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Thread: PCOS and breast feeding

  1. #1

    Default PCOS and breast feeding

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to this forum and was recommened La Leche League as a resource for my breast feeding concerns.

    I'm a first time mom-to-be, due August 18th from our first IVF cycle. I have polycystic ovarian syndorme and have been reading that breast feeding can be challenging for PCOS women due to a number of reasons caused by hormonal imbalances. For example, their glands may not have developed properly if PCOS was a problem during puberty, or that during pregnancy milk production can be impacted due to hormonal imbalances. I don't think the gland development will be an issue for me, I'm more concerned about milk development issues.

    I've also read that many PCOS moms are treated with Metformin upon learning that there is a production issue after birth, but in some instances PCOS women are instructed to continue Metformin throughout pregnancy to help encourage production. I was told by both my OB and endocrinologist to discontinue Metformin after my first trimester, even though there are no known side effects to the baby during development or breast feeding.

    I'm wondering if there are any women on here that have PCOS and have had problems breast feeding and what interventions were used either during pregnancy or afterwards to encourage milk production. I understand that I won't know if it's a problem for me until I try, but I want to do everything I can during pregnancy to encourage healthy and continued breast feeding.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: PCOS and breast feeding

    I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 18-19. However, I've had no problems getting pg or bfing I don't think it's always the case. I know there are some other moms here with PCOS too. Hopefully they can be of some help
    Proud mom of 2:
    DD 5/2008 nursed for 3 years and 3 months.
    DS born 8/2011 nursing like a champ

    Sorry for the short responses...always, always, always NAK or holding a baby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: PCOS and breast feeding

    I have PCOS and had initial supply problems with my son. I did have late-onset PCOS, so insufficient glandular tissue would not have been an issue for me, but I do think the hormone imbalance was. My son lost a pound in the first few days, and had zero wet or poopy diapers in 24 hours. We were forced to supplement with formula. After pumping like mad and taking herbal supplements I finally tried domperidone. It worked! Miraculously I went from practically nothing to making MORE than enough milk in 48 hours. I know it doesn't work for everyone, this was just my experience. I was able to wean off the meds and my son is 6 weeks old. We have been exclusively breastfeeding for over a month now!

    It is my understanding that 1/3 of the women with PCOS have no supply issues, 1/3 have low supply, and 1/3 actually have oversupply. I was told by a LC to immediately start my metformin back, if I knew while I was still pregnant what I know now, I definitely would have continued it throughout my pregnancy. You may be able to ward off supply issues at all by starting the metformin now. I still have nightmares occasionally about having low supply again and not being able to bf my son, and I am constantly questioning my body as to whether I can sustain him. I know this wouldn't be the case if I had never had the low supply, although at the same time I am eternally grateful to be one of the lucky ones that meds work for!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Bryan, Texas

    Default Re: PCOS and breast feeding

    I have PCOS...diagnosed in high school. I took metformin through the first trimester with both of my kiddos. I started pumping early after baby was born...within 48hrs after the birth of my son. With my daughter, I began pumping at about 2wks of age. With both of them my supply was fine until around 8mos where I practically DRIED up. I didn't really recognize it with my son...I just thought he was just antsy and didn't want to nurse With my daughter, I recognized it and I started on domperidone immediately. I went from making nothing to overflowing within 48hrs. I took domperidone from 8mos-24mos with her. I was so excited to be able to nurse her for 2yrs. When we have another...I will most definitely buy domperidone and stock up before the birth.

    Oh...I didn't take metformin after I delivered the babies...because every time I go on metformin I get pregnant....I didn't want to get pregnant too soon after they were born
    All over the world there exists in every society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the principle of subsidiary. ~ Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of OB/GYN, Univ. of Amsterdam, Holland


    Mama to:
    Shiloh (5/6/06) Nursed for 13 months and Josephine (7/26/08) Nursed for 23.5 mos Currently nursing my new little firecracker, Finley Catherine, born on the 4th of July!!

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