Here is the story of a mother who proves, it is possible to induce lactation...
Rebecca Witcher's Personal Journey & Successful Re-lactation
To understand my story, you must know I have 2 children a girl “A" of 4 and a boy “C" of 1. When
my daughter was born, I was very uneducated in breastfeeding and even
though my mom had breastfed all of her children she was no help at all!
I tried so hard for about a week, but my daughter would not latch on!
We decided that I still wanted her to have breast milk even if it wasn’t
straight from the tap. I pumped for her for about 3 months but was
battling postpartum depression, and I decided to just give formula!
If I had heard of all the recalls and deaths that were going on by
giving formula, I would have done everything to relactate with her also!
She has developed great and had no problems, but still to this day I
wish I would have kept trying!
With my son I was unsure if I would breastfeed since I was still very
uneducated and kind of discouraged by the experience with my daughter, but I was going to give it my best shot!
In the hospital everything went great, he latched on like a pro, and I
couldn’t be any happier! We left the hospital on day 3 due to a
c-section and went home where I tried to feed him again, maybe it was
the change from the hospital to the house but, he wouldn’t latch on at
I tried multiple times during the day but, he had already lost %12 of his body weight in the hospital, and I was scared! I
felt like I had no experience and no faith in myself and neither did
anyone else, that night I gave in and gave him a bottle, but instantly
felt guilty so in the morning I went straight to my local WIC lactation
consultant, and she was no help either, we couldn’t get him to latch! She
suggested spoon feeding. Sorry, that was a pain in the arse! I kept
spilling it, and he only would get a little drip, and he and I were so
frustrated, so I just gave up, I remembered pumping with my daughter, and
she did fine on formula so why wouldn’t he? Right? Totally wrong!!!
My son quickly showed signs that he was allergic! We switched to the
gentle ease, and he seemed a little better, so we gave it a week but,
that’s when he started throwing up the formula. The doctor thought it
might be a stomach bug or his stomach was adjusting to the formula, she
said you have to wait 2 weeks to see the change.
One week later we were back, so she told us to switch to the AR...he
was so constipated screaming as he would strain to poop it made me feel
so bad, was it really worth it?
We decided to go back to the gentle ease. Two weeks later we were
back in the office, he was still throwing up after each feed, and now his poo has blood in it,
he even had horrible open ulcers on his bottom from acidic
diarrhea, he wasn’t sleeping well and screamed all day.
The doctor told
me to switch to the Nutramigen or Allimentum, we tried one with little
help then switched to the other, which worked great!
We had our happy baby back...finally! He was a little older than 2
months at this time, and now my question was how were we going to pay for
this formula? We had WIC but had already used the vouchers for that
month on the gentle ease, and we were required by WIC to have a doctor
refer the formula, and we must have our insurance deny the formula first, so that was some fun running around! And about the time we finally got
everything worked out, my son started to throw up again!!!
I knew for a while that the only thing that was going to help him was breast milk, I looked into donor breast milk,
but the nearest place was in LA, which is about 4 hours away. I figured
with all the gas expenses and such that it would be just about the same
as formula feeding, which was too expensive in the first place.
Re-lactating is something I had heard of, I googled it and
looked at just about every site that had anything written about the
List of items that helped me to re-lactate!
A breast pump. A cheap handheld at first, then I got a double electric pump from WIC.
Fenugreek. You will need to take 3 pills 3 times a day until your pee and sweat smell like maple syrup!
SNS feeder bought from amazon.com cheapest place I could find spent $12.
Domperidone. Has been given to pregnant women for nausea, so it is up to you to decide to use it or not, but for me, I read a lot about it, and I decided it was safer than anything else. I bought mine from inhousepharmacy.biz you will need to take 30mg (they come in 10mg pills) 3 times a day and will need at least 1 months supply (I needed about 1 &1/2 months)
Alarm clock, Pen and notebook.
My Day 1 - 26 Induced Lactation Journey
I pumped every two hours for 15 minutes on each breast and didn’t get one drop until the 2nd day.
I bought the mother's milk tea and drank it 10 minutes before I pumped
and started getting 5 - 10 drops, still pumping every 2 hours.
Getting about 10 - 15 drops still pumping every 2 hours, I got a blister
on my nipple and got the larger pumping cup to avoid any more blisters.
I bought the fenugreek and didn’t notice any change in the amount of pumping.
I noticed at my 4 o’clock pump that I filled an entire bottom of the
bottle up! Yay because I was wondering if this was worth it!
Each time I pump, I am getting about 30 drops they are starting to get
to be bigger drops than before. I read that oatmeal increases pump
output - I will try that tomorrow.
I got half an oz at my 5am pump!
Each pump afterward the 5am pump has been filling up the bottom of the bottle, I bought more mother's milk tea today.
Today I pumped nearly an oz at my 4am pumping time! With the help of
eating the oatmeal using the mother's milk tea and using the fenugreek. I received my Domperidone today in the mail and took my first 30mg dose at 9pm. I’m getting a little less than 1/4 an oz each time I pump.
I have gone up to 1 oz at my 4am pump with the Domperidone and 1/4oz with the other pumpings throughout the day.
I was so exhausted from pumping every two hours that I slept in till
7am and pumped about an oz and 1/4, and throughout the day, it has gone
up to 1/2oz!
Today I filled up a whole bottle - this Domperidone is fantastic!
I have filled up around 1.5 bottles each day.
I have upped the dosage to 4 pills 3 times a day =120mg/day on day 15 because I ran out of the fenugreek the max is 160mg a day, so I still
feel I’m at a safe dosage! And my pumping output is around 2-2.5
bottles a day.
Today I received my SNS feeder in the mail and can't wait to try it
out my pump output is about 2.5 (4oz) bottles a day. It’s been about
3weeks since I started this journey and it has been exhausting. I’m
still not pumping enough to breastfeed exclusively, but I am happy with
what I have accomplished.
Today I tried the SNS feeder out! He screamed and arched his back when I tried to feed him. I’m so discouraged!
I have been trying to use the SNS feeder, but it is messy, and C just fusses when I put him up to me.
I read online to try rebirthing? Basically, it just says go skin to skin and keep Cameron on my chest! Hopefully, this works.
Tonight I have been skin to skin.
We took a warm bath together, and I had him on my chest, and he came
right up and nursed on his own! He only nursed for about 1 minute then
was done. I think he is used to the bottles, but this gives me hope.
After our bath I used the SNS feeder, he wouldn’t take it right away, so I fed him a bit from the bottle and used the fast drip for the SNS.
He nursed on one breast then became fussy, and when I switched him to the
other breast, he wouldn’t take it. And I fed him the rest of the bottle.
I am using formula in the SNS tonight.
I have been using the SNS with no problems and topping off with 2oz of
expressed breast milk or formula whichever I have at the moment.
Today when I was feeding with the SNS I pinched the tube and let him
nurse without it for a while so with the feeds afterward I have been
only using the SNS for a few minutes then let him nurse only from me the
rest of the feeding! I am still topping off until I feel I am making
enough milk for him.
Today I tried nursing without the SNS, and it went great! I had to
squirt a little breastmilk into his mouth first, but then he latched
right on like he was a pro! I took away the afternoon top off today.
I have been exclusively breastfeeding without any top offs; he nurses
every 1.5- 2 hours...I have been watching diaper counts, and everything
seems to be going great! Yay, I’m so excited! I have successfully induced
I kept using the Domperidone until I started forgetting here and there at about 1.5 months of using it. I copied this all down from a journal I was keeping. Please let me know if you have any questions. As you can see, as long as there is a demand for the breast milk, your body will supply it, so even if you didn’t use the items I used, your body would still make the milk, maybe not as fast as I did, but it will happen.
I am a stay at home mom and was able to read a lot, and that gave
me the education I needed to keep going. I highly suggest the book the
breastfeeding book of answers although it is way outdated it was the
only book I read, and it helped me a lot! I have also heard about the
book the womanly art of breastfeeding, although I have not read it, it is
highly recommended by a lot of people!
I had many people against me; doctors, family members, and friends. They said I wouldn’t be able to do it and that I'd never get him on the breast, and that I wouldn’t make enough milk but, I did it, and I am so happy that I did because my son is 13 months old now and healthy and thriving in the 56 percentile!
By Rebecca Witcher
Bakersfield, CA, USA
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