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breastfeeding after 4 months of not?

575 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Quirky
I have been formula feeding my 4 month old son since he was 4 days old for many reasons that I don't really want to get into. Well the most important reason you should know is that I have a massive breast reduction the kind where they move the nipples and had difficulty breastfeeding in the beginning. I have been seriously considering giving breastfeeding another try but only if it won't be expensive and I don't want to take any medications or hormones.My son loves to suck on just about anything- his hands, rattle, rings, bottle, etc but I tried putting my nipple in his mouth and he squirmed and screamed and acted like I was torturing him. Please spare me any lectures for I am just looking for help!
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Yes!!! Im sure you can do it, it's not too late. I would do a search here on relactation and also at You might also care to check the forum for finding a lactation consultant for added help.
Good for you, you will be proud!
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Do you know if you had any milk come in before or after you moved to bottle feeding? If you had a massive breast reduction, it's possible you will not be able to relactate (or lactate at all). It really depends on your surgery and whether any milk ducts were left.

I am not an expert in this by any means, but I know there's a book out there called Defining Your Own Success about breastfeeding after reduction, and there is this website: devoted to the topic.

There are two ways of re-establishing your supply - well, really one plus support - stimulating your breasts and eventually removing milk from them, and herbal and/or medicinal support. If your ds won't latch on, you would need to pump to try to restimulate your supply. You can't reestablish a supply with herbs and medicines alone, but you could boost the supply you re-established through sucking or nursing.

I think you should read through the website I linked above and run a search for "reduction" on this board, as other mamas (such as Heavenly) have breastfed after reduction surgery. It is doable, although whether or not it's doable in your case, I can't say.
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I remember in my 9th month my breast leaked a lot and then after I had my baby in the hospital he sucked out a yellowy substance i'm guessing was colostrum. Then my breasts were hard as rocks for a couple weeks and slowly went back to normal.
Well, it definitely sounds like you had milk, which is a good thing!

I would keep offering him the breast as a comfort measure; carry him around next to your (naked) breasts and take baths with him, co-sleep, etc. This may get him used to the idea of your breasts as comfort objects and he may surprise you by latching on.

The best thing to do would be to talk to a lactation consultant or go to a breastfeeding clinic with experience in relactation. You can find a lactation consultant near you at this link (assuming you're in the US):

The thing is, though, relactation is a lot of work. It's a lot harder than getting nursing established in the first place. I am not at all saying this to discourage you, by any means, but I would recommend reading through the BFAR website and getting the book too (maybe your library could order it, or you could see whether your local La Leche League has it in their library). If you can't or don't want to get a really good pump and also some galactogogue (i.e. milk-promoting herbs) to stimulate your breasts to try to re-establish your supply, since your ds won't latch on I don't see how it would work.

Again, I am not at all trying to discourage you because any amount of mama's milk you can give your baby is a wonderful gift. However, if you cannot for whatever reason do what it takes to stimulate your breasts to get your milk supply back, then you are setting yourself up for failure by having unrealistic expectations about what is possible and what isn't.

Do you qualify for WIC? It might be possible to get a breast pump through them. It's also possible to find pumps on ebay (the Ameda Purely Yours is a good one, as is the Medela Pump in Style, although the best kind for relactating is the hospital-grade style that's usually only available as a rental through breastfeeding clinics or lactation consultants).


p.s. sebastiansmommy, I sent you a private message.

ETA: here are some more helpful links for you to read through:
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