IVF while breastfeeding? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-30-2009, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone!

I am currently nursing my 22 month old. I am on my 9th PP menstrual and my husband and I would like to have another baby. Will was conceived with an IVF/ICSI cycle due to severe MFI. I have no plans for weaning my son anytime soon.

Does anyone have any links to articles about breastfeeding while undergoing an IVF cycle? I'd like to be prepared with some literature before I make an appointment with the RE.

Anyone here undergo an IVF cycle while nursing?

Thanks!

Karen
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#2 of 21 Old 07-30-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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Although I am neither bf-ing or at the stage of IVF I remember seeing a thread with the exact same topic just a few months back.... I wonder if it will come up for you if you search the forum? Good luck with your journey to #2

Jen knit.gif crafty mama LLLactivist to DS1 (2010)bouncy.gif and DS2 (2012)blahblah.giffamilybed2.gif nursex2.gifribbonjigsaw.gif
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#3 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 12:43 AM
 
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Karen,
we are in the same situation with DS about 23 months.

We have MFI and DS through IVF/ICSI/FET and I would really like to do another FET, but our RE requires DS to be weaned and he has no interest in that-though we are done to three times a day.

The reaserch is inconclusive. I really think we would be ok still nursing, but since an IVF or FET is so expensive and I don't think I could go through another IVF cycle since I had OHSS with my first one that we want to maximize our chance for success.

I think most RE's want three months weaned, but for some reason on a call to a nurse, she suggested 6 months, which for us is too long to wait

But, there are a bunch of threads on this board dealing with this topic and I would love to keep in touch since i do feel so lonely in this dilemna. I wish there was an easier way

I still need to do the prolactin test.
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#4 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 10:49 AM
 
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I do remember a thread about this. If we can find it, some of the posters returned to say if they were successful or not, I believe. That would be interesting to see - a bit of a result poll.

My RE requires only 1 month after weaning to begin a FET, Susan. 6 months is a horribly long time to wait!

Karen, I wish I could continue BF while cycling, but have high prolactin even while not nursing, so it's not an option for me. Hope you find the info you're looking for.

Once again, Chesapeake me!
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#5 of 21 Old 08-02-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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i conceived twins while doing a frozen transfer while breastfeeding my 25month old once a day. I didn't tell the RE that I was nursing which may not have been kosher. It was an unmedicated cycle so I wasn't overly concerned. My son weaned shortly after I conceived though. He wasn't going to wean on my timetable and we wanted to try again. The RE at our consultation wanted us to wait until I was through because of the probability of success -- didn't seem to matter and I was willing to take the risk of failure. It wasn't a medicated, fresh cycle though.

Good luck!
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#6 of 21 Old 08-02-2009, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry it took me so long to get back here.

Jelinifer - I did find that old thread. Thanks for pointing me in that direction though. It was very informative!

Susan13 - DS was conceived through IVF/ICSI for MFI as well. Unfortunately, we didn't have any embryos make it to the freezing stage, so FET is not an option this time.

Goldfinches - I've never had my prolactin levels checked. I'm sure that will be discussed at our consultation.

Jasper28 - Thanks for sharing your success story! I go back and forth between being completely honest with the RE and taking a "don't ask, don't tell" approach. I ordered a copy of Hale's 2008 book which should arrive tomorrow. I'm going to look up all the drugs that I took during my first two cylces while trying to conceive DS as well as any other drugs that I have heard of others using.

Thanks again for all the replies!
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#7 of 21 Old 08-02-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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It's not really important how much time has passed since you weaned, it is what your hormone levels are (prolactin and ?). If you are down to a couple of times a day nursing, your levels might already be fine. Also, they have not tested IVF/FET drugs enough to know that they are safe while nursing, so they are covering their butts.

Good luck, I know from experience what a hard hard decision this is.

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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#8 of 21 Old 08-07-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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Hi - I'm sure I posted in that thread you found, but just in case.

We decided to try IVF/ICSI while DD was nursing at the age of 2.5. I night-weaned her before the cycle, and I was working FT, so she nursed morning and evenings and weekends.

I researched the drugs through Hale (he has some stuff on his forums about them) and because the drugs are not readily bioavailable, with an older baby who is not nursing much, he doesn't see the drugs as particularly problematic. He does state that milk production will probably be affected, and I did notice that. My RE had told us to wean, and I did NOT tell him I was still nursing.

Both cycles last year were negative. The first, I was quite sick (got a stomach bug and then the flu) during the cycle, and then after a good crop of eggs, and a decision for a Day 5 transfer, none of the embryos made it to Day 5. The second cycle was just plain negative.

I could feel my uterus contracting when DD nursed, and I don't know whether that affected anything, or whether it was just plain bad luck. After all, IVF isn't necessarily successful anyway.

This year, after DD weaned completely, we tried another cycle, and it was successful. Again, who knows whether nursing had anything to do with it or whether it was just coincidence. Certainly many mothers get pregnant while nursing - but perhaps if you're borderline anyway (I need very high doses of drugs in order to respond) the nursing can make a difference to hormone level.

It's a bit of a crapshoot. I can't say I regret trying while nursing, although our line of credit does

Perdita - newly SAHM to DD July/05 & DS Feb/10 joy.gif
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#9 of 21 Old 08-16-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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I'm heading this direction myself, so I'll be interested to see what happens in your case. We also did IVF w/ICSI due to MFI, and DS is currently 19 months. We are waiting until he turns 2 to start the next cycle, and I am assuming he'll only be nursing a couple of times a day by then. I will be reluctant to wean because I really believe in the value of extended nursing, but I've also always wanted to tandem nurse.

My periods returned 3 months PP and I have been ovulating regularly every month. From what I've read they're more concerned about the prolactin interfering with egg production, rather than nursing interfering with implantation. Many women (including my sister) get pregnant while nursing, so I keep thinking in our case it shouldn't be a big deal, but maybe I'm being naive, LOL.

Someone in our LLL group suggested we wait until the ET and then tell DS (who'll be more than 2 years) that he can't nurse for a few days, and then go back to nursing later. I have no idea if that will work. I know the RE will tell us to wean, and I can't imagine doing it before DS is ready. :-(
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#10 of 21 Old 10-30-2009, 03:10 PM
 
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My RE requires that I have two periods in a row before I can do an FET.

My son is now 5 mo old and I am heartbroken to have to think about weaning him. I had planned to do it when he was 6-7 mo old because I have no time to waste in planning for baby #2. I have been freezing a supply of b'milk in the hopes to extend his time on it.

I am in a rush because I turn 44 in Dec and the sands in my hour glass are running out. I am panicked that we only have 3 frozen embryos from our successful IVF in Sept 08 and what happens if none of them work out. Will I be too old for another fresh IVF cycle? Can we even afford another IVF? Lots of questions...

I fear that it could take many months before AF returns after weaning and it scares me to think of all those months ticking by.

If I night wean, does that up the odds of AF coming back or do I really need to be completely weaned? Plus, if I night wean, do I have to start dipping into my frozen supply of b'milk or would I have to use formula? I suppose he would be better off with BM, even if I can't get another 6 mo out of my frozen supply.


Linda
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#11 of 21 Old 10-09-2010, 01:45 AM
 
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For info on breastfeeding during IVF check out Jeany Elliott speaking at
Recorded at Hot Milk, the Australian Breastfeeding Association's National Conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre, August 2-4th 2007
Saturday 4th August 2007 1:45pm
45:18mins 10.7 MB

http://mumsright.libsyn.com/index.ph...&post_month=11
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#12 of 21 Old 11-29-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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thanks for the great podcast Bostonbiologist! I really appreciated this info and I am going to email the link to our fertility clinic in the hopes they will be open to this when we return for additional attempts with FET/IVF.


married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#13 of 21 Old 04-14-2011, 05:38 AM
 
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Thanks so much for this awesome pod cast! I got told today at my first IVF apt that I should wean my son before coming back to commence IVF - and this has inspired me to try not to!!!

 

Thank you.

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#14 of 21 Old 04-14-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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Cinnamon3, any thoughts on how you're planning on going about this? will you tell them that you are still bf'ing or just keep it to yourself? Are you still nursing often in the run of a day? we're hoping to do a FET cycle in the next 6 months and I would love to keep bf'ing. I feel I would have to decrease the number of feeds from where we are right now, just to be able to time meds and feeds better. I'm still not sure what we'll do...I think I need to see how much he's nursing when we get to that point and see how realistic it is. I would hate to lose that bf'ing relationship and put my son through an early wean and the cycle not be successful...


married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#15 of 21 Old 08-06-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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I am in the same place as you, but these are old posts. What happened?  My dr wants me to wean completely but I am 40 and still nursing my 2 year old.  He will not stop nursing!  He really enjoys it and I am not sure if I want to sacrifice this precious time, but really want to try ivf again. 

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#16 of 21 Old 08-08-2013, 09:20 AM
 
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Hi Joy, I did end up weaning before our FET. It was tough as I would have preferred to keep nursing. My des weaned at 20 months. He would have kept going too, but he accepted my nudges to wean quite well. I used dr Jay Gordon's night weaning method for our overall weaning...weaned the night feeds first, then the bedtime nurse a month later and his morning nurse another month later. I appreciated having a strategy for how I would do it, that it was gentle. I needed some sort of plan so I could do it and not back out and make excuses. I the end the FEt wasn't successful. Us we did a fresh cycle a few months later and we have a second son now. I'm glad in the end that I did wean when I did. I was even ok after the bfn from the FET. Mind you, my second wont have to wean on a schedule and I'm guessing he will nurse longer than my first. We won't be trying again.
I hope that's helpful. I know the thought of weaning can be rough. But it's doable and believe me, it was harder on me than my son. In the end. I decided not to expose my son to the meds. Good luck!

married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#17 of 21 Old 08-08-2013, 12:12 PM
 
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Thank you so much for your reply.  I read Jay Gordon's advice also and tried several months ago, but now my son is 25 months old so maybe more receptive? He just really, really enjoys nursing. 
 

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#18 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 10:13 AM
 
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Hi,

 

I see this thread is older but am wondering if anyone has any updates on how things went BF and IVF/FET. I'm currently in my 2ww and have only breastfed my 12 month old 1-2 times per day. It is soooo hard to do, like last night when she wouldn't go back to sleep from 10pm-1am, I finally just caved. These treatments are so expensive and I want the best chances but weaning completely has been nearly impossible. Not to mention, my milk did not dry up like my RE said it would.

 

Thanks!

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#19 of 21 Old 01-28-2014, 12:27 PM
 
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Hi Stella!  I did end up weaning completely for my FET and it worked!  I have heard that it works if you don't wean too.  Especially since you are not breastfeeding.  Good luck! 

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#20 of 21 Old 01-29-2014, 01:53 PM
 
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Thanks Joy! I've really kept it to a minimum so I'm hoping that was enough. 5 excruciating days left before testing.

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#21 of 21 Old 02-03-2014, 05:52 PM
 
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It worked! I kept my breastfeeding to a bare minimum, just enough to keep the peace around our house (so 1-3 times a day) AND IT WORKED. We got our positive results in by blood test today. The numbers look great and I'm just in disbelief that it worked. I don't know why, it worked last time but it just seems too good to be true. Probably from years of infertility wearing me down.

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