Estrogen cream and breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-22-2007, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Not sure if this is the right place to post this....I'm breastfeeding my twins, which has been very challenging. Well, I had my 6 week check-up yesterday and was told that I have incomplete healing of my perineum. To speed up healing, the doctor prescribed an estrogen cream and said it's fine to use while breastfeeding. It's just a topical cream to apply nightly (a small amount). I'm concerned that this could affect my milk supply. Does anyone know anything about this? I've already had supply issues and am taking fenugreek. He said that I could return in a month and, if things still weren't normal, he may have to do some kind of minor surgery to "fix" it. I'm worried about using the cream, but DO NOT want to be cut and stitched again either!! Please help!

Even with using the cream, is there something else I can do/take to speed healing? Thanks so much.
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#2 of 12 Old 06-22-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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I'm glad you posted here because when I posted this about a year ago no one seemed to know anything - but I did a ton of research and now I can help you!

So, my situation was like yours - went for my 6 week checkup and my Dr was not satisfied with the progression of healing. As for the nitty gritty, I had a 3rd degree tear and a blood blister, it required um, extensive, repair. So at the 6 week appt Dr prescribed Premarin (conjugated estrogen) w/ .625 mg per gram. I used 1 gram, I think, intravaginally for a week. After that week I was having some extreme breast pain (which I later found out was thrush, ah, the days of being naive) and called in because I thought it was a side effect of the estrogen, the nurse told me it was fine to quit using it. When I went back at 8 weeks the Dr was happy with how I was doing and told me to use it as needed. Haven't used it since. Good thing I have good insurance.

As for the hormones, based on the research I did I was not too concerned about supply. And after using it my supply was not noticibly effected. Although they are synthenic hormones they are similar to what your body would naturally produce. I can't imagine I wasn't producing at least that much estrogen when I started my periods again at 3 months pp. Yes, some of those hormones can pass to your babies, in my opinon that is negligble.

The unfortunate thing is that I could not find another Dr, a nurse, a pharmacist, no one, who knew anything about this. Because this product is usually prescribed for perimenepausal and menepausal women all the information deals with that client base.

As for other ideas for healing - keep using your peri bottle, sitz baths, maybe some ky lube. The idea is to keep the area moist so it can heal. Wear loose cotton underwear.

And now for an unsolicited point - sounds like your doctor may have made an error in your surgery. I don't know the details of how or why healing correctly might not occur. It seems to me that it is one thing to have not progressed to a satisfactory level, yet another to have to go back and fix something. Perhaps a second opinion is in order? Just a thought.

I will check back if you have questions or you can PM me.

And I can't believe I forgot to say - congrats on the twins!
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#3 of 12 Old 06-23-2007, 12:48 AM
 
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Hi...I don't have any personal experiance with an estrogen cream but I have listened to many women discuss it in the mothering group I attend. The group is an early weeks parenting group that is mediated by an RN...she really is very knowledgable. Anyway, she has said many times that the quickest way to dry up your milk is to take use an estrogen cream. Apparently, she has seen that women who are prescribed it for vaginal dryness after birth experiance supply issues almost immediately. I wonder if there might be an alternative solution....

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#4 of 12 Old 06-23-2007, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your replies...Gavin'smom, were those women using the cream intravaginally? Like a suppository? My doctor just wants me to use a very small amount topically.

My OB prescribed Estrace. The area hardly bothers me anymore. I had a 2nd degree tear (had a 3rd degree one with my other DD), and it was a different doctor who delivered. I may have done too much too soon and caused my stitches to rip? I guess I thought moistness in that area would slow healing...but it helps to keep it moist?
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#5 of 12 Old 06-23-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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I remembered after I posted that I had a friend who also used a cream, I didn't find out until long after I had used it. She didn't have problems either and breastfed her son until 15 months.

It was my understanding that my doctor wanted me to keep the area moist. She said I was so dry that it was kind of chafing (I'm sorry, I can't rememeber her exact words) instead of just smoothy rubbing during regular activity. Maybe call your Dr's nurse line and ask?
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#6 of 12 Old 06-23-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raneysmama View Post
Thanks for your replies...Gavin'smom, were those women using the cream intravaginally? Like a suppository? My doctor just wants me to use a very small amount topically.

My OB prescribed Estrace. The area hardly bothers me anymore. I had a 2nd degree tear (had a 3rd degree one with my other DD), and it was a different doctor who delivered. I may have done too much too soon and caused my stitches to rip? I guess I thought moistness in that area would slow healing...but it helps to keep it moist?
Honestly, I'm not sure.....I know one woman that was going to use it to repair a tear after birth, but she ended up deciding not to. She had breast reduction surgery, so she was already having supply issues and didn't want to risk any problems.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#7 of 12 Old 06-24-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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I am using a bioidentical Estrogen cream for PPD and Estrogen Dominance nightly and have not had a problem with my supply because of it. I too have to take Fenugreek though becuase I also have low thyroid function which can l;ead to low milk supply.
All this to say, it should be fine and you need not worry about it.
Sorry for your situation and hope you heal quickly!
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#8 of 12 Old 06-29-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Thank you so much for this message!

I too was just prescribed estrogen cream, for soreness at the episiotomy site. My ds is 3 months old, and I still haven't been able to have sex because of the discomfort.

On the label it says not to bf while using the cream. My doc Rx'd 1/3 of an applicator intravaginally, but that's not even where I'm sore, it's more on the perinium, so I thought I'd use the cream topically, but now I'm not sure.

Anyone else have any thoughts/experience?

Thank you!!!
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#9 of 12 Old 06-29-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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My immediate thought is that if you have sons (OP - yours are girls, so you're ok), that you make sure to wash your hands VERY WELL after you apply it. Be sure that none of the cream has contact with your sons skin in any way. This is a standard precaution with progesterone cream, so I think it would apply similarly with estrogen.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#10 of 12 Old 06-29-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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ASusan - why is that? What dangers does the cream post for sons?

Thanks!
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#11 of 12 Old 06-29-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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I hope that Asusan will get back to us but I think that the danger would be that males have only very low levels of estrogen, so this would be something they would otherwise not be exposed to. The absorbtion through the skin would be faster than otherwise.

However, my thought is that my son is already exposed to estrogen as he is to all my hormones through my breastmilk. Like I said, I'm no expert, but I did not find these very small doses of estrogen to be a problem or concern after I researched further.
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#12 of 12 Old 07-09-2007, 10:29 PM
 
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Found this and thought I would share.

http://66.230.33.248/discus/messages...tml?1158698573
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