Breastfeeding/start back up?

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Question
I have a odd question, my son is almost 3 now. I breast fed him for 6 months and after that I just could not keep him full, I was basically having to feed him non stop. I packed up my pimp that day and let the girls dry up.

But ever since then they still tingle as if they are letting down and I can still get several drops of milk from them. I have a friend who just had a baby and she isnt making milk for some reason but wanted breast milk.

Is there any chance of me pumping again and my body making milk?

Answer
Dear Amber,

After consulting with Elizabeth Hormann, the author of "Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby and Relactation," I would make the following suggestions:

* If your friend has not yet consulted with a lactation consultant or a local La Leche League leader, she should do this to evaluate how her baby is suckling and how she is managing breastfeeding. So many women are still being urged (or want) to keep to a four hour schedule and eliminate night feeds ASAP, both of which can sabotage breastfeeding. Then if your friend is not making any milk, she should be examined by her obstetrician.

*  If it looks as if she can produce some milk, then she can nurse directly and also feed her baby with the addition of formula or donor milk via the Medela Supplemental Nursing System,Lact-Aid, or syringe.

*  If you do decide to try to relactate to help your friend, which might be possible, although you are likely to produce fairly small amounts of milk (especially since you had to stop nursing yourself because of what seemed like inadequate supply), you could pump your milk and let your friend feed by one of the above methods, so she will bond with her baby.

* I am assuming that if you do provide milk for your friend that you will have been examined and found free of any infection or other illness that could be passed on in your milk.

* Your friend could also purchase milk from a registered milk bank. I would strongly urge her NOT to purchase breast milk over the Internet. Recent research on this reported in the journal Pediatrics emphasizes the dangers with doing this.

* And finally, while breastfeeding is the ideal way to nourish a baby, as I say in my book (see below), a child raised in a loving home can grow up to be healthy and psychologically secure no matter how she receives nourishment. While it's worth doing all you can to breastfeed, it's not worth causing such stress to your friend that she cannot relax and enjoy her baby.

Best regards,

Sally
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Sally Wendkos Olds
Author, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING: Olds & Marks, 4th edition, September 2010, published by Workman Publishing, and available in most public libraries, bookstores & La Leche League chapters.  

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Sally Wendkos Olds

Expertise

What do you want to know about breastfeeding? I can tell you what`s good for the baby, what`s good for the mother -- and the father, how it`s related to a woman`s sexuality, how working moms can nurse, how to overcome obstacles, and lots more. As the author of THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING and author or coauthor of 8 other books and more than 200 articles about child and adult development, I can offer sound, sensible advice on breastfeeding, child care and family issues.

Experience

I nursed my 3 daughters and am the grandmother of 5 breastfed children. My book THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BREASTFEEDING (written in consultation with pediatrician Marvin S. Eiger, M.D.) was first published in 1972, and in 1999 came out in an updated 3rd Edition by Workman Publishing & Bantam Books. It is now a classic, with over 2 million copies in print. I am now revising this book for a fourth edition, consulting with pediatrician Laura M. Marks, M.D. This new edition will be published September 2009. I welcome any and all suggestions for the new edition. I coauthored college textbooks A CHILD'S WORLD: INFANCY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE, and HUMAN DEVELOPMENT; both are leading texts in their fields and have been read by 2 million students. I am the coauthor of HELPING YOUR CHILD FIND VALUES TO LIVE BY and RAISING A HYPERACTIVE CHILD, and author of THE WORKING PARENTS' SURVIVAL GUIDE & THE ETERNAL GARDEN: SEASONS OF OUR SEXUALITY. My newest book, A BALCONY IN NEPAL: GLIMPSES OF A HIMALAYAN VILLAGE, published in 2002, tells the story of the way of life in a remote village in Nepal, where all the women breastfeed! My book, SUPER GRANNY: COOL PROJECTS, ACTIVITIES, AND OTHER GREAT STUFF TO DO WITH YOUR GRANDKIDS, will be published March 2009. I speak often to professional, parent and general audiences and make many radio and TV appearances.

Credentials I received my B.A. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, where I minored in Psychology, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude.

Other points of interest I have received national awards for my writing, and am a former president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. I am listed in the World Who's Who of Women, International Authors & Writers Who's Who, and Contemporary Authors, and am a member of several professional and civic organizations. I believe: that all parents are working parents; that parents employed outside the home need special support; that mothers' well-being is crucial to their children's welfare; and that the family is the best institution in the world and the one for which we are least prepared. My thrills come when parents or kids tell me they were helped by my writing or speaking or just understanding. To find out more about me, go to

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