Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplements

  1. #1

    Default Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplements

    Hi ladies,

    I have a 14.5 month old son who is still nursing. My husband and I are starting to try for another baby (my cycle returned 3 days after our son's first birthday), but there's a caveat. Our son was conceived via IVF and I have diminished ovarian reserve and based on family history (mom, grandmother and great-grandmother all started menopause by 38), I can probably count on one hand the number of "fertile" years I have left. We worked with a wonderful Reproductive Endocrinologist last time but we cannot afford to do IVF again (and are unfortunately not in a mandated state) for our second so we have to conceive naturally.

    Initially, prior to doing IVF, my RE put me on a strict holistic regimen (organic low GI diet, no alcohol, no sugar, no caffeine, acupuncture, light exercise and a series of supplements to improve egg quality (DHEA, L. Arginine, Inositol, CoQ10)) to try to help us conceive naturally. Obviously, we didn't; however, it did help me get good mature eggs for IVF. I'd like to get back into doing that holistic regimen because I know it will improve our chances of conceiving, and frankly, with only a handful of years left, I don't have time to waste. I don't want to wean until my son's ready, but I don't know if any of those supplements are off-limits while breastfeeding. I recall from the breastfeeding class my husband and I took at our hospital while I was pregnant that there is a handbook where you can check if medications/supplements are breastfeeding safe, but I can't recall what it is called. Does anyone have a copy of it? Is anyone able to check for me?

    (BTW, I do plan on consulting my RE before taking anything, but I'd rather be armed with the information ahead of time.)

    Thanks!
    Last edited by @llli*jml; August 22nd, 2014 at 11:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    1,575

    Default Re: Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplement

    you could maybe call infant risk
    http://www.infantrisk.com/content/webforum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplement

    Infant Risk.

    Do you chart? If not, I really recommend getting a copy of Toni Weschler's excellent book " Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and good thermometer, and using those tools to chart your cycle. It can really improve your chance of catching that egg, and there's a really good section in the back on troubleshooting which can help you pick up on issues that doctors often overlook.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplement

    Agree with both above posts. However I seriously doubt anything that would be safe to take while trying to conceive is going to be a problem while nursing, especially a toddler. Have you thought about what you will do if your RE suggests weaning your baby in order to increase your chances of conceiving? If you want to be armed with information, I would suggest researching that area as it is pretty common for mothers who are trying to conceive to be told to wean, whether warranted or not.

    On assisted conception, did you try IUI before IVF, or have you considered if that might be a more affordable option to try for this time?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplement

    Thanks, all!

    tclynx, checked out the Infant Risk website, but couldn't really find sufficient info on those supplements, but I think maddieb is probably right. Thanks!

    mommal, I haven't started charting this time around, but I did it religiously for a year and a half (I started the cycle before we started trying and kept track of each cycle on an iPhone app, up until our IVF cycle) while we were trying for our first, and read TCOYF around Dec. 2011, but it's probably worth picking up again to review (I actually just recommended it to a friend who didn't have fertility issues, but doesn't want to return to using hormonal BC). I did it all, though - checked my BBT and charted, checked for EWCM, tried to check cervix position (which I always found a little tough), used OPKs, used some supplements to produce more EWCM and drank tea and took baby aspirin to improve my uterine lining, etc.

    I'd like to at least get back into charting, but we're bedsharing for the latter part of the night with our son and he often wakes me up to nurse on and off for about an hour before we wake up for good (and refuses to nurse lying down so I always have to grab my pillow), so I don't know if I'd remember to take my temp before moving and if I could really trust my waking temp.

    maddieb, I've given it a tremendous amount of thought over the last month. On the one hand, I know it would probably benefit me to go see him and do bloodwork and check my hormone levels since that has a large impact on my particular fertility issue. But I also know he'd check my prolactin level, which is probably still high since I'm pumping once a day during the week and usually nursing between 4 and 7 times daily (my son doesn't nurse much during the day but wakes up between 3 and 5 times during the night - he's getting molars) and I'm sure he may recommend weaning. I've tried doing a few Google searches on infertility, breastfeeding and ovulation, but I haven't turned up any helpful studies. Truthfully, even if I can find a study, I'm not sure that I want to go in ready to argue with him over it the way I would have with a pediatrician or another doctor. To me, it's as simple as I want to continue nursing as long as the child I do have wants it and I don't want to wean for the sake of a child I don't have yet (and may never have). After my infertility struggles, breastfeeding also was a tremendous boost to my confidence in my own body and as a mother, and I don't feel ready to give that up yet, especially if this ends up being my only chance to do it. I know he'd want to make sure my body is in an optimal state for conception, and he knows much more about that than I do. But I'm willing to do a lot of other things to improve my chances, just not this. I don't know if he'd understand because it's coming from a very emotional place, but he is the most incredibly caring and sensitive doctor I've ever seen, and I know he'd respect my wishes, even if he may not agree with them.

    We had the option of an IUI, but they tend to be less successful with my particular diagnosis (combined with my husband having his own fertility issues) and a lot of couples with my issue end up moving on to IVF after several failed IUI attempts. As I mentioned, our doctor initially had us try to conceive naturally while I was on a holistic protocol and my husband was taking supplements himself, and we did that for eight cycles before deciding to move on.
    Last edited by @llli*jml; August 25th, 2014 at 10:58 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Question about BF & "low-tech" fertility meds/supplement

    I'd like to at least get back into charting, but we're bedsharing for the latter part of the night with our son and he often wakes me up to nurse on and off for about an hour before we wake up for good (and refuses to nurse lying down so I always have to grab my pillow), so I don't know if I'd remember to take my temp before moving and if I could really trust my waking temp.
    I would at least do a waking temp... Even when I was up and down all night to nurse, I was still getting a fairly predictable BBT pattern. The charts I was producing weren't as perfect-looking as the ones I made pre-baby, but they still gave some good clues as to what was going on with my cycle and body.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •