Boosting Breastmilk refers to increasing your milk supply not boost’n as in petty larceny. If we take a holistic high road early termination of breastfeeding is robbing/ boost’n your baby of immunoglobulins and a host of cells that benefit your child’s brain, immune & digestive system development… Now having said that I will step off that path of judgement because I know there are many valid reasons for early termination of breastfeeding. Most often a Mama’s milk supply dries up to her dismay & grievous disappointment. Medications, returning to work, diet, stress, lack of familial support result in decreased milk supply or early weaning.
What is early termination or early weaning? The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for 2 years. The American Pediatric Association recommends exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months . Dr. Nills Bergman recommends breastfeeding for 3 years for ultimate neurological development. Where do you fall in this spectrum of evidence based recommendations? Only you and your baby can determine that.
If you terminated breastfeeding/ weaned your baby and found it was to soon, it is not to late. Relactation is a viable option. Pharmaceuticals (domperidone) often prescribed for adoption or surrogate families allow mothers to lactate and have the lifetime bond of breastfeeding with a baby that they did not birth physiologically. For those interested in a more natural approach there are herbs and simple commitments that can reestablish your milk supply . See it’s bold & italicized commitments!
COMMITMENTS! For increasing breastmilk or Relactation
- It takes at least 72 hours of following these commitments to see an increase in milk supply. So be vigilant even if it takes longer you can do it. Self prescribe lactation bedrest. Set up your meals, changing station, entertainment and hang out in bed with baby for at least 3 days. Yes, you need to use bathroom and loving supportive folks can visit.
- Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle 3xs daily. While taking fenugreek you may sweat more with a change in odor. If diabetic check your blood sugar or adjust your insulin dosage because fenugreek ;lowers blood sugar. Try this product More Milk Plus Liquid Herbal Extract by Motherlove www.motherlove.com
- A high quality breast pump, not available at Target! It will cost upwards$200 try Medela or Ameda. Pump on one breast while baby is nursing or suckling on the opposite breast. When baby isn’t nursing double pump between 40 & 60 suction release cycles a minute. Pump until 2 minutes after the last drop of milk. Pump as much as possible at least 8 times if baby isn’t nursing.
- Eat and drink to your satisfaction.High quality foods and pure water are a plus but not mandatory. Consume kale, almonds, sesame seeds
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, sage(smudging is great)
- Get plenty of rest, fatigue reduces the milk ejection reflex. If you are tired, vigilance is difficult
- Account for menstruation. Some see a decrease in milk supply when on moon. So schedule relactation before PMS or a week after menstruation.
- Allow nonnutritive sucking. Throw away the pacifier/ put away the bottle and let baby suckle as much as possible with a proper latch. Learn correct positioning and proper latch to avoid nipple trauma and achieve proper stimulation of lobules mamory glands
- If baby no longer wants nipple introduce your finger. Let them suck on your clean finger with a lil milk on it to reintroduce them to Mama’s skin. Also bottle feed topless & hold bottle to your breast.
- Wait till baby is almost asleep and full from bottle and switch to your breast.
- Use a Nursing Supplementor. click http://www.lact-aid.com/OrderProducts/LactAidregSystems/tabid/1845/Default.aspx
- Affirmations and prayer. The power of positive manifestation is our reality
Is baby getting enough breastmilk? You have made the commitment the milk is back and you’re ready to cut out the supplement or bottles.
- Has baby lost interest in bottle yet? decrease by 1/2 oz daily or eliminate bottle feeding when milk comes in.
- Record wet diapers, less than 2 wet diapers, dry mouth and eyes are signs of dehydration. 6-8 wet diapers every 24 hours. Check color & odor, urine should be clear
- Record changes in poop. Breastmilk poop is lighter, softer and stinks less. 3-4 poopy diapers every 24 hours
- Weight gain and growth about 4 oz per week. There may be some initial weight loss in transition back to breast but it should platue in about 5 days
Mothers have established relactation beyond 6 months after weaning as early as 6 weeks; when they returned to work. Mothers that did not breastfeed or interrupted breastfeeding for medical conditions have successfully reestablished their milk supply. African, Indian, indigenous Grandmothers, stepmother’s and Sisters have reestablished their milk supply for their orphaned grandchildren, stepchildren, nieces and nephews. So can you all it takes is commitment and trust in the bodies natural process. From the time females are in gestation shortly after conception we develop all the eggs needed for our reproductive life. We are mammals from creation destined to birth our children and nourish them from our breast. Let us teach selfless service, gifting, sacrifice and compassion from the start through breastfeeding. In love, any amount of breastmilk you are able to share with your baby is tremendous; an intergenerational transfer of healing.