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Erin van Vuuren

Q&A: Re-lactating?

Breastfeeding wasn't really working out, and I gave it up. I regret this decision and want to breastfeed now at eight weeks postpartum. Can I re-lactate?

Yes. In fact, women are able to re-lactate years after they stop breastfeeding (to feed an adopted baby, for example). With good support, you can work to rebuild your milk supply and teach baby to breastfeed. A lactation supplementer will be key — this is a device that holds fluid (breast milk or formula) that baby receives through a little tube as he suckles on your breast. This way, baby practices nursing AND stimulates your milk supply while he gets his dinner.

Contact a lactation consultant (IBCLC) ASAP for help. She’ll be able to help you and baby learn to breastfeed, teach you how to use the supplementer, and offer more tips for building your supply of breast milk.

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