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Breastfeed Med. 2011 Aug;6(4):233-9. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2010.0062. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Successful relactation--a case history.

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Dominic Stanca Obstetrical and Gynecological Clinic, P-ta Cipariu Nr. 9/17, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.


A healthy, term male infant was weaned at 10 days postpartum because of his mother's illness. The baby was breastfed by his mother's sister, but mostly he was fed with his aunt's expressed milk and with formula by bottle. At 9 weeks postpartum relactation began. Techniques used were a supplemental nursing support system device; frequent suckle at the breast, supplemented by formula given by bottle; breast pumping; domperidone; and support from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and family. Problems that appeared during relactation were that at 12 postpartum weeks the baby refused the supplemental nursing system device, and at 12 weeks and 3 days he refused the breast; after 3 weeks of relactation, the milk supply was still low, needing supplementation; and in the first week of exclusive breastfeeding, the baby stopped growing, then he gained weight slowly, and his gain fell down to the 15(th) percentile. Solutions and interventions used to solve the problems were usage of an artificial nipple during breast strike for 3 days and cessation of supplementary formula and frequent suckling at the breast. Four days after relactation started, colostrum appeared (for 2 weeks), and within 1 month from the beginning of relactation the baby was fully breastfed. He was exclusively breastfed until 7 months, and he was continually breastfed until 2 years. His growth was good and was around the 50th percentile on the weight/length curve. Thus relactation is possible at 9 weeks postpartum, if the mother's motivation to breastfeed is strong. The best technique to increase milk supply is frequent, short breastfeedings.

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