Several things can make a mother stop breastfeeding, be it medical or non-medical reasons. This will make the breasts stop producing milk. Relactation is an attempt to start breastfeeding again after having stopped.
Relactation is usually done by mothers who had stopped breastfeeding, but decided to start again. A mother may stop breastfeeding because of illness or because from the start it was difficult to breastfeed.
If the mother has stopped breastfeeding, there is no more stimulation to produce milk and the body will think that milk is needed again. Therefore, milk production will decrease and eventually stop.
However, this does not mean that mothers cannot breastfeed their children again afterward. Although it is not easy and requires perseverance, there are ways that can be done for mothers to relax and restore milk production.
Factors That Increase Relactation Success
The success rate for relactation varies from person to person. Relatation failure is possible. However, there are mothers who manage to expel breast milk again within a few days or weeks, although some take longer than that.
Several factors that can increase the success of breastfeeding mothers in doing relactation are:
- The baby is still under 3-4 years old
- There is a high willingness to return to breastfeeding the baby
- How to do the right relactation
- Great support, whether from a partner, family, or friends
Get to know various tips for doing relaxation
How to do the right relactation? Come on, find out how below:
Often puts the nipple into the baby's mouth
Try to breastfeed your little one every 2 hours, for 15-20 minutes, even if the milk doesn't come out. The more often the mother puts the nipple into the baby's mouth, the more likely the milk will flow again. If your little one is not interested in breastfeeding, don't force it and try again in the following hours.
Frequently express breasts to stimulate milk production
Expressing breasts can be done 3-4 times a day by using a pump or by hand. This act of milking is the same as when the baby sucks on the mother's nipple so that it can stimulate the breasts to produce milk again.
Regularly consume foods that increase milk production
Eat foods that can increase milk productionbooster breast milk), such as spinach, avocado, garlic, nuts and seeds. If necessary, you can consult a doctor to consume breast milk supplements.
If the breast milk has not come out or your little one still prefers to drink formula milk through a pacifier, you can give formula milk in a position like breastfeeding from the breast. The trick is to place the pacifier just above the mother's nipple. In this way, your little one can get used to this breastfeeding position.
The process of starting from relactation to being able to breastfeed normally can be tiring and difficult to do. Therefore, it takes patience and a strong intention from the start. Also instill a sense of optimism that the mother can return to producing breast milk and the little one will get used to breastfeeding again.
If you do not succeed in relacting, consult a doctor or lactation expert. It is possible that you will need an examination or guidance from a professional to be able to breastfeed again.