewer and milder adverse effects.

Consider taking some medicine

Tracking 

Keeping track of progress is such a basic motivational technique, but it can be incredibly effective.

Take photographs of your progress. It doesn’t matter if you take images every day or two days. The critical thing is that you can monitor the journey.

Another option is to have a hard copy of your monthly calendar. You can easily mark the day that you were able to pump. This experience would give you satisfaction and motivation.

Tracking is important for re-lactation 

Extra Tips For Increasing Milk Supply 

Aside from the methods we have shared, you can also try these extra tips to gain the best possible outcomes.

  • Get enough sleep. Choose a sleeping position that allows the baby and mother to get the most sleep possible.
  • Drink some water every time you pump and breastfeed. 
  • Before nursing or pumping, place a warm compress on the breasts for several minutes. When going with a massage, the compress will aid in the flow of breastmilk.
  • Eat food that helps you produce more milk. Fennel, green papaya, oats, garlic, carrots, almonds, and ginger are all excellent choices. 
  • Make a batch of lactation cookies. There are countless easy-to-make and delicious recipes. You can watch this video for some. 

  • Keep a positive mindset and stay focused on the bright aspects of the case.
    Stay healthy during the progress 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some frequently asked questions about getting breastmilk back after it has dried up. Let’s check! 

1. Can I boost my milk supply after it stops?

The woman’s body can recover from drying up and produce milk again. The whole process is re-lactation. 

The protein level in the milk tells your breasts to cease producing after you stop breastfeeding. It usually takes weeks for the breastmilk supply to decrease.

There may be some milk left in your breasts. It increases milk supply when you try to start breastfeeding again. 

2. How long does re-lactation take?

There is no correct answer to all because the time it would take to bring the breastmilk back fluctuates. 

It might range from weeks to months. You can produce enough milk to feed your newborn exclusively or not.

3. When should I stop re-lactation?

If it has been a month and you’ve tried everything to get more breast milk with very little success, give up, especially if your attempts make you feel stressed.

Even if you couldn’t make enough milk for your child, call your re-lactation attempts an accomplishment. Do not compare yourself to other mothers and do what is best for you.

4. How can I get my breastmilk supply back up faster?

If you’ve succeeded in getting your breastmilk back, but the milk flow slows, you can try these tips to speed it up:

  • Offer both breasts while feeding
  • Massage your breasts 
  • Use a breast pump
  • Drink, eat and sleep well
  • Find a lactation consultant

Conclusion

Reacting may be a depressing experience. If you can’t see results immediately, it’s natural to blame yourself.

As you progress the journey, trust your baby and your body, be gentle with yourself, and understand that breastfeeding isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

It would be best to seek a lactation consultant or contact the national breastfeeding helpline. They will help you find a solution that fits you most. 

Hopefully, the information in this article will solve your problem. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

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