For mothers with PCOS that do experience true milk supply problems, there are a few courses of action that can be beneficial.
The first is to ask a doctor about Metformin
, the drug commonly used to treat PCOS patients. Metformin is probably most helpful if taken during pregnancy so that it can support the necessary developmental changes in the breasts, but even if it is started after delivery, some women with PCOS have seen a positive impact on the milk supply.
"Most treatments are band-aid approaches," says Marasco. "Metformin seems to hit deeply at the roots of the disorder, and it's reported that multiple symptoms seem to improve in women who respond to treatment."
Since thorough studies have not yet been done on how Metformin could impact babies, many doctors are hesitant to prescribe it to breastfeeding women. However, Marasco points out that a study by Tom Hale, a leading lactational pharmacology expert, found that the levels of Metformin transferred into breast milk are very low and are unlikely to impact an infant
is a popular herbal treatment widely used by nursing mothers, as well as goat's rue, which is an herbal galactagogue that contains some of the same chemicals as Metformin.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that goat's rue
can help build breast tissue and could improve milk supply in PCOS patients, although like many herbal treatments, no solid medical studies have thoroughly examined goat's rue and established guidelines for its use.