SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — The current baby formula shortage has some women looking for alternatives.
One not-so-common option may be relactation, or rebuilding your body's milks supply.
Dr. Anne Witt is the director of lactation at Senders Pediatrics. She says lactation is a good option for someone who was previously lactating making milk and trying to restart the process. A mom will have to have had success in breastfeeding the first time around.
"The chances are good," says Dr. Witt. "It's important to realize there is a wide spectrum and it's very individualized."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees that relactation is possible, but the process of reestablishing lactation after having stopped for weeks or months is a "time-consuming process." They add that parents should "set realistic expectations for relactation based on their individual circumstances."
For some women, it could take a few weeks. For others, it could take months.
Dr. Witt says relactation depends on stimulation. She advises mothers to try to recreate the frequency as when your baby was first nursing.
Relactation can be helped by some of the foods you eat. There are certain herbs that will help build milk supply. Also, eat foods like almonds and leafy greens that help your metabolic health. Try to stay away from eating non-processed foods.
Keep in mind that relactation may not be for every mom. There is an emotional factor connected to it because not every mom gets the same results.
"There is a wide definition of success and it doesn't have to be all or nothing," adds Dr. Witt. "There can be an in-between ground that can be helpful too."