Relactation – 3 Methods

Lifestyle / Saturday, April 25th, 2015


There are many reasons why women decide they need to stimulate lactation to breastfeed. Some wish to breastfeed their newborn after having fed their baby formula for a while. That is an amazing switch and I wish you all the luck in the world. Some women wish to breastfeed an adopted child, which I say way to go momma! That is one heck of a home you are bringing that child into, they are so lucky to have you as their parent. Some women might find this information useful to help their milk production come in at the start of their breastfeeding journey. Or you might be like me and need to relactate after having weaned and not be satisfied with your breastfeeding journey being over.
Whatever the reason, I’m glad you’re here and I hope you find some useful information on the 3 methods to stimulate lactation for breastfeeding. Anyone can breastfeed, there is no need to even have been pregnant before, it’s all about telling your body to produce milk. The best way to do this is to stimulate lactation as often as possible, supply and demand is the phrase often used. The more you demand of the body, the more it will produce. It will take time, but consistency is key, and patience will pay off.

Traditional method

Traditional lactation method is when you have your child latch on and stimulate the breast as if they were right out of the womb. This isn’t an option for most adoptive mothers as the hormones to encourage milk aren’t there and the baby won’t want to nurse for no reward. This method will produce the best results. The more frequently your baby latches, the faster and more milk you will produce.

Manual Method

Manually massaging and then trying to hand express your breast for 20-25 minutes each side, multiple times a day. There is no reason you can’t lactate on a budget, and breast massage is important for anyone trying to lactate. I’m going to leave this video here by Mama Garcia. Remember I mentioned her before? She’s a great resource that I draw on frequently.

Mechanical Method

Using a breast pump 15-20 minutes multiple times a day, this method is fairly easy, but doesn’t always produce great results when performed alone as the mechanical stimulation doesn’t trigger hormones properly. This is a great method to use in combination of other methods or extra helpers. It is important to NEVER put your pump on the highest setting.

What I have chosen to do

I do a combination of manual and mechanical right now. I pump every 2-3 hours for 15-20 minutes, each breast. I use a Madella Swing beast pump, but it would be optimal to use a dual pump. I take advantage of the one at a time expressions by massaging my breast while pumping to better my results.It is important to remember that there are no set rules for these things, you can pick and choose, mix and match your methods and use what works for you. Parenting and family life is about finding what works for your family. I use a mix of manual and mechanical at the moment and I hope to incorporate traditional once there is some milk flowing and Gregory has some reward for his work.

What else can I do?

There are so many other things you can do to help lactation and milk production which I will post about soon. There are so many methods, and again it is all about finding what works for you. Every woman is different, and what works for one might not work for another. It is definitely good to have open dialogue with friends and get tips anywhere you can, because you never know what might help.