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Thread: can we nurse after menopause

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default can we nurse after menopause

    I am going to be keeping my grandson, and i was curious if I could relactate at my age 55. I am almost complete with periods, and am probably close to being menopausal. I nursed my four children forever. my last one nursed for 5 yrs. So I am sure of my milk production capabilities. I was 38 when I had her. My second grandson was born the 7th of Nov. and I will start to keep him the first part of Jan. 08. What cha think? Worth the try? and do I need to start with a pump, or what?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: can we nurse after menopause


    Why not?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Re: can we nurse after menopause

    I'm moving this thread to relactation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Default Re: can we nurse after menopause

    How exciting! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to hear someone else thinking the same thing. As a studying herbalist, I recently heard Dr. Christopher recommend Blessed Thistle for adoptive mothers who want to breastfeed. I've done a little more research and learned there are other "galactagogues" out there as well including fenugreek and red raspberry leaf tea.

    I have not had a period for 10 months until November of this year when - surprise! I had a period. I have been looking into the lact-aid info and am trying to pass info along to my daughter who will be adopting. I think she is unsure at this point since she works, whether she will try breastfeeding or not.

    Since I will be the one receiving the infant when it is born, I"ve been thinking I want to start her off right, at least, by nursing her myself until I am able to get her to my daughter. I am concerned about getting on an airplane with her too soon after birth and since she is due around the holidays it might also be difficult to get a flight then anyway. so I am planning on having her for at least 2-3 weeks. My thoughts for doing this are to minimize any psychological trauma from being separated from the birth mother, to avoid nipple confusion from introducing bottles, so whether or not she gets any milk from me - she will still get the nurturing. I have ordered a Moby Wrap too - so it just seems a more natural approach over all. I nursed both my children and am just not crazy about the idea of bottlefeeding. I also just read somewhere a recommendation for using the breast as a pacifier even if there is no milk.
    We have about a month before the baby is due so I am going to try the fenugreek, blessed thistle and manually stimulating my breasts to see what happens. I read that induced lactation has more to do with the pituitary gland than the ovaries and that women who have had hysterectomies [induced menopause] have still been able to nurse.
    I have not told anyone I am considering this - worried that everyone might think I'm nuts or that for me to do this would be wierd. But I do have a psychology degree, have taught childbirth classes, and for the sake of the baby - it makes sense to me. I'd be interested in what you all think.
    So - grandma -- I think its worth a shot, don't you? Oh, by the way I'm 53

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: can we nurse after menopause

    The Protocols for Inducing Lactation and Maximizing Milk Production:
    The Menopause Protocol from Jack Newman, M.D. as found at:

    If the mother is menopausal due to surgical removal of her reproductive organs or naturally occurring menopause, she can still breastfeed and bring in her milk supply. A woman does not need a uterus or ovaries in order to breastfeed. All she needs are breasts and a functioning pituitary.
    The first step is to stop the mother's hormone replacement therapy and replace it with Yasmin or Microgestin (once per day). The Yasmin or Microgestin contains enough estrogen and progesterone to keep the mother's menopausal symptoms at bay while at the same time developing the milk making apparatus of her breasts. The mother also needs to take domperidone (10 mg 4 times a day for the first week and then increase to 20 mg 4 times a day). It is a good idea for the mother to stay on the combination of Yasmin or Microgestin and domperidone until she experiences significant breast changes. At least 60 days on the combination of Yasmin or Microgestin and domperidone are recommended for menopausal women. Significant breast changes include an increase in breast size (at least 1 cup) and breasts that feel full, heavy and painful.

    Once the mother has completed at least 60 days on the combination of Yasmin or Microgestin and domperidone and has experienced significant breast changes she can stop the Yasmin or Microgestin, maintain the domperidone and begin pumping with a double electric breast pump. A hand pump is just not up to the job.

    It is recommended that the mother pump every 3 hours and once during the night. (See "pumping instructions".)

    Once the mother has started pumping she can add the herbs Blessed Thistle herb (390 mg per capsule) and Fenugreek seed (610 mg per capsule). The recommended herb dosage is 3 capsules of each, 3 times a day with meals. The domperidone should be taken 1/2 hour before meals for best absorption. Many mothers on the protocols have noticed a significant increase in their milk supplies when they began to add oatmeal to their diets regularly.

    Fluids are very important. The human body naturally consumes and excretes the equivalent of 8 - 10 glasses of water per day. It is recommended that mothers drink at least 6 - 8 glasses of water a day if possible. Usually if mothers drink water when they are thirsty during the day, adequate fluid intake is achieved. Beverages containing caffeine should be avoided as they cause rapid excretion of fluids.

    The arrival of the milk supply while pumping follows a particular pattern. It begins with clear drops, which become more opaque and whiter in color. Drops will appear, followed by milk spray, and then a steady stream of breastmilk. It may take a few days, a week, or two, or more for the mother's milk supply to come in. Everyone responds differently.

    If the mother experiences menopause symptoms, please do not resume the mother's hormone replacement therapy but rather suggest that she eat soya products to control her symptoms. Soya milk and/or soya butter are good choices because they contain phytoestrogens but the mother should eat only enough to stop "hot flashes" because too much will decrease her milk supply.

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