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AIBU - fertility clinic have told me to stop breastfeeding my first child

(123 Posts)
moreworkandhope Tue 20-Sep-16 20:43:00

is this right? they say I have to stop bf 4-6 months before I start treatment for my second child.

I've already experienced, numerous times from numerous health professionals, how shockingly behind the times and COMPLETELY INCORRECT they can be, is this another example?

I'm running out of fertility fast but don't want to stop bf my first child, it would make my life loads more stressful to deny her what she wants and give up the only proper relaxation time I have.

HighwayDragon1 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:45:44

I guess it's because of the additional drugs/hormones you need to take?

Crunchymum Tue 20-Sep-16 20:47:09

Well I didn't have a period for 27 months when breastfeeding so getting pregnant would have been difficult? confused

Have you asked them why they recommend this, how strict they are with it?

I assume it's because bf'ing has a negative impact your fertility.... so makes sense really.

Can you not wait a bit longer for DC2?

acquiescence Tue 20-Sep-16 20:47:11

No idea, something only the experts can tell you. However it does make some sense in that your hormone levels are altered when breast feeding and need to return to normal before hormonal treatment. 4-6 months sounds like a long time though. Maybe seek advice from elsewhere, as in another fertility clinic?

Good luck. I was lucky enough to conceive my 10 month old naturally after being told I would need ivf and have wondered if I should stop breast feeding completely in order to enhance my fertility (although I have regular periods so am clearly ovulating).

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Tue 20-Sep-16 20:47:36

I was told the same thing. I put off having babies for another 8 months because of this.

If I recall correctly it's to do with levels of prolactin which is produced when breastfeeding and which interferes with fertility.

My specialist refused to do IVF until I'd finished breastfeeding because she said it would be a waste.

everdene Tue 20-Sep-16 20:48:31

Obviously I'm not a fertility expert but I'd imagine they'd want you to give yourself the best possible chance at conception and BFing could hinder that.

If it's a toss-up between your existing child and a potential delay in conceiving a new baby, you might have to take a call on that, but I imagine the doctors will be non-committal about how likely that is.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Tue 20-Sep-16 20:48:46

Doesn't breastfeeding reduce likelihood of ovulation in a lot of women? I know I didn't get a period once in the 14 months that I did it?

Blueskyrain Tue 20-Sep-16 20:48:47

If it affects your fertility, and its treatment you are having on the NHS, I think they are perfectly justified in wanting you to stop ready for treatment, and also to give you the maximum chance to concieve naturally.

takemetomars Tue 20-Sep-16 20:49:07

Why on earth would you trust them enough for them to treat your infertility but not enough to follow the advice you have been given. That makes no sense at all?
And yes, it will be related to hormone profiles etc, you do know that breastfeeding alters your hormonal profile don't you?

Soubriquet Tue 20-Sep-16 20:49:25

Did you ask why they wanted you to stop bf?

I doubt it was because they didn't approve and more like it would either be affected by the hormones or your fertility would be affected by the bf itself

Elllicam Tue 20-Sep-16 20:49:48

How old is your first child? I am not sure about fertility treatments but obviously breastfeeding can affect fertility. I got pregnant while breastfeeding DS2 (still feeding at 2) but it took us a year and my period didn't come back until he was over a year. Also I noticed that I had a short luteal phase which I did not have while TTC and not breastfeeding.

PenguinsAreAce Tue 20-Sep-16 20:50:20

Ring the drugs in breastmilk helpline and ask?mthey can give you info from the breastfeeding point of view, but there might be fertility implications too perhaps.

newmumwithquestions Tue 20-Sep-16 20:50:37

How old is your first?
Have your periods returned?

It's not that clear cut - we conceived whilst I was EBF, but my understanding is yes it's a big factor in fertility. If your periods have returned then I don't see why you have to give up bfeeding but if they haven't yet then giving up bfeeding should help them return.

ReallyTired Tue 20-Sep-16 20:50:40

Breastfeeding surpresses fertility. It's Mother Nature of spacing out babies. Many women don't menstruate while breastfeeding or they have their periods and don't ovulate. I don't think the the fertility clinic is being unreasonable.

How old is your daughter? There are strategies if you are weaning a toddler. It's not pleasent forcing a child to wean, but there are gentler ways of doing than cold turkey.

Pinkheart5915 Tue 20-Sep-16 20:53:03


I got pregnant breast feeding confused my first wasn't even that old.

yoowhoo Tue 20-Sep-16 20:53:36

Lots of women don't have periods while breastfeeding so it obviously messes up with hormones. If you want to risk not getting pregnant again then continue to breastfeed but don't be surprised if they don't allow you to try the treatment. It's very costly. How old is your first?

Boosiehs Tue 20-Sep-16 20:53:47

I've not had a period since getti pregnant with DS2, over 16 months ago. I'm still BF DS2 but not exclusively.

alltheworld Tue 20-Sep-16 20:54:02

I think bf shortens the luteal phase making it hard to get pg. obviously some people do get pg while bf but they haven't gone through the stress and expense of ivf.

sentia Tue 20-Sep-16 20:54:16

Exclusive breastfeeding on demand is a relatively effective form of contraception. Kellymom has some info on what the current evidence says about how to reduce fertility by breastfeeding, so the opposite will be true too if you want to keep breastfeeding but reduce the impact on your fertility.

It also varies from woman to woman. I exclusively breastfed DD until 5.5 months and my period still came back 3 months after her birth.

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 20-Sep-16 20:54:33

I had to stop feeding my baby in order to have fertility treatment and asked if I could just feed him at night if he woke up. The Dr said 'what bit of poisonous dont you understand?' That's why we can't carry on feeding!

yoowhoo Tue 20-Sep-16 20:54:35

pinkheart you were lucky but it doesn't work for everyone

ijustwannadance Tue 20-Sep-16 20:55:00

The other posters have answered your op.
How old is your child. 1+?

Seems like you have 2 choices. Carry on bf and wait another year or so for IVF or stop now and try earlier.

SnotGoblin Tue 20-Sep-16 20:56:56

I ignored their advice and had successful treatment while breastfeeding. It's really up to you, they can only advise you.

FoxesSitOnBoxes Tue 20-Sep-16 20:58:17

Another one here with no periods at all until completely stopping breastfeeding. I guess they just want to maximise your chances

Eatthecake Tue 20-Sep-16 21:00:59

People do get pregnant when breast feeding, My sister got pregnant breast feeding and I myself have always had my period return about 4-6 months in to breast feeding

Surely the clinic can only advise you, the decision to stop breast feeding is yours to make

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