It seems that a large proportion of formula feeders are not happy with their choice. Statistics back this up: “Every year more than 200,000 mothers stop breastfeeding in the first few days and weeks – 90% of these mothers would have liked to continue” (The Guardian 2011).
Now of course, these women will swear blind that they did not give up breastfeeding due to lack of effort. Great! Because what I am about to suggest will require effort in spades
It’s never too late to breastfeed. Breast milk is a flexible resource. Amazingly, it’s also possible to induce lactation when you’ve never given birth or ever been pregnant. So there really is no excuse ladies! Here’s how it’s done:
Try not to become discouraged if you have little or no visible milk production while pumping. There's something about a real baby, her smell or the feel of her in your arms, that jump-starts lactation like nothing else. Close your eyes while pumping and think about your little one. Creative visualization can affect your whole body.
Here’s my four-step feeding process for relactating:
1. If possible, breastfeed for a few minutes to encourage the baby to associate the breast with feeding. Provide skin-to-skin contact.
2. Supplement the feeding with a supplemental feeding device (such as THIS one) that can be used while baby nurses.
3. Cut out any other source of sucking; This includes a pacifier.
4. Pump using a high quality breast-pump (Look for one that provides an automatic suction-release cycle that mimics your baby's suck; THIS is the best one - these hospital-grade pumps offer double pumping, are great for establishing a strong milk supply, and are perfect for the working mother).
When the time comes to put your baby to the breast, you have to be patient. Many older babies are often a little reluctant to nurse from a breast at first, as they’ve been bottle fed and may need time to become accustomed to the breast.
Think positive: you can build up a milk supply once more. If adoptive mothers can do it, so can you!