Breastfeeding, A Second Chance

By Jamie Lee

Before my second daughter was born, I had already made my decision that I was not going to breastfeed. My decision was made mainly for selfish reasons and partly because I had an unsuccessful time with my first child due to a birth defect. I just didn’t want to be tied down.

My daughter was born and we had already tried three different formulas before we were even out of the hospital. To make a long story short, after three weeks of letting my daughter go through agony, I decided that she really needed to be able to breastfeed and set out to relactate. I had read somewhere that it was possible to do this even for an adoptive parent. I first looked up information on AOL and found the Breastfeeding Support board where I could actually talk to real people and get advice. I took their advice and found a Lactation Consultant and she helped me get started. She told me that it would take a lot of work but she’d help me through it.
By this time, my mind was made up. I was not going to stop. I rented a dual Lactina breastpump from the hospital and pumped every 2 to 3 hours for no longer than 15 minutes at a time. It took a few days to a week before I even covered the bottom of a bottle. I also tried using the SNS (Supplemental Nursing System) where I could put the baby to the breast and get her used to it while she still got the supplement through a tiny tube attached to my breast. I found myself getting a little frustrated with the SNS, partly because I was still trying to find a comfortable way to hold her. I faithfully met with the LC and she helped me find a comfortable position to hold the baby and then we discussed some herbal methods to increase my milk supply. I started drinking Mother’s Milk tea and taking Fenugreek. I also asked my doctor for a prescription for Reglan, which is also known to increase milk supply. I was not to go on that until I had tried everything else first. I kept pumping everyday, and each day I kept seeing more filling the bottle. That alone was such an accomplishment that it encouraged me to keep going. I put the baby to the breast as much as I could. I couldn’t believe I was actually enjoying this. By the second week of continuously doing these steps, I was able to breastfeed her exclusively. What a feeling!! It’s a feeling I just cannot describe. It felt wonderful.

Everyday I bonded with her more and more and now I just can’t imagine not being able to experience this wonderful gift that has been given to us. I can’t believe I almost missed out on this over selfish reasons. Now my daughter is thriving. She has no tummy problems anymore and is so much happier. I’m so glad I could do this for her AND me. It truly is rewarding. It takes patience and time to relactate, but I promise you it is the best thing you’ll ever do for you and your child.