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Prolapse and stopping breastfeeding

(25 Posts)
Addictedtohotbaths1 Fri 26-Jun-15 16:13:38

DD is 13 months and still feeds twice a day. I have recently been diagnosed with stage 2 rectocele and cystocele. I am having physio and have a pessary fitted while I decide when to have surgery. Physio is not optimistic that it will help enough to avoid surgery. Also have pessary fitted which is helping cystocele but not rectocele.

Have been advised that stopping breastfeeding will help and that it takes six months from stopping to return to normal.

I'm confused if I should stop now or not. She's showing no signs of wanting to stop and would probably feed much more if I offered it. I feel a bit sad to stop but at the same time she doesn't "need" it now and I wouldn't mind some improvement that stopping may bring!

Has anybody stopped feeding for this reason and regretted it or was it worth it? If I'm only feeding twice a day will there really be that much difference?

Thanks in advance

Clarella Sat 27-Jun-15 10:25:29

I'm not sure about your specific issue but I'm always very sceptical of anyone saying stopping bf will help. What 'specifically' will help? It doesn't make scientific sense to me.

I'd recommend contacting your local LLL and finding out if they have a lactation consultant who should be able to answer more confidently. Or, if you'd like I can ask my local group snob on your behalf, as there's several drs inc consultants. And a lact consultant.

Tbh if periods have returned im not sure what will be different? And only twice a day.

Clarella Sat 27-Jun-15 10:26:12

Stopping can make you quite tearful and hormonal; if you don't want to stop I'd actually be more concerned about your happiness/ mh.

Clarella Sat 27-Jun-15 10:29:56

I was dx hypermobility syndrome. Although the hms website lists bf as making you more bendy I can't find exact evidence and the pelvic partnership says opposite.

For me it's been the effect of periods that's caused extra issues plus anaemia and thyroid.

Iirc, the effects of relxin etc during pregnancy last a couple of years. Relaxin is released during menstruation. Prolactin - I was told- shouldn't affect things. But happy to be corrected.

No one told me to stop.

Clarella Sat 27-Jun-15 10:34:29

To me it's a mechanical issue?

I found this - obv anecdotal but an answer further down seems to explain the bad science behind the idea there's a link.

To me it doesn't make sense from an evolutionary and anthropological pov.


Clarella Sat 27-Jun-15 10:34:51

(Sorry, this sort of thing annoys me!)

pinkfrocks Sat 27-Jun-15 20:13:38

All I can think of is that BF makes your oestrogen levels lower- hence some reduction in fertility when BF. oestrogen is a vital part of pelvic floor health.
Higher levels will help tone your tissues and give the muscles more strength. I doubt it will make a stage 2 into a stage 1 but maybe it's worth thinking about? You may be prescribed oestrogen cream (vaginal) to help so that's worth asking about. some older women use it before prolapse ops.

Addictedtohotbaths1 Sun 28-Jun-15 09:27:05

Thank you both, yes I imagine it's a combination of less relaxin and more oestrogen retuning that would make a difference but I can't imagine enough to return my bladder and bowel to their normal position.

Clarella thank you if you have somebody to ask I would be most grateful, I didn't find my local LLL group very welcoming...

Clarella Sun 28-Jun-15 16:03:27

Will pm you

Clarella Sun 28-Jun-15 16:25:41

I guess I get further puzzled by the bf link when you consider that women who haven't had children can get this too.

pinkfrocks Sun 28-Jun-15 16:42:51

very few women who haven't had children have prolapses. some yes- but only post menopause and again, mainly women who have given birth.

dontcryitsonlyajoke Sun 28-Jun-15 18:01:46

I have just finished bf with DC3 at 12 months and have a rectocele and possible cystocele - have just had my first consultant appt so now awaiting official diagnostic tests.

I gave up bf partly because I want my hormones back to normal before I make any decisions about treatment. But I was also very definitely done with bf for a number of other reasons too so this wasn't the only reason.

If it was the only reason, I'd be investigating much more about the implications of bf of not on the improvement in my symptoms before stopping because of it.

Addictedtohotbaths1 Sun 28-Jun-15 20:58:51

Don'tcry - thanks. Did they advise you to stop?

dontcryitsonlyajoke Sun 28-Jun-15 22:04:21

No - didn't even ask if I was bf! I had just stopped a couple of days before the appt anyway. It was one of my reasons for stopping, but definitely not one of the major ones. I would have looked into it in more detail and talked to consultant in depth first if it was the main reason for stopping.

Addictedtohotbaths1 Sun 28-Jun-15 22:51:42

I'm surprised how different BF has been addressed for the same health issue then. I've been told you should wait 6 months after stopping before they operate.

Do you mind me asking what stage yours is, will you have surgery? I can't make up my mind if I should have it soonish or put up with various symptoms until dc's are older and don't need carrying etc.

lighteningmcmama Sun 28-Jun-15 23:33:55

I have/had a mild rectocele, which pelvic floor exercises have really helped with so I think mine must be less severe for that alone to have made such a difference. Anyway the nurse said breastfeeding doesn't help the prolapse, but didn't advise me to stop. I wouldn't have listened anyway, personally speaking! But like I say my symptoms are maybe not as bad, I guess for you you need to weigh up the symptoms for another year versus a possible but not definite improvement..Hope you get betterflowers

Addictedtohotbaths1 Mon 29-Jun-15 12:50:07

Lightning that's good to hear the pf's have helped yours.

I think I'm going to keep feeding for now, so far have found no stories of anybody who says giving up has helped it!

dontcryitsonlyajoke Mon 29-Jun-15 14:05:33

I'm not as far down the process as you - awaiting appt for defecating proctogram and something else about muscle tone (can't remember the initials - ARP perhaps?) which will take a few months. Only then will we know whether it will need medical or surgical route, though consultant expects surgery of some sort (I have haemorrhoids complicating things too). I would like to try medical first though if that's possible. So I'm several months away from surgery at least.

We didn't have the bf conversation because I'd already decided to stop, otherwise I probably would have been talking about it a lot. In addition to my many unrelated reasons for stopping bf, I just wanted all my hormones back to normal before I make a decision on surgery and stopping now gives me several months for this to happen. This was my 3rd DC and I'm definitely not having any more so I don't need to worry about the impact of future pregnancies/bf on these issues, so want my hormones back to non-pregnancy/bf steady state so there's no possible impact from that. I'd feel differently if I was planning to have more DCs I think.

dontcryitsonlyajoke Mon 29-Jun-15 14:13:34

I think in your shoes - this being the only reason to stop bf - I'd be carrying on too.

I read that relaxin sticks around longer if you carry on breastfeeding but the info seems a bit hazy and I can't imagine it has as big an effect at 13m postpartum as it does in the first few months. I found one link which says it hangs around for 4m after you stop breastfeeding, but that wasn't sourced.

Clarella Tue 30-Jun-15 21:32:53

I haven't found info about relaxin being present during bf, only prolactin and oxytocin, but It definitely is present and part of the menstrual cycle.

Addictedtohotbaths1 Thu 02-Jul-15 13:10:56

That might make sense then why everything feels worse during periods.

GloGirl Sat 04-Jul-15 00:09:23

I've just been to see a gynae today, 6 months post birth who was asking about breastfeeding and he said that I needed to wait 9 months post birth and a period of time after breastfeeding to see exactly where everything "ends up". As already explained above he said the bf-ing timeline was about oestrogen.

I suppose giving up breastfeeding wont fix your prolapse but it might let everything settle down to it's "permanent" place so the consultant can help work out the best repair? A quick google shows there might be some correlation. "It is possible that oestrogens, alone or in conjunction with other interventions, might prevent or assist in the management of pelvic organ prolapse, for example by improving the strength of weakened supporting structures."

I stopped breastfeeding my first around 13-14 months due to getting pregnant again. He was absolutely fine with it, I slowly weaned him off by switching in cow's milk before and after every breastfeed and eventually he made the change. I got my husband to rock him to sleep for a couple of nights in order to help him go to sleep without breastfeeding to sleep.

I didn't really miss it, it felt like we entered a new stage. Looking back if it wasn't for the pregnancy I would have continued, but for my boy it was a really good age to stop.

GloGirl Mon 06-Jul-15 13:06:40

Been a few days now, just giving this a hopeful bump.

GloGirl Mon 06-Jul-15 13:07:03

Whhops wrong thread!

splodge77 Wed 29-Jul-15 21:56:23

Don't know if this thread still active but wanted to say that I defo noticed quite a big difference to my prolapse when I stopped breastfeeding - it's due to estrogen levels. Bladder prolapse in particular improved quite a bit. (I'm now bf-ing by second child & not loving the prolapse returning but have pessaries this time round to help!) I will prob stop breastfeeding soon - mostly due to this issue! DS2 is 3 months old.

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