What to know if you’re attempting to restart lactating

May 20, 2022

What to know if you’re attempting to restart lactating

Consistency and patience are key factors for people working to resume lactating if they’ve slowed down or stopped altogether, according to UW Medicine nurse and lactation consultant Gretchen Rohrbaugh.

“It can take weeks for that supply to increase,” said Rohrbaugh, who provides lactation services throughout UW Medical Center – Montlake. “One of the most important things is to remove that milk really regularly. You need to either breast or chest feed, or pump about every 3 hours to make sure that you are removing enough milk to produce more milk for the baby.”

Rohrbaugh encourages families considering a switch in their baby’s diet to create a plan with their pediatrician first.

“It's really important to make those decisions with the pediatrician to make sure that baby is getting enough calories and enough volume so that you can know whether or not it's safe to move over to all breast milk, or if that baby is still needing some formula supplementation to get all the calories they need,” said Rohrbaugh.

As designated facilities within the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, UW Medical Center’s Montlake and Northwest campuses and Valley Medical Center practice and teach the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.” Learn more about the global initiative sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Download broadcast-ready video and audio assets with facts about lactation.

Getty Images

Terms of appropriate usage of file downloads

  • News reporters and news organizations may freely republish and distribute videos, still images and audio files produced by UW Medicine and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
  • Works must be attributed/credited appropriately (for example, “UW Medicine” – as denoted in the file) and must not be used for commercial purposes.
  • These visual and audio files may not be used to exploit or misrepresent UW Medicine or the University of Washington.
  • UW Medicine often licenses still images and stock video from Getty Images, but we cannot grant republishing rights. You may not republish single image files, videos or animations credited to Getty Images.
  • Logos of UW Medicine and University of Washington Health Sciences schools may not be republished without explicit permission. Contact us by phone or email: 206.543.3620 or mediarelations@uw.edu