Used Prometrium to maintain pregnancy now I have extremely low milk supply. Anyone else??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-04-2012, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 5 1/2 month old DD. After experiencing two miscarriages & no live births my doctor put me on 200mg prometrium suppositories to hold onto my 3rd pregnancy when my levels went from 21 to 14.9 during week 4 of the pregnancy.

 

Prior to this pregnancy, my progesterone levels had never been checked so I cannot say for sure if that is why I lost the first two pregnancies... though I suspect my progesterone levels may have had something to do with the losses.

 

I was on the suppositories from week 5-week 10 and gave birth to my DD at week 41 & 1 day. Aside from needing the progesterone, I had an uncomplicated healthy pregnancy.

 

Breastfeeding has been a completely different story. I never felt my milk "come in", never got engorged, don't feel a letdown. I was diagnosed by two IBCLC's as having IGT. My breasts don't fit the physical characteristics of IGT so I don't think that an LC could have diagnosed me pre-pregnancy. It wasn't until I had milk supply issues that a problem would have been suspected. I make maybe 1-2 ounces total per day.

 

So... my question to all of you is: If you took progesterone early in pregnancy (due to levels being low) did you also experience low milk supply issues? How long did you stay on progesterone? Were you on injections, suppositories, oral or cream?

 

 


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Old 01-04-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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I used prometrium in early pregnancy and had no trouble with lactation. Oral for about the same length of time as you. I had had trouble conceiving but not because of miscarriages

 

However, progesterone is part of the protocol for adoptive breastfeeding so unless there is something particular about your endocrine system I'm not sure there would be a connection. 

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:24 PM
 
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I didn't use Prometrium but I do have low supply and am pretty sure I have low progesterone as well.  I had one early miscarriage and have many of the symptoms of low progesterone.  Since progesterone is one of the hormones that is responsible for the development of the alveoli (milk making) glands during pregnancy, I wouldn't think that Prometrium would cause low supply, but you do bring up something I've been wondering about.

Since I'm pretty sure low progesterone is a contributing factor to my low supply, I was wondering if it could be possible to have enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy, but not enough to build milk-making tissue?  So maybe more progesterone might help?  There is also a relationship between progesterone and cortisol, and I've read that cortisol helps with pregnancy related breast growth, so if this is low, that might also be also be a problem.

 

I'm also wondering if taking progesterone before one gets pregnant might help with achieving the hormonal balance one needs for proper breast development during pregnancy? 

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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There's a little bit of info about progesterone treatment for low supply in "The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk." It's anecdotal but talks IIRC about women developing more glandular tissue by taking progesterone during pregnancy.

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Old 01-05-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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Thanks, Megan.  I did read that story in the Making More Milk book as well as the abstract of this study, which maybe is referring to the same thing.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10776184

 

I think in some cases progesterone can help with building more milk tissue when used in early pregnancy, but I'm wondering if balancing progesterone levels so that one has balanced levels for several cycles before becoming pregnant might be useful as well, especially if levels have been low for some time.

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stgertrude View Post

I wouldn't think that Prometrium would cause low supply, but you do bring up something I've been wondering about.

Since I'm pretty sure low progesterone is a contributing factor to my low supply, I was wondering if it could be possible to have enough progesterone to sustain a pregnancy, but not enough to build milk-making tissue?  So maybe more progesterone might help?  There is also a relationship between progesterone and cortisol, and I've read that cortisol helps with pregnancy related breast growth, so if this is low, that might also be also be a problem.

 

I'm also wondering if taking progesterone before one gets pregnant might help with achieving the hormonal balance one needs for proper breast development during pregnancy? 

I don't think Prometrium was the cause of my low supply, if anything it probably helped give me the minimal supply that I have.

 

I haven't heard about a relationship between progesterone & cortisol..
 

 


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Old 03-14-2013, 11:39 PM
 
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It's been forever since I've logged on here, but wanted to follow up again about what I've learned about the relationship between progesterone (which helps with the development of milk making cells during pregnancy) and cortisol.  From what I've read and discussed with a homeopathic doctor, progesterone and cortisol compete for the same receptor cells in the breast.  I'm not clear on all the scientific details, but from what I've gathered, cortisol (a stress hormone) can be both good and bad in terms of breast development.  One needs cortisol to avoid adrenal exhaustion, yet if levels are chronically elevated, they can rob the progesterone receptors from getting the messages they need to work properly.  That is my limited understanding, anyway. :)  In my case, I believe that chronic anxiety (which I've suffered with for years) has made it so my cortisol/progesterone balance is all out of whack - affecting my breast development possibly before and especially during pregnancy.  I've come to realize that us low-supply mommies have so many different stories and puzzles to solve, and that's the closest I've come to solving my own. :(
 

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:46 AM
 
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It could simply be that both the low progesterone and low supply are symptoms of a hormones imbalance and/or thyroid problem.

I take Vitex for balance and it is very bf-friendly.
I had one miscarriage because of low progesterone, a subsequent pregnancy with live birth that I supplemented with NCP thrum week 17, and no supply issues at all.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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You don't mention what type of pump you are using, but definitely use a hospital grade dual electric pump. Pump every 2 hours for 15 minutes at a time and every 3 hours overnight and just keep up the schedule. I know I have had to work very hard at this to bring up my milk supply. If baby latches on and breastfeeds this will help your milk supply a lot. It might take a few weeks of doing this to see an improvement.

 

Have you asked the lactation consultant about using herbs to increase supply? There is a tea for nursing moms called Breastea (do a google search for it), and it has increased my milk supply over time by several ounces. You want to drink it daily. With the health conditions you mention though I would ask a lactation consultant or doctor if herbs are safe for you first. Hope that helps!
 

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