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Thread: Estrogen and milk supply

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Estrogen and milk supply

    Hey everyone, I am 32 weeks pg. now and with my first DD I had terrible PPD. I BF'd her until 15mths, but because of my history the doctors mentioned putting an estrogen patch on me right after delivery. I am concerned because, while I don't want PPD again and want to be proactive, I also thought that I had heard that using estrogen before 6 weeks interferes with milk supply. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Estrogen and milk supply

    It's recommended that any estrogen-containing contraceptive be avoided until baby is at least six months old AND after baby is well-established on solid foods.
    from Birth Control and Breastfeeding

    Congratulations on your new baby!!

    I have been on Zoloft for PPD since LO was under a week old. It kicked in very quickly and works GREAT for me. I remember my OB mentioned that next time around I can start on a low dose of it in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Maybe something to ask about.
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Estrogen and milk supply

    While you are at higher risk for PPD a second time around, it does not mean it will happen again. BTDT.

    Go to the chronic conditions - mother forum here and search. You will find a lot of information there on PPD.

    I have never heard of estrogen preventing PPD. From what I find, it seems to be more progesterone related. BUT (and this is a big but) in some women, synthetic progesterone makes PPD worse! BTDT too! I was already struggling, got a Depo injection and was suicidal within 2 weeks. I've done some reading since, and it more fits a diagnosis of estrogen dominance for many women, so I wouldn't take any estrogen. Besides, estrogen will hammer your milk supply. You won't have any.

    IMHO, there are several keys to lessening PPD a second time around. One, to ensure you have adequate help at home for the first 6 weeks. Really. You should be able to have a "babymoon" with that baby and not have to worry about the house and your older kid(s). Along with that, I prepared physically in every way I could, like making meals to freeze, stuff like that.

    Second, to read Karen Kleiman's book "What am I Thinking?" It is GREAT and helps you put together a PPD rescue plan in case it does happen again, things to help you figure out if you are coming apart. I found it really helpful.

    Third, to consider medication should you need it, earlier than before.

    Fourth, line up a therapist, should you need it.

    Find local support too, like a moms group or a local LLL group.

    Just because you had it once, doesn't mean you have to again. I was fine this time around I did a lot of preparation though, and I was able to have a babymoon and rest and recover. I really think that was key for me. Good luck.
    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Estrogen and milk supply

    I had ppd with my first son. It started out with bad baby blues but then I had a depo provera shot at my 6 week appt and that really made things worse. So I am not an advocate of hormones whatsoever. I got migraines and flu symptoms when I was on birth control pills. I spent years trying to find the "right" dose for me and never found it. In any case, when my son was 2 I made an attempt on my life (after they tried to treat me for depression). After a couple months of zoloft, I went off all medications. My second son was born 8 weeks ago. I haven't had a hint of PPD this time around and DH and I have been very careful to monitor how I am doing mentally, physically and emotionally. I have had crying spells, but that is normal with baby blues.
    In any case, I say all this to tell you to please not go with the hormones if you can at all avoid it. Baby blues are your hormones getting back into whack after having your baby.... having more hormones put into you system seems to be the wrong answer IMO.
    Whatever you do decide to do, be honest with yourself and SO about how you are feeling. Good luck!

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