IUD’s and Milk Supply

Cross cradleAbout 6 weeks to 2 months postpartum, your health care provider will bring up the subject of birth control. Even though sex may be the farthest thing from your mind! Your doctor has your mental and physical health in mind when he talks to you about a birth control method. It can be devastating emotionally and physically to get pregnant again before you are ready.

There are many birth control methods that are compatible with breastfeeding and have absolutely zero risk of harming milk production. Condoms and other barrier methods are safe and effective when used appropriately. But these methods are considered “risky” to many doctors because they rely on patient compliance and errors can occur. More and more doctors, therefore, are encouraging new mothers to use an IUD for birth control.

There is a relatively new IUD on the market, that definitely can create problems for breastfeeding individuals. It’s called Mirena. The Mirena IUD releases small amounts of synthetic progesterone over time. Progesterone is the hormone that keeps you from lactating during pregnancy. It follows that progesterone, even a small amount, could cause a reduction in milk supply for a breastfeeding mother. Continue reading

Claire’s Breastfeeding Story

 

Baby and mom breastfeeding with IGT

Claire contacted me when her baby was 5 weeks old. Her first week of breastfeeding resulted in cracked, bleeding nipples and a bacterial infection. Her nipples were so sore, she had to stop breastfeeding. She did, however, pump regularly to preserve her milk supply. Breastfeeding was important to Claire. She had fond memories of nursing her first daughter. She desperately wanted to nurse this new baby as well; but was afraid to try again.

Claire told me her story and asked for help to breastfeed her newborn daughter without pain. She was concerned that, after 4 weeks of bottle-feeding, her baby may not want to breastfeed. She was also concerned about her milk supply—she was not able to “keep up” with her baby—needing to supplement with some formula each day.
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