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Polycystic ovarian syndrome and crap breasts that don't make milk - anyone experienced this?

(8 Posts)
flibbertywidget Thu 09-Jul-09 22:13:45

I am looking for some help and guidance. I am 34 wks pg with my 2nd baby. I was diagnosed with PCOS during my 20's, had ovarian cancer at 27, etc etc.

To cut a long story short - when DD was born 2 yrs ago, she was small for dates and the hospital stuck her on ff (as a novice mum, i didn't know what not to do etc) as well as me attempting to BF.

I never experienced engorgement, my boobs didn't grow during pregnancy and I never has leaking boobs or boobs that released a lot of milk.

What I am trying to work out is
1) PCOS can affect the creation of breast tissue and therefore the milk supply - has anyone else experienced this on the board and managed to overcome it?

2)Could a small for dates baby, plus sticking her on FF have impacted my milk supply -- I understand now having researched it that small babies sometimes have problems latching, which she did.

really - I guess I am looking to shore my emotions up and manage my expectations before this wee one pops out. I was heartbroken beyond belief at not having working boobs (I have had to have IVF to conceive both my babies) and it was another blow! Plus I wanted to give them both such a good start in life.

Have I made sense? - my brain is an irrational mess with hormones!

thanks for listening

mrsflux Fri 10-Jul-09 09:11:02

i was diagnosed with PCOS not long before DS was conceived naturally - we were very lucky!
i didn't know that it could affect your breast tissue. i might be wrong but i'm guessing that lots of breast tissue doesn't equal lots of milk as boob size is irrelevant for BF.
anyhow to reassure you i had LOADS of milk! i was pre PG 32C so not huge boobs. unfortunately BF didn't work out for me for lots of other reasons but the PCOS didn't seem to affect my supply - i'd regularly soak through several boob pads a night!

tiktok Fri 10-Jul-09 09:25:36

flibberty, there seems to be a wide variation in experience with PCOS. Some women really do seem to have diffculty building up a milk supply, and some (like mrsflux) seem fine. It might be that you were 'destined' to have some problems because of PCOS and the other circumstances - small for dates baby with latching issues plus early formula - did the rest.

PCOS is an unknown issue, but small babies are known to have latching issues and early formula feeding is known to mess up breastfeeding.

As well as reading up about your questions, you could react to any apparent problems before they become problems by hand expressing colostrum in the early days, if the baby has probs getting milk out of you. The maternity unit need to know how important breastfeeding is for you, too.
Hope it goes well for you

flibbertywidget Fri 10-Jul-09 20:42:01

Thanks both. I am hoping for a homebirth and my community midwives know how important this is for me and I have asked a la leche counsellor to come and help. All I can do is wait and see and give it the best shot I can.

I am sure I will be on here more come end of uAugust smile

rainbowlight Fri 10-Jul-09 21:53:39

Hi Flibberty I have PCOS and I am still BF my 20mo DS and have not had any problem with supply. Good luck hope it works out for you

thaliablogs Fri 10-Jul-09 23:51:54


The numbers on PCOS women are roughly 1/3 have no issues, 1/3 have oversupply, and 1/3 have low supply. Diagnostic indicators for low supply include breasts that don't grow during pregnancy.

Experience says that second babies get a better deal as you will have developed at least some mammary tissue in your first Bfeeding experience, although certainly that bad first week will have also caused it's own issues.

To help set you up for success you can do all the things any other woman would do to get bfeeding off to a good start including lots of time nursing in first few days etc. You may also want to start taking goats rue now, which has been shown to help women w PCOS develop glandular tissue, it's safe for the third trimester. You can also order some domperidone which can help build supply in the tissue you do have - only to be taken after birth.

there is a very helpful website for women who've had bad breastfeeding experiences - MOBI - - you'll find lots of good advice there.
Best of luck with this one.

llareggub Sat 11-Jul-09 00:01:12


I have PCOS and struggled with supply with my first child. Like you I used formula as well but due to a post cs infection among other things. I breastfed until DS was 2 and a half but I never leaked, or felt engorged. I used to joke that I had very effective storage vessels! I didn't suspect that it might be due to PCOS.

DS2 is 8 weeks and it is so different this time around. I need breast pads, I am engorged, and I can express lots of milk, far more than I was able to to last time. So far DS is exclusively breastfed.

I suspect the ease with which I have been able to bf this time is in part due to me losing weight, thus lessening the impact of PCOS, and me not supplementing with formula, increasing supply.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 11-Jul-09 09:58:42

Hi, come and join us over here!

crap boobs thread

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