breast milk

Is Sharing Frozen Breast Milk Popsicles Going to Be the Mom Trend of 2021?

Kidding kidding, kind of!

Recently, The New York Times reported that “Multiple studies show that there are antibodies in a vaccinated mother’s milk. This has led some women to try to restart breastfeeding and others to share milk with friends’ children.”

As more and more adults get vaccinated and sigh a breath of relief, there is still the concern of children catching COVID-19. Mamas just can’t catch a break!

Or can they?

The New York Times article shares that “A recent analysis of breast milk from women who had received COVID-19 vaccines found significant numbers of IgG antibodies in all the samples.”

This news is not only encouraging more pregnant women and moms currently breastfeeding to get vaccinated, but it’s also leading weaned moms to try and relactate, or find a lactating friend that is willing to share their liquid!

Relactation is when a mother, who has a greatly reduced milk production or who has stopped breastfeeding, makes an effort to re establish an adequate milk production.

For those vaccinated moms who feel safer providing their children with their own breast milk, we thought we would shed some light on the elusive and ever difficult trending topic of relacting. 

While there is still much research to be done on the efficacy and protection of breast milk as a source of COVID-19 protection for your little ones, we did want to provide some helpful tips for those who are trying to relactate.

How to Relactate

When trying to relactate, you want to:

  1. Stimulate the hormones responsible for producing and moving milk
  2. Make sure to do so, OFTEN! 

So, how can you help elevate these hormones? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Nipple stimulation before and while pumping. 
  • Massaging your breasts before and while pumping. 
  • Making sure you have a proper fitting flange! 
  • Pump while massaging frequently, even if you aren’t full of milk. The more frequently you pump and fully empty, the more milk your body will make. 
  • Power Pump (pump for a few minutes, stop, pump for a few minutes, stop)
  • Use guided imagery to help with letdown (imagining a waterfall of milk, watching videos of your baby crying)

IBCLC and owner/editor of Breastfeeding.support, Phillipa Pearson-Glaze, recommends pumping or hand expressing at least eight to twelve times per day for 20-30 minutes so that you’re pumping every two to three hours during the day and once or twice at night. The more often you can express, the quicker your milk supply will respond.

This is demanding, yes, but potentially very rewarding!

Make sure to stay current on the ongoing research and connect with your pediatrician and healthcare provider to determine whether relactating to provide breast milk to your child(ren) after getting vaccinated, is the right move for you.

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