Breastfeeding Questions - Restarting Breastfeeding
I just stopped breastfeeding my 1 and a half month old baby girl about 3 weeks ago. My breasts still leak maybe twice a day. I would really love to start breastfeeding again just because I miss the bond of holding her. I've been trying to nurse her but I'm afraid she's not getting what she needs because when I try to express milk myself, I get very little. Will my milk starting flowing like it did when I was nursing or should I just not attempt? My nipples also have a very bad burning feeling when she is nursing; is that normal? And what can I do about it?
What you are feeling is very normal. Your hormones are changing again and you may feel a bit low for a while. But, although it can be difficult to resume breastfeeding after giving up, it is not impossible. So, if you really want to start again, there are a few things you can try.
Breastmilk is made on a supply and demand basis so, in theory, you should be able to produce an adequate supply again.
However, if your baby has been bottlefed for the last few weeks her sucking reflex will have changed and she may simply be unable to get milk from your breasts.
The burning sensation may be down to her suckling, poor positioning or it may be a symptom of thrush (Candida), a very common yeast infection amongst nursing mothers, which causes a burning sensation on the nipples and may be visible as white spots inside baby's mouth. See the following articles by Dr Jack Newman and speak to your health visitor or GP for advice:
If you do have thrush you and your baby will require treatment.
You may find expressing whilst holding her or looking at a picture allows you to produce enough milk for bottles. However, expressing is not a good way to guage how much milk you are producing. A better way is by checking your baby has plenty of wet and dirty nappies. See this article by Dr Jack Newman:
Or you may like to try some of the solutions for increasing your supply of breastmilk offered by Dr Jack Newman on the following links:
If it does not happen, do not be too hard on yourself. The first few weeks of breastfeeding are the most important for your baby. So you have given her a wonderful start to her life.
Enjoy this time with her and give her lots of cuddles or perhaps learn some baby massage techniques if you are missing the closeness of breastfeeding. Your health visitor should be able to recommend classes or there are many excellent books available for teaching yourself the basics of baby massage!
If you are at all concerned about your baby or yourself, please speak to your GP or health visitor.
Let me know how you get on!
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