Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 89

Nowadays, when I breastfeed my 8 month old 'squishy-deliciousness', I feel connected not only physically, but spiritually to my child. I sense my divine feminine purpose being fulfilled, and feel the energy of the earth rising to meet me, centering me, grounding me and healing me from the subliminal micro-trauma of daily human life. My spirits’ motherly yearning is nurtured at the same time I nurture this fresh little being whose existence is so raw and so pure.

Relactation may be an option if a mother wishes to move from artificial or donor milk feeding to breastfeeding. In relactation support groups the personal qualities of the mothers who’ve reported successful relactation include perseverance, strong commitment, an underlying yearning to breastfeed and an urge to learn and improve their breastfeeding skills, to name a few. It isn’t easy; the relactating mama will need support, education, encouragement, together with the determination to see it through and seek professional assistance before (and if) things go pear shaped.

For a greater chance of success, meet with a recommended IBCLC. These lactation professionals are highly practiced and continually educated consultants. Not all lactation consultants are in fact IBCLC’s and not all midwives, doctors and paediatricians have the kind of specialised breastfeeding knowledge that can assist a mother to help her baby to become breastfed. Visit http://www.lcanz.org/find-a-lactation-consultant/ to locate an IBCLC who has a special interested in relactation. If there are none located near you, consider a live internet based consultation, which may even cost a little less. If you have private health cover, check with your provider to see if they offer rebates. The breastfeeding advocacy network in Australia is working to lobby government to include IBCLC consultations in the medical benefits scheme so that access to this essential specialist service is open to all mothers, regardless of their financial situation.

Other actions to take include hand or pump expressing. Breast milk production works on “supply and demand” -a term often thrown around, but unless you understand this business expression, it can seem like a mysterious phrase you are supposed to know as a mother, but don’t. All it means is, milk is removed from the breast and this signals to the body to create more. If less is being removed, the body makes less milk. There is also a concept that delayed breastfeeding after birth, some pain medications and set scheduled feeding may contribute to breastfeeding problems.

Another option is to find a breastfeeding knowledgeable doctor to discuss the possibility and plausibility of using medications to increase supply. There are also retail products and common foods known for their galactagogic or milk boosting effect. In the Handbook of Dietary and Nutritional Aspects of Human Breast Milk, Zuppa, Orchi and Cariello discuss the safety and efficacy of claimed galactogues such as domperidone, metoclopromide, oxytocin, galega and milk thistle. A breastfeeding supportive doctor can assess you for other problems such as breast hypoplasia, thyroid disease and Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex.

Handbook of Dietary and Nutritional Aspects of Human Breast Milk. Human Health Handbooks (2013).

A supplemental nursing system (SNS) is another way to feed baby an alternative like donated breast milk while she latches to your own breast. The SNS container cloaks the mother's neck, a tube runs from the container and is taped along the breast and close to the nipple, feeding into baby’s mouth while she latches and sucks. This way, baby is receiving milk from the system as well as any coming from your breast. It encourages your own supply as opposed to supplementing with a bottle and teat. It may help avoid your baby developing a preference for the faster flow of a bottle than the breast. An IBCLC or breastfeeding counsellor can provide advice and assistance on how and when to use an SNS.