Breast Nurting: A Re-lactation Story

For our WBW blog carnival on “Perspectives: Breastfeeding From Every Angle” we are pleased to host guest posts from various contributors. Today we hear the perspective on breastfeeding from Rachel, a mom that re-lactated after medical reasons led her to wean very early. Rachel has a re-lactating blog chronicling her journey.


When my son was almost 4 weeks old, I began my relactation journey. I stocked up on medication, supplements, information and support. You see, he was formula fed at one week old. I was hospitalised overnight with severe anxiety attacks and extreme insomnia when he was 6 days old and was not in a state to breastfeed so he was given formula feeds.

I then allowed my milk to dry up as I focused on getting better mentally. After finding out that I had lost my first pregnancy early in the second trimester, I understandably was anxious during my second pregnancy and beyond. As a result, I had postnatal depression & anxiety all surrounding the fear of losing my son and not being a ‘good enough’ Mumma to him.

I so desperately missed breastfeeding – not only for all of the health benefits to him and myself but because I loved it.

I started being very conscious of eating well, drinking loads of fluids, resting, and nursing him as often as possible. He would latch on but got increasingly frustrated because I was producing next-to-no milk. I was taking several galactologues and started pumping regularly. I stayed in contact with a lactation consultant and ordered a Supplementary Nursing System. Some beautiful, generous Mummas are donated expressed breastmilk to us as well.

To say I was determined is an understatement.

I was so blessed to have a cooperative baby and an extremely supportive husband. I went from expressing literally a couple of mLs from both breasts at a time to producing more than enough breastmilk (750 mL in a 24 hour period) in just seventeen days!


Getting my supply back was only half the battle. It was then a matter of getting him back to the breast. 11 days later, after much frustration and a few meltdowns (from both him and I) my baby boy had his first of many feeds from the breast… and we haven’t looked back. That was over 5 months ago and my ‘boobah’ loving baby boy is so happy.

It was trying, don’t get me wrong. I had to hand express at first and expressing so regularly and constantly was draining both physically and emotionally. I had all the normal duties of a first time Mum to contend with alongside postnatal anxiety, an exhaustive pumping schedule, painful nipples (hello nipple thrush, meet hospital grade double breast pump), the financial cost and it was so time consuming. But it was beyond worth it.

I spent most of my free time (hah! Free time with a tiny baby?) researching relactation on the internet. I searched for success stories, blogs, articles, anything that would tell me that it was not only possible but that it was worth it. At one point I remember saying I just want someone to come to me from the future and tell me that this will all be worth it. Well, it is. It really really is.


I didn’t just want to breast-feed. I wanted to breast-nurture. I am a relactation success story. I just want to be a voice for relactation to say that it is achievable and gaining back our breastfeeding relationship has been so very rewarding.

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Comments

  1. Yay! Congrats on your determination! You are one awesome mumma, and should be proud!

  2. I applaud your determination and your strength. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. the grumbles says:

    that second picture is just amazingly adorable! and your story was fascinating, i'm impressed with your sheer will power! you are awesome.

  4. I love your story and your pics. Well done – you're amazing and your son is beautiful! x x x

  5. Way to go! I am not from your future but I can tell you it is so worth it! I am so happy to read about your success! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  6. Thank you everyone!

  7. breast pump advocate says:

    Appreciate your determination, feed the baby as long as doctor advices, an inspirational post, women who does not have enough milk to feed should take lessons from this post.

  8. Great Story, I now have hope. I stopped BF when my son was 4 months due to supply issues… dehydration, illness, diabetes, stress and PPD. My son never did latch because I to had severe emotional problems after having an emergency c-section. They wanted to give me ambien and give baby a bottle. Not BF has really caused me to feel like a terrible mom so I want to start again.

    Thanks for sharing! I won't give up!