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menopause & breastfeeding

Posted by on Mar. 23, 2010 at 1:23 AM
  • 5 Replies

i'm having a hysterectomy on march 30 and will be going into surgical menopause. i still nurse my 21-month old all the time and am concerned that i won't be able to while being in menopause.  we're not ready to wean... looking for reassurance that menopause won't stop everything for my daughter and i...

thanks.

 

by on Mar. 23, 2010 at 1:23 AM
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Replies (1-5):
WilliamsMama08
by on Mar. 23, 2010 at 1:29 AM

Found this, hope it helps.

Definitely. You should have no problem nursing your baby even if you've had your uterus and/or ovaries removed, assuming the hysterectomy occurs after you've given birth (which, obviously, it would have to since you can't carry a baby to term without a uterus). The most important hormones in milk production are prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin helps maintain your milk supply, while oxytocin controls the let-down response so the milk flows through the glands out the nipple to the baby. Neither of these hormones are related to the uterus or ovaries, so their production should continue after a hysterectomy.

If you have a hysterectomy while breastfeeding, make sure and ask your health care professional when you can resume breastfeeding. You probably want to make sure that all the anesthesia is out of your system before nursing your baby, since many drugs can pass through your breast milk to your baby. So it might be a good idea to express and freeze some breast milk before going into the hospital. If your health care professional wants you to take supplemental estrogen after your hysterectomy (likely if your ovaries were removed), let him or her know that you're breastfeeding, and ask for the lowest dose possible. Estrogen could reduce your milk supply.

Because you may have some postsurgical pain, you should talk to a lactation consultant about the best position for breastfeeding after surgery. Lying the baby on the pillow, or using the "football" hold, may help.

I really commend you for breastfeeding your baby. You probably already know this, but the health benefits of breastfeeding are almost too great to list. They range from a reduced risk of allergies and asthma to improved learning ability. Breastfed babies also get sick less often than babies who are bottle-fed, are less likely to develop diabetes and are less likely to be overweight.

gdiamante
by Group Mod - Gina on Mar. 23, 2010 at 1:48 AM

From Promom.org:

Myth #25: After menopause you can't breastfeed.

    Reality: Interestingly, women can continue to produce milk after they are no longer fertile, and have been known to do so into their 80's! There is no change in the quality of the milk, and many wet nurses have continued to practice their profession well past menopause.
ArmyMom2oneboy
by on Mar. 23, 2010 at 8:49 AM

I was just discussing this with a good friend of mine. She had pulled up a study in which several post-menopausal women were given a pill to be able to nurse their grandchildren in a third world country after the mothers to the babies had died. All of them successfully nursed the grandbabies. The pill, was a placebo!

Atlastnaturals
by on Jun. 15, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I hope your hysterectomy went well! You should have no problem breast feeding after going through menopause.

Please  visit Atlastnaturals.com for more information about Menopause.  You can also follow At Last Naturals on Twitter or Facebook,   Twitter.com/atlastnaturals, Facebook.com/#!/AtLastNaturals

new_mom808
by on Jun. 15, 2010 at 2:49 PM

 

Quoting ArmyMom2oneboy:

I was just discussing this with a good friend of mine. She had pulled up a study in which several post-menopausal women were given a pill to be able to nurse their grandchildren in a third world country after the mothers to the babies had died. All of them successfully nursed the grandbabies. The pill, was a placebo!

 That's incredible!! The human body/mind is amazing.

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