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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

Relactation Is Possible. Patience is Key.

Many people want to relactate but are unsure if it’s possible or if it’s “allowed” and I’m here to tell you yes you can!

Can I just take some herbs and/or meds?

Galactagogues are medications or other substances and herbs believed to assist in initiation, maintenance or augmentation of milk supply.

Commonly used galactagogues:

Fenugreek, blessed thistle, fennel, goats rue, shatavari, moringa, oatmeal, brewers yeast, garlic, mothers milk tea, chaste tree / vitex

Don’t believe everything you see on Tik Tok. Many herbal legend “galactagogues” include - blue gatorade, starbucks pink drink and body armor. These drinks will NOT increase output or speed up production.

A well hydrated parent is ideal for milk production but drinking more of any liquid do not increase your supply.

Prescription Drugs used often include:

Metoclopramide - L2 - exercise caution due to side effects depressions, drowsiness, dizziness; wean slowly to reduce drop in milk supply, AAP list as drug of concern

Domperidone - L1 - doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier, not currently legally marketed human drug and is not approved for sale in the US. AAP listed as usually compatible

Relactation Roadblocks - certain meds, hormonal birth control, hypothyroidism(underactive), smoking, anemia, retained placenta, IGT (insufficient glandular tissue), history of hormonal issues, any type of breast surgery or injury

🤱🏾Want to know how to relactate? Want to induce lactation to share feeding with a partner?

👩🏾‍⚕️Find a trusted IBCLC that will be encouraging on and of your journey!

🍼Methods include rebirthing techniques and creating an environment that fosters self attachment. Pumping/Stimulating/Feeding 8-12x a day.

3 steps for inducing lactation

  1. Preparing the body to make milk

    1. Stimulate chest as in pregnancy

    2. Approaches - hormonal, pharmaceutical, herbal, pumping and manual stimulation

    3. Choice depends on age of baby and if they are here yet and parents preference

  2. Start to make milk - usually before the baby arrives

    1. Stop hormonal therapy, 6 weeks prior to baby arrival ideal, store the milk

  3. Feeding the baby at the breast and continuing to grow the milk supply

    1. Nurse with at breast supplementer

    2. Maybe discontinue pumping; check to see if baby is transferring effectively and efficiently

💕Consistency is crucial. Time it takes to relactate will vary and deeply depends on your level of commitment.

🌻Additionally, having a good herbalist that can help guide your clients through the process if/when using herbs to induce or improve lactation. Acupuncture helps with blood flow, which helps milk production because the milk is made from the blood.

🌿Check out this source for a Black doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, doula, lactation educator/counselor. IBCLC’s you need to save her as a resource!

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