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Thread: Breastfeeding and menopause?

  1. #1

    Default Breastfeeding and menopause?

    Hello,
    I am an older mother of a 13 month old. I believe I am beginning to experience symptoms of menopause and am worried that my milk production will be adversely impacted. Does anyone have any information and/or experience with this topic?
    thank you very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,341

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    Welcome! The good news is that milk production is controlled by hormones produced in the brain, not the reproductive organs. You do not need to be fertile in order to produce milk, or to produce good quality milk. So going through menopause shouldn't cause you to have trouble with nursing. That being said, once you hit menopause you're at increased risk for osteoporosis, so I think it might be valuable for you to take a good calcium supplement, since you're giving lots of calcium to your toddler.

    There are some normal aspects of breastfeeding that can be mistaken for menopause. Irregular periods and anovulatory cycles are fairly common. And many nursing moms don't get their fertility back for many months. The average time until return of fertility for a breastfeeding mom is about 15.5 months, though many moms get their periods back sooner than that, and many go longer. Some don't get their periods back until their children wean.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    Thank you! This makes me feel better. I am 53 and so I know it's coming. I'm enjoying my breastfeeding relationship with my little one and didn't want my maturing to interfere.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    I don't think it will. Really! If you think about it, most women enter a sort of temporary menopause while they are nursing. They don't ovulate, they don't menstruate, they produce less estrogen. So in a funny way, menopause is sort of status quo for a nursing mom.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    In some cultures, grandmothers will lactate to feed the little ones, and they are well past childbearing And I have a friend who went through menopause while nursing, and she thought the symptoms were related to nursing, and it was actually a very easy transition for her.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    I'm 49 and my son is 15 months old. We seem to have a reversed nursing schedule due to my work schedule (he nurses every 2-4 hours at night and can go up to 7 hours without a bottle during the day). In the past 3 months my milk supply has significantly decreased, going from just under 4 ounces per pump to eeking out just about 2 ounces. I pump once during the work day. I've done the teas and tinctures with little help. I drink tons of water during the day but my supply seems to be going south. I know that at some point things ease up, and perhaps that's what's happening but recently he seems to want more at night and I would like to continue for the immunity benefits. What is normal for this age and any suggestions for increasing my supply if that's what's warranted?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    This happened to me and here is what I did: I started pumping right after every feeding. After a couple of days I was again pumping my "normal" amount. Another time I changed the time of day I pumped and that worked as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,895

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and menopause?

    nlbme, I would not at all assume that the drop in pumping output you are experiencing is age related at all, or even necc. supply related, for that matter. Difficulty keeping up pump output and/or supply issues, particularly when mom works, is a common issue for moms of all ages.

    I have to get the kids to bed and likley won't be back at the computer tonight but I would suggest you look up pumping on kellymom.com you will find lots of tips there. My first questions to moms when this happens is to consider if the pump is the issue. Is your pump new or did you aquire it used or use it yourslef wiht otehr kids? Pumps are not designd to last for more than a year or regular use. Have you trouble shooted the parts, changed the membranes, etc. and/or had the pump tested for proper suction? (sometimes the problem is the pump!)

    Also of course if your child has begun eating more solids your milk supply would naturally, gradually decrease over time. Some working moms find they can even stop pumping at work during toddlerhood and continue the nursing relationship at night.

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