Relactation – Week 1


Lifestyle / Monday, April 20th, 2015

My Relactation Journey So Far

So If you haven’t read This post here, let me give you a quick update on what’s going on. I’ve decided to attempt relactation in hopes to restart breastfeeding my 13 month old. It has been about 3 months now since we were last breastfeeding on a regular basis and I think we both really miss that connection. Okay, I really miss that connection. I never wanted to stop BF in the first place, my goal was to hit one year. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly as a result of third parties intervening. It no longer matters why we stopped, it matters that we are trying to move forward, this is my relactation journey.

The Plan

There are three methods to attempt relaction which I talk in a post HERE (link coming soon), and I chose to use a breast pump to stimulate lactation. I doubted Gregory would latch when he realized there was no milk, who would want that? A MAN! And I know that I don’t have the proper skills to manually express on a consistant basis at an appropriate technique level. I need to practice more, and I have the opportunity now. But for the main effort, I am using my Madella Swing Breast Pump.

The Schedule

I know that running around after Gregory and working (blogging is my sahm job) require my main focus. I didn’t want to set a number and every day feel like I failed when I didn’t reach it. I know the more often breast stimulation happens, the greater chance relactation will occur. So I aim to wake up between 6am and 7am and pump 15-20 minutes each breast. For the rest of the day I try to keep track of the time and aim for every 2-3 hours and pump 15-20 minutes each breast. The game plan was to continue to pump from morning until I went to sleep, and I would skip any night pumping. I know 1-5am is the prime production time, but I enjoy my solid sleep. After so many sleepless nights with a newborn, I will sleep through any night that I am able to.

WEEK ONE BREAK DOWN

Day 1 I woke up and pumped right on time, 6 am. Later in the morning I was curious if Gregory was even interested in breastfeeding again. Why bother if he wasn’t interested, right? It took a minute as he was surprised he got the boob again, but sure enough he tried to latch on. I was so happy he did and felt so awkward. I think it was because I knew there was nothing coming out. Gregory was disappointed when nothing came out as well, but continued to show interest in wanting to latch. This is promising. I was successful at pumping every 2-3 hours.
Day 2 I woke up at 7am and pumped every 2-3 hours. During several sessions I massaged my breast while I held the breast pump to help the milk ducts get moving. My breast felt weird and solid where the the milk production happens and it required some thought on how to massage properly.

Day 3- Lunch pump results

Day 3 My breasts were sore in the morning. I decided to brave the immediate pain and massage my breast as I pumped again. The pain subsided very quickly. I think the pain is the milk ducts opening as there were what looked to be white grains of sand on my nipple after. I wasn’t expecting any signs of progress this week, but by the third pump of the day I had colostrum leak from my left breast. By the fourth pump I had a little from the right as well. I am needing to do a bit more research, but after I saw this, I believe the little grain might definitely have been the milk duct plug.
Day 4 No colostrum, no extra pain, pumped on schedule.
Day 5 Today was a busy day as we had an appointment, condo showing and had to go grocery shopping. I struggled to keep on schedule and missed several sessions. No signs of lactation. I wasn’t discouraged, I knew it was my fault for not being more consistent.
Day 6 I hit a brick wall today. I was tired of sitting and pumping. I questioned my motives, and I knew this was still something I wanted to do. It just seemed so much easier to quit, as we were doing alright as we were. Why fix what isn’t broken? But I am stubborn, and keep working at something if I truly want it. Today was a power through it day. That night there was a lot of colostrum during my last pump. Totally worth it.
Day 7 Today I can feel when I need to pump. That tingling feeling I remember when I was already leaking when I was first learning to breast feed… that’s what I feel now. There is nothing leaking, but it is a subtle reminder that not only I need to pump, but it is working. I believe we are making progress for sure as colostrum continues to excrete. There isn’t much, not even half a teaspoon. But even the littlest amount counts. What a difference a day makes.

So there we have it, a round up of my first week of attempting relactation. I did nothing extra, nothing special. I know that this is a process, and I want to pace myself. Patience is what relactation requires, the best way for me to deal is by moving slowly myself. There is already progress, so I am extremely happy. I am quite lucky that I already successfully breastfed Gregory, and it was only a short time ago. I know that has a large effect on my progress, and I appreciate that I can use that as strength during this time.

Relactation may seem simple, any breastfeeding journey seems simple enough to most people. But it is a full time job for our bodies. We are making nourishment for another human, we are sacrificing ourselves in order to provide the best possible for our children. It’s exhausting, and I find myself needing a nap, but I don’t plan on stopping. Not today at least.