My daughter is 2 months old now. I breastfed her for the first four to six weeks, then put her on a bottle. I want to go back to breastfeeding. Is my milk still there, and will she get any if I start breastfeeding her?
The good news is that having nursed for more than a month you might be able to get your milk back. The operative work is "might." It is hard to predict if you can be fully successful, but it is worth a try.
Hand express and use a good electric breast pump every two to three hours, six to eight times a day, even if you only get a small amount out at first. Put your baby
to the breast whenever she seems hungry, even if you have to bottle-feed afterward. The more skin to skin contact the better. Drink mothers' milk tea and take some fenugreek, an herbal supplement. In as little as 72 hours you may see an increase in milk production, but give it at least two weeks.
You may have trouble getting your daughter to latch onto your breast if she has grown accustomed to an artificial nipple. This is where a lactation consultant can be helpful. Ask your health care provider for a referral. There are devices such as nipple shields and supplemental feeders that can overcome nipple confusion in the baby
. Sometimes a prescription medication (Reglan) can improve your milk supply and let-down.
If you are only partly successful at resuming breastfeeding
, be glad that your daughter is getting some of the benefits of breast milk. If breastfeeding
does not work for you, do not worry. Infants can do quite well on formula if necessary.