continued from previous entry...
Breast Over Bottle
It will, of course, be easier to "train" a 10-day-old newborn to take the breast over a bottle than it will a 5-month-old baby. A baby must work harder at the breast than at a bottle, so many babies habituated to bottle feedings may initially be reluctant to nurse. Make the transition a gradual and gentle one. Start by bottle-feeding the baby in nursing position, keeping her cheek close to your bare breast, and positioning her such that she must turn in toward you to take the bottle. Offer the breast frequently, and always before the bottle, but don't fret if she doesn't readily suckle. She will in time.
Many relactating or induced lactating women opt for a supplemental feeding system like Medela's Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) and the Lact-Aid Nursing Trainer, which can help you to nourish your baby at the breast whether or not you're yet producing milk. A hidden pouch holds supplemental milk or formula, and a small, discreet tube is taped to your breast to extend just beyond your nipple. At once, baby is rewarded for suckling your breast, she gets enough nourishment, and she stimulates your own milk production. As your milk comes in, you'll find yourself able to gradually lessen the amount of supplementation needed to satiate her.
Note: Be sure to have your baby's weight gain closely monitored by a supportive pediatrician.
More Milk, Please
With these supply boosters up your sleeve, your milk-making success is even more likely:
- Try fenugreek (diabetics, please seek the counsel of a physician before taking) and blessed thistle (Mother's Milk tea is a good source of both) or brewer's yeast.
- Seek the guidance of a trusted doctor and certified lactation consultant; a few moms are advised to take milk-inducing hormone therapy.
- Rest often and eliminate as much stress as possible.
- Keep your baby close and encourage her to nurse often.
- Consider pumping several weeks in advance of an adopted baby's arrival.
- Opt for pumping more frequently over lengthening individual pumping sessions, and maintain a regular pumping schedule.
- Eliminate all caffeine and alcohol.
- Be wary of any drugs, including contraceptives, allergy medications, and hormone replacement therapy, which may adversely affect your milk supply.
- Pump after every feeding to stimulate further milk production (many women pump one breast while the baby nurses from the other).
- Go on holiday (be sure to enlist your partner's support on this one): indulge in a whole week spent doing nothing but eating well, drinking lots of fluids, resting, snuggling, and, of course, nursing!
Breastfeeding—or the return to breastfeeding—can be a beautifully intimate, loving, and rewarding experience for both mother and baby. If you want that for yourselves, don't spend another minute simply wishing, wondering, or worrying about it. Go forth and make milk!