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PCOS low milk supply link

(12 Posts)
RidingSixWhiteHorses Wed 28-Oct-15 20:58:12

I have Pcos and also have never had enough milk to ebf my babies (currently got a newborn who is dc3) - today the mw said she often finds that is the case for women with cos. I had heard this before but just wondered whether this is something others on here have found too - makes me feel marginal better about my failure to provide for my children sad

FrazzleRock Wed 28-Oct-15 21:03:56

Yep, me! I couldn't produce milk for either of my DC. Their latch was perfect, but they lost weight very quickly and were attached to my breasts around 22 hours a day, it was exhausting.

When I tried to express, I would pump and pump for an hour (when the DC weren't attached to me) and only produced about 5mls.
The GP wouldnt help me, refuced to offer medication. Just told me to feed more hmm

I had to give in and FF. It was heartbreaking at the time and stil bothers me now when I think about it sad

flowers

RidingSixWhiteHorses Wed 28-Oct-15 21:07:44

With first child she lost nearly 20% and we topped up on medical orders - but then mix fed for 18 months.

DS started the weight loss thing even though I necked eight pills of fenugreek every day and we mix fed from about a week but he lost interest in breast around 5 months.

Newborn DS2 already not fussed by boob and refuses it absolutely at night (and will do it for hours in the day before demanding a whole bottle and downing it).

Sad. Not having any more kids and hoped I would manage it at least once.

ApplesTheHare Wed 28-Oct-15 21:12:43

Serious don't feel bad for not bf... It doesn't suit all babies and, in that sense, isn't 'best' for all of them. I did and could bf, but DD was way happier once I switched to ff. Formula really helped with her reflux. Honestly, your los will do just as well, please be kind to yourselves and try and appreciate that you're wonderful mothers for caring so much. There is far too much pressure to bf, and it far outstrips any (possible) benefits flowers

BertieBotts Wed 28-Oct-15 21:40:23

I've definitely heard of a link between PCOS and low milk supply. It's not just you. There is some info here on how to maximise it, if it's something that interests you? www.pcosnutrition.com/links/blogs/breastfeeding-and-pcos-maximizing-success.html

Please don't feel guilty whatever happens. It's only milk. There are more important things. Mixed feeding or giving some breastmilk is also beneficial in terms of benefits, it doesn't have to be all or nothing to be worth it.

BertieBotts Wed 28-Oct-15 21:42:07

BTW WRT some comments on that article: "Breasts not big enough to breastfeed" is a bit of a myth, EXCEPT in the case of PCOS where "not big enough" can be a marker that not enough glands developed in the first place due to lower levels of progesterone, if I've understood the very quick bit of research I've just read correctly.

Muskey Wed 28-Oct-15 21:49:37

I have PCOs and had a lot of trouble producing milk. I wasn't aware of the link

RidingSixWhiteHorses Wed 28-Oct-15 21:50:08

That is really interesting Bertie because although my boobs not small, for a fat woman they're not that big either - never feel the breast area of tops that are my size.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 28-Oct-15 22:07:47

Another failure to produce milk and a PCOS lady here! Boobs started to develop in puberty then just suddenly stopped. I have pre-teen boobs, convinced they didn't completely develop. Never thought more of it till I got pregnant and my beasts hardly changed, both times. Maybe a little veinier ha! But no change in size and no leakage. Midwife was bemused by the fact that I had no engorgement after I'd decided to give up both times after a couple of days. I KNEW my boobs weren't producing anything. Pumping produced nothibg. Various midwives told me the milk would come in by day 5. It didn't happen. By that time DS1 was almost starving and wnough was enough. He went on formula. DS2 was FF by day 2 as I knew the same thing was happening again.

I just thought I was a failure. Not a "real woman". It's only since then I discovered that research has since shown that there could be a link between PCOS and milk production. Stands to reason I suppose, being hormonal.

I remember when I was a teenager my grandma saying she had a problem with not producing enough milk. Never thought anything of it till I had a problem. They do think there is a genetic element to PCOS so maybe the problem was passed down the line.

Sometimes I wonder whether it's hormones in our environment that is causing this problem. Because otherwise, Did babies just die of malnutrition and starvation before the advent of formula if this has always been a problem?? Why, when we are all so healthy and well-fed these days is this a problem? I think it's and hormone issue but we dont know why yet. Contraceptive pill use?? Who knows....

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 28-Oct-15 22:08:57

Ha ha they are definitely not beasts, my boobs!

FullOfChoc Wed 28-Oct-15 22:23:22

I was the same, another with pcos and small boobs considering my weight. I tried homeopath, accupuncture, nettle tea, giving up sugar, endocrinologist, la leche league, midwife clinic, literally everything I could find to get help. in the end I mixed fed both children for 9 months but really relate to all the frustration expressed above.

cwhite Thu 29-Oct-15 13:52:41

Please don't feel bad for FF - PCOS offers so much worry in terms of fertility, it did for me at least, so have had to actively choose not to worry about the feeding (although the rallies against FF have scared me away from quite a few places on the internet). FF was certainly the best think to do in my case. No women in my family have successfully BF and I definitely think it is linked to PCOS.

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