Tips for Successful Relactation

Relactation is returning to breastfeeding after stopping due to weaning or for any other reason, and the return may be after several weeks or even several months. Is it possible to return to breastfeeding? Or will breast milk spoil? Read on to find out.

dr sally.webp
Sally Al Beer
Published on:May 5th 2024

Why relactation can be sometimes necessary?

  • Due to specific allergies and the lack of suitable formula milk, the child does not receive proper nutrition from breast milk substitutes.
  • The mother’s desire to return to breastfeeding her child after the reason that prompted her to stop is no longer there, such as fatigue after childbirth, illness, or undergoing surgery.
  • The mother’s awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding for herself and her child and her desire to continue breastfeeding after stopping.

Tips for successful relactation

  • Skin-to-skin contact.
  • A regular expression schedule using a hospital-grade electric breast pump.
  • Taking medications that increase milk supply after consulting a doctor.
  • Getting great emotional support.
  • Following up with a breastfeeding specialist.
  • Patience and commitment.

Does breast milk spoil if the baby is not breastfed?

There is a common belief that breast milk spoils if you stop breastfeeding or if the baby is weaned. Breast milk never spoils and does not suddenly stop in the mother’s breast. It takes several weeks after weaning to stop, making relactation possible.

Does relactation always work?

Unfortunately, not all mothers succeed in returning to breastfeeding after stopping Because, as we mentioned, it requires a lot of patience and adherence to several instructions and steps. The results do not appear quickly. Despite the effort and time, the return of milk is gradual. You need to continue to increase the milk quantity and return to breastfeeding as before. Milk will not return the first or second time despite daily pumping sessions, requiring continuity and patience. The success of breastfeeding depends on several factors, the most important of which are:

  • Duration of breastfeeding before weaning.
  • The amounts of breast milk the infant received, whether the mother exclusively breastfed the child or if she was also using formula.
  • It also depends on the length of the interruption, whether it was days, weeks, or months.
  • The mother is in a hurry to return the baby to the breast, knowing that the basis for relactation is to return to breast milk and gradually return to direct breastfeeding.
  • The mother does not realize the difficulty of this step and quickly feels frustrated and desperate and stops trying.


When a mother decides to wean her child from breastfeeding, I recommend that she continue breastfeeding at least once a day during the first year of the child's life to make it easier to breastfeed again if necessary. Remember, dear mother, to always turn to specialists. Do not listen to breastfeeding myths, such as that your milk spoils!

dr sally.webp
Sally Al BeerBreastfeeding Counselor & Newborn Care Specialist

Sally graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Sharjah. She moved to Ontario Canada where she worked as a pharmacist for several years. Meanwhile, she had two children and received great support from breastfeeding consultants. She enjoyed the breastfeeding journey which drove her to volunteer to help new mothers in this journey as well. She found her passion in the field of mother and baby and continued to volunteer after returning to live in the UAE, until she became an accredited breastfeeding specialist providing support to hundreds of breastfeeding mothers, by helping them overcome the challenges of breastfeeding.

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