Relactation – Starting my Journey

Lifestyle / Monday, April 13th, 2015

Starting Relactation

So I think it has been about 2 months since Gregory fully stopped breastfeeding. That makes me really sad on so many levels. It wasn’t by choice to stop, there were outside factors that contributed and prevented me from properly breastfeeding. Can you feel the helplessness that overcame me when I realized what was happening, and I couldn’t stop it? I tried my hardest to keep my supply going, even taking herbal supplements which made me smell like maple syrup… for DAYS!

As the days continue to pass by and we keep having to make formula bottles, I realize how much of a gift breastfeeding was. The extra cuddles and snuggles from my Bean are really something I miss. Every once and a while Gregory gets snuggled all close and reaches or nose dives to my breasts, and I start wondering if there was any way to start lactating again. Today, we’re talking relactation; breastfeeding after you’ve stopped breastfeeding.

I was really brokenhearted when Gregory officially stopped breastfeeding, I don’t even remember the exact day because there was so much going on that it basically happened without warning and no one was expecting it. I have felt rather lost since then and have been struggling with the lack of extra connection we get when we BF. It happened before the official one year mark, and I wanted so badly to hit one year. Breastmilk is the best milk for our children, and I want Gregory to grow up with the best chance he can get in this world. It’s a tough one, we need all the extra help we can get!I didn’t know there was such thing as relactation. I knew you could make a man lactate, and a woman could through nipple stimulation if she chose to BF a month or so after birth. It should have clicked in my head that there may be a chance we can get back on board with this. I started googling ‘breastfeeding after 2 months’ and found a whole ton of forums and questions on babycenter from moms who were wanting to breastfeed after they already started formula.

The discovery of this information wasn’t very exciting. I wasn’t trying to BF my newborn, I am aiming to get back into the ring when he is already a year old. From what I’ve read, this will be a struggle, because babies are more likely to latch onto the breast when they are younger. But I am hoping this is specifically for moms/babes who are still young. Gregory knows how to breastfeed, he understands the concept and what he gets in return. It’s getting the milk back and him wanting to latch on at the same time is the struggle.

G has been eating fine from a bottle for quite some time now, and I am hoping he won’t be lazy and want to still breastfeed. That extra work he has to do might be discouraging. So I am fully aware that while I want to continue BFing and hopefully start a relactation journey, he might not be into it anymore. Maybe Gregory enjoys his independance. We shall see. Like I said, he often leans in and grabs for me, so I hope that is a good sign.

I have just discovered that we might be able to breastfeed again, and this excites me so much. It will be a struggle, no doubt. A support team and plan of action is required, just like any breastfeeding journey. This one will have its own struggles and challenges, however, and I feel that I am more prepared for what is to come. I know the pain I may experience, and I know how demanding it will be. But I also know that this is what I truly want, and it is what is best for Gregory if he wants it.

I hope to document this experience so I can look back and say ‘wow, I freaking did it.’ Also so that other moms can say ‘wow, I can freaking do it.’ Because sometimes we need to see that it has been done before for motivation. It’s been difficult to find stories and information on moms who are trying to relactate after weening at a year old, so hopefully someone might stumble upon this and find the help that they seek.

I want to leave you with this video I found on youtube. A beautiful woman, Mama Garcia, who is a strong advocate of natural parenting… my kind of woman! With such passion for breastfeeeding, she has a youtube channel (daily videos), website and facebook to connect with her and discuss anything and everything breastfeeding.
I am so excited, this is very rad in my house right now. The start of something amazing, hopefully. Let me know if you’ve gone through a relactation journey, and don’t forget to let me know how old baby is and how long you went without BFing.