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Doctor told me breastfeeding caused my miscarriage

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 



I mentioned this in an older post, but thought I'd start a new one so I could get more feedback. I've been breastfeeding my 2 year old (she turned two in July). I started getting my period last March. My luteal phase was too short to get pregnant, but I tried taking progesterone (emerita brand, I put some on a cotton ball and wipe it on my skin before bed) to lengthen my luteal phase. In July it didn't help, but in August, I got pregnant. I started bleeding when I thought I was 10 weeks along, and an ultrasound confirmed that I had a miscarriage (the baby was only 4 or 6 weeks in size, but I was sure about the conception date). My doctor told me that my progesterone level was too low (she measured it when I started bleeding) and that I better stop breastfeeding for 3 months before trying to get pregnant again, or my kids will be very far spaced apart in age. She also measured that my thyroid was low. I will go to a different doctor to a get a second opinion (do I need to wean? When can I try to get pregnant again? Can I try in a few weeks when I stop bleeding and ovulate? Do I need to take progesterone? Do I need to take thyroid medicine? Do i need to wait 3 months before trying to get pregnant? I don't want to wait because I am 32 and my husband is older and may have a low sperm count). Would love advice. thank you!! Right now I think that breastfeeding caused my miscarriage because it made me have too low of a progesterone level. but I read that this is just an old wives tale!

post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

oh, and i never stopped taking the progesterone, I put it on my skin every night before bed ever since I got pregnant, but maybe it wasn't enough.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

although I stopped taking it once I knew I was having a miscarriage, so now I am not taking it.

post #4 of 12
I was told the same thing after my first miscarriage, only by a LLL leader. I lost the baby at 10 weeks, only measuring 5 weeks by u/s and I had been nursing my 22 month old. I was also using the Emeritas progesterone cream applied to the skin twice daily.

I weaned my son, got (back) on thyroid medicine, and waited three months. I miscarried again anyway. It took two more pregnancies (one successful, the other my 3rd miscarriage) before they did the blood tests necessary to diagnose the actual condition that caused the miscarriages. It has nothing to do with progesterone, breastfeeding, my hypothyroidism, or any of a myriad of other things that were brought up (raw milk, well water, and on and on).

As far as the progesterone cream goes, from my research it is not really adequate for the needs of TTC and pregnancy. It is meant for women going through menopause. The dosage can vary from application to application and applying to the skin is not as efficient as vaginal use. Prescription progesterones like Prometrium and Crinone are bioidentical and you can be sure the dosage is consistent every time. All the cream can really do is help your body to hold onto the pregnancy, resulting in a missed miscarriage. I have also read that progesterone is most efficient when used as soon as ovulation is confirmed (so about 10 days before you even find out you're pregnant).

If you did not have a D&C, you can TTC again whenever you are ready. If you had a D&C, you need to wait a couple of cycles to let the uterine lining get back to normal.

I hope that helps a little. I am very sorry for your loss and hope you are able to conceive again quickly with a sticky baby.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I did not get a D&C so that's great to hear that we can try to get pregnant again right away! I started bleeding wed, oct 16 and by the saturday a few days later, I felt like I was in labor, the cramps were so bad. I just had a lot of bleeding/black jelly coming out. The next Thursday I went to the doctor and she took some tissue out (not a D&C, but just used a tool to grab some tissues that was dangling outside of my cervix). I asked her if it would hurt, and she said "it didn't matter, it was coming out either way"----WHAT the heck, what a terrible doctor!

post #6 of 12

I can't really speak to what happened with your body and baby, but the general idea that you can't breastfeed and carry a pregnancy is false. Many moms nurse through pregnancy and then tandem nurse both children. I have done that several times. I have only miscarried once while breastfeeding and then I went on to carry another child to term while still nursing through the first trimester.

post #7 of 12
I'm so sorry about your baby:-( I have nursed through two pregnancies and haven't had a miscarriage. If it's causing you anxiety, however , it may be time to wean.
post #8 of 12
My LP was short and I was TTC for 5 months while bfing then I took Vitex and got pregnant right away.
post #9 of 12

Your doctor should never have said that to you.  I had the same thing happen to me years ago with my first miscarrage.  When my doctor wanted to go in and grab the tissue, I asked if it would hurt.  He said no, but if it did, they would take me to the hospital and do it in the OR as a D&C.  My doctor was so wonderful during that time period.  His and his staff's compassion still touches my heart.  I am so sorry you are going through this. 

post #10 of 12
Your doc does not sound very knowledgable. It is very presumptuous of her to claim she knows what caused your miscarriage. The truth is, many pregnancies never get past the very early stage, and no one really knows why. It is not because you are breast feeding. I know many people who have nursed through pregnancies and had healthy babies. I know many who weren't nursing who had miscarriages. I myself have been in both situations.

I'm sorry for your loss. If I were you I would be looking for another doctor. Hugs!!
post #11 of 12

I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks pregnant.  The ultrasound at 5 wks 6 days showed only the sac, and when I started spotting at 7 weeks the ultrasound still showed a measurement of around 5 weeks with only a sac.


At the time my daughter was night weaned but nursing 6 times during the day (about every 2 hours).  Before I had gotten pregnant I was having a short luteal phase but I didn't know much about it or that it could cause problems with pregnancies.


After my miscarriage I weaned my daughter down to nursing 3 times a day, and got pregnant the next cycle (I had one period in between my miscarriage and the new pregnancy). I had a healthy baby boy and nursed my daughter the entire pregnancy about 1 or 2 times a day, then tandem nursed for a year before my oldest weaned at age 3.


This time around I was still nursing my 2 year old once a day, but my cycles were short and I couldn't figure out if it was impacting my luteal phase.  I took Vitex for 3 months before conceiving in hopes of lengthening my cycle before we TTC, but it never lengthened it.  However I got pregnant right away, am still on Vitex and B6, and baby had a strong heartbeat measuring on target at 7 wks 1 day.


I do think there is a correlation between frequent nursing and lower progesterone resulting in a shorter luteal phase, but I will never know if that is what caused my miscarriage.  I will always be cautious about progesterone and my luteal phase in the future, just like this time.  I had progesterone measured at 5 weeks just to check and it was normal.


Maybe cutting some feedings and adding Vitex and B6 to your regimen will help ease your mind before TTC again?

post #12 of 12

Most miscarriages are caused by a chromosomal defect. Do not blame yourself for this. 

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