Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and ordinary processes as a mother. However, this transition might require time to figure out the best way for you and your baby. Your ability to produce milk increases over time as you feed your baby more often. As you empty your bosom frequently, the quicker it attempts to replenish your milk supply. It’s good to note that your body is always trying to deliver consistent milk production for breastfeeding your baby.
There are a lot of moms who believe once they start not breastfeeding their baby, they wouldn’t be able to start breastfeeding in later months. The good news is that breastfeeding is an innate instinct of babies so they can always start to breastfeed afterward. Here are some important information you need to know:
How late can a baby learn to breastfeed?
According to experts, there is never too late when it’s about breast feeding. You can always switch to breastfeeding, even if you started from bottle-feeding. Lots of moms think there’s no turning back once they discontinue breastfeeding, but it’s always achievable for babies to breastfeed later.
Relactation is when a mother restarts breastfeeding after a gap. Yes, it is possible to regain your milk supply. But like everything we do, this demands time, patience, determination, and an accommodating baby. A lot of mothers can rebuild a supply even if you halted breastfeeding due to separation from the baby, a medical procedure, or simply advised by your lactation consultant.
This process helps your production go back to normal that will bring you back to breastfeeding. There are mothers too who think it’s too late for their baby to learn to breastfeed but with the help and guide of other mothers, they managed to pull off and have their baby latch and breastfeed.
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Is 6 weeks too late to start breastfeeding?
It is never too late to begin breastfeeding. However, it might be a difficult process to begin again when your baby is 6 weeks or more than a month old. Everybody is unique and different from each other, so it is the same as everyone’s breast. However, some health professionals accept that the estimated time it might take to lactate is within 2 to 6 weeks. By then, you will be able to notice some initial results of trying to breastfeed.
In the beginning, some mothers might be able to develop a partial supply of milk while others might have a harder time so you might still incorporate to formula-fed or bottle-feeding your baby in the process. The milk production can be very stressful, so it is very important that you take the time to take care of yourself as well. Stress is known to directly affect how much milk your breast will supply
Can I start breastfeeding after 2 years?
Yes! Can breast milk come back after drying up? Yes! The process of breastfeeding after weeks, months, or even years after halting the process is called relactation. So even if your breast milk dried up, it can always replenish. Maybe you’re asking now how to relactate or how to get milk supply back? According to La Leche League, you can achieve it with these strategies:
- Hand express or pumping at least eight to twelve times per day for 20-30 minutes, including at night
- Give expressed/pumped milk and supplements in a cup, or use an at-breast supplementer
- If baby will latch on – put them to your breast before and after each feeding
- Put baby to your breast for comfort between feedings as often as possible instead of using a dummy/pacifier – it will help build your supply
- Get support from your local LLL group/Leader
- Accept any offers of support with shopping, housework, etc.
Is it ever too late to start pumping breast milk?
If you are contemplating whether or not it’s too late to start pumping milk, there is no need to worry. Even though it is very hard breastfeeding before and despite the fact that it has been so long since your baby drank milk from your bosom, it is very possible to pump again. There are some women who can easily store big quantities amounts of milk in their bosom and pump it to feed their child in shorter time periods. While for some who couldn’t store milk in their bosom, they have to pump more frequently so that they can deliver a good amount of supply of breastmilk and feed their child in a bottle.
A lot of mothers who tried pumping again to bottle-feed their baby reported that using herbal therapy increased their breastmilk supply. Here are some of the remedies they tried that boosted the amount of milk they pump: ginger, garlic, fennel, milk thistle, and fenugreek. However, it is important to note that you have to regularly stimulate your own breast by pumping while trying out these herbal remedies.
There’s no need to beat yourself when you’re not producing milk. Not just it doesn’t help, but it deals with stress on you which can affect your supply. Remember that each woman produces different amounts of milk at different times of the day. Always be patient and don’t lose hope. Learn how your body will work and how it will respond. It’s possible to pump breastmilk, even if you stopped for a long time and just bottle-fed your baby.
You don’t have to worry!
Before choosing to breastfeed your baby, it is important to ask yourself why you chose not to in the first place. It is best if you first consult this with your doctor or a lactation consultant before setting you and your baby in this journey. Trying to do breastfeeding again is very intense and not easy, so you have to continually eat a well-balanced diet and get enough rest to improve your supply and keep your health in check. Whenever attempting to breastfeed or pump starts to become stressful or exhausting, it is always okay to pause and try again next time.
Asking for help on learning how to do breastfeeding is always okay, especially that it will need more time for you to adjust and for your own baby to develop the skill of breastfeeding efficiently. But you don’t have to worry because, over time, it will get smoother for the both of you. If you have any further inquiries, feel free to drop your email address. Good luck!