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Relactation: What is it? Know ways to get your baby back to breastfeeding

Relactation means starting up breastfeeding again after stopping it for some time, and it takes determination, but many have successfully done it. In the below article, we explain to you everything you need to know about relactation.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: January 11, 2024 16:07 IST
Image Source : FREEPIK Know everything about Relactation.

Relactation is a process where a mother who has stopped lactation for some reason due to health conditions or refusal to breastfeed the baby ceases milk supply but decides to rebuild her supply after the supply is diminished for at least more than 40 days.

Who can do relactation?

When we asked Dr Gazala Khan, Lactation consultant, Motherhood Hospitals, Lullanagar, Pune about the same, she said that any mother who has a sudden glitch of supply or facing lactation issues, a baby not latching at the breast and a complete cessation of milk for more than a month can relactate.

The right time to relactate is when the woman is willing to start breastfeeding the baby after a gap of breastfeeding for certain health reasons.

The right way for relactation: It involves a process of training the breast, breast massages, and pumping and bringing the baby back to the breast. It needs a technical plan and should be done under the supervision of the lactation consultant.

6 ways to get your baby back to breastfeeding:

  1. Breastfeed your baby when they are drowsy, such as right after waking up or during the night.
  2. Spend time holding them against your skin while they nap, and they might latch on their own. This can be beneficial for the baby.
  3. Reduce the use of bottles and pacifiers. Encourage the baby to breastfeed to boost his/her immunity.
  4. Avoid offering the breast when they're extremely hungry and try between feedings at first.
  5. Offer the breast while rocking, walking, or swaying, and also during bath time, in a baby carrier, or in a dimly lit room.
  6. Apply a little breast milk to your nipple before offering the breast. Follow these strategies and you will surely be able to breastfeed the baby again. It is the need of the hour to clear all your doubts regarding relactation with the help of an expert.

Several factors can impact your success in relactation: The age of your baby plays a significant role, with younger infants making relactation easier. Mothers with babies between around 4-5 months old typically experience higher success rates. Additionally, the strength of your milk supply before weaning affects how easily you can re-establish it. Devoting ample time to breastfeeding and pumping is crucial, as consistent and effective efforts in these areas are key physiological factors for relactation. Your baby's interest in breastfeeding also influences the process, as does your knowledge about relactation. Lastly, having support from family, friends, and healthcare providers increases the likelihood of persevering through this journey without giving up.

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