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Ep. 150- Conceiving While Breastfeeding: Let’s talk Infertility Treatments

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*We apologize for any typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar. Our transcript is auto-generated by software that’s trying its best, just like all of us.*


Welcome to the Milk Minute Podcast everybody. Hey, quick content warning upfront. This is mostly gonna be about infertility, fertility treatments, things like that. So if that’s not an episode you can listen to right now, go ahead and catch us next week.

What’s been going on with you? My boobs hurt right now. Oh, no. Well, so I, I haven’t breastfed Lyra since last night. Yeah, since bedtime last night. I usually feed her in the morning before I go to work, but she wasn’t awake and I was like, fuck it. Yeah. And then came to work and now it’s like three 303:30and I’m like. Do you need me to help you out?

I think I’m gonna do nothing about it because, because that’s usually what I do. She’s 20 months, she’s 22 months. Oh my. I think if my math is mouthing and I’m, it’s gonna, it’s not like I’m gonna dry up if I don’t pump right now. But the thing is, I know if I pump, I’m gonna get like half an ounce of milk and it will feel better, but I’ll just be like, seriously, I pumped for like 15 minutes to get that like, That wasn’t worth my life.

And also like, sometimes I’m just like, don’t do what you’re supposed to and it’s fine. Yeah. Well, you don’t conform and you never have. Good for you. I’m proud of you. So representing all the lazy breastfeeders and pumpers out there. Here I am. Yeah. Don’t try too hard, guys. Don’t. Because when you try too hard as a parent, it’s gonna blow up in your face case in.

Yesterday I was trying to get work done to prepare for today, which has been on the calendar for a month, and I encouraged strongly my husband to take my daughter Heidi, to the movies. She’s four, and I was like, go ahead, have a father-daughter day. It’s gonna be so fun. You know, I tried to build it up. I showed him how to purchase tickets on Fandango with a gift card cuz he didn’t know how to do that.

Yeah. Why? And you know, I made it extremely easy and so they leave and I’m like just about to get into work and they come back and I’m like, what is happening? And she has vomited all over herself. Oh no. They got set up at the movies. She got a slushy, she got popcorn, she had half a slush and then just vomited the whole thing all over herself.

Yeah, probably cuz she doesn’t. That very often. You know, we don’t eat terribly unhealthy. Right. We’re not like super crunchy, nutty. But yeah, she, her little body was like, Nope. And so then I had to give her a bath and you know, it ended up backfiring big time is what I’m saying. So, yeah, just it’s the regular old Mondays that you find the joy in the small moments.

Don’t try to make a big deal about it, and if you need to work, go somewhere else because you can’t get anything done at your own home. Yeah, absolutely. That’s the moral of that. Motherhood is really just juggling body fluids that don’t belong to you. Then that, and that’s that. When people ask me, should I have a baby?

I’m like, how do you feel about poop, pee and vomit. Yeah. And it’s not an ear wax and blood . Yeah. And hopefully not semen. Hopefully that’s something we don’t have to deal with. But I mean, maybe you’ve already dealt with that . That’s why you’re asking. Oh god. Okay. Well, yeah, so speaking of semen. Today, gosh, that was a good segue.

That was really stunning. It was. Yeah, so speaking of semen, today we are talking about making babies while breastfeeding, not while breastfeeding. I mean, while do you, while you’re lactating, . Yes. You know, many of us actually need to plan for a next baby because of medical reasons, age, busy jobs, or hell even pending vacations to Paris that have already been booked.

This is real. Okay? Those tickets to Europe are not cheap. I believe you cuz I can’t afford them. . . So we can’t always control conception. We know that, but there are often better times than others to get pregnant. Mm-hmm. And we can begin trying to tamper with the system a bit to get the results we want.

Sure. Can, you may have heard from your ob gyn or your friends that you won’t be able to get pregnant if you’re still breastfeeding. And that’s not necessarily a hundred percent true, but the two hormonal systems are intertwined within the body. So today we’re gonna talk about conceiving while breastfeeding, as well as times you might actually need to stop breastfeeding to conceive.

Absolutely. And before we dive into the meat of this episode, I’m gonna remind you that we both do private consultations. We both do them in person and virtually, and we’re both really happy to help a listener. So links for that are in the show notes. Maureen is located in Elkins, West Virginia, and I am in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Yes, we live in West Virginia, which still surprises people. It’s great. I love it. And let’s thank a patron. Right. Two patrons. Yeah. Oh, I love it. Well, I’m gonna thank Lauren R, who’s a milk mate, and I’m so happy she’s with us. Who else are we thinking today? We’re also gonna thank Hannah Tittle Baum. I’d say that’s a good guess.

I’m sorry if that’s not your name. Hannah. Hannah. T And she paid with the pound, so across the pond. She’s from across the pond. Hannah. Thank you. Thank you both for being part of our Patreon. We deeply appreciate all of your contributions, and you guys are a big part of how we make this happen. Let’s take a quick break and when we get back, we have a question from a listener who wrote us an email.


Have you guys ever been listening to our show and thought to yourself, man, I really wanna work one-on-one with. I do every day that I sit here, podcasting across from you. Well lucky for you and everybody at home. I offer both in-person and virtual support through my business and in my business. High Lamb birth support, I’m dedicated to mentoring you guys.

Through your childbearing year. So that could start with fertility all the way through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum. I offer home birth, midwifery services, doula services, lactation support, herbal support, anything you guys need. You even do miscarriage support. Absolutely. I do. That’s one of the biggest things that is so hard to find, and I think that your people that are local to you are so incredibly lucky to have this service.

Thank you. And I just feel really happy to serve everybody and I’m so happy I can expand my services virtually as well. Yeah, telehealth for lactation has been really important through the pandemic, and I think we just about got it perfected at this point. So if you guys wanna work with me, head over to highland birth and check out what I can offer.

That’s H I G H L A N D, birth

Welcome back, everybody. I love it when our people email us. Yes, it brings me joy. Do you know what’s typically in my inbox? It’s just a bunch of like insurance. This mm-hmm. and blah. Manage your subscription. Yeah. Manage your stuff. You definitely shouldn’t have signed it for. , but then every once in a while we get a little gem like this.

Can I read it to you, please? I would love to hear it. Hi Heather and Maureen. I want to start by thanking you for the resources and community you have built via your podcast and Facebook group. I listened to a lot of episodes of the podcast while I was pregnant in 2021, and they definitely helped me set realistic expectations for my lactation journey so that I didn’t give.

I also regularly read and sometimes even searched the Facebook group. My baby was born December of 2021 and we struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning with the help of a local I B C L C and everything I learned from the Milk Minute, I was able to eventually get my baby to latch. I’m still nursing and hoping to be able to continue to do so for some time, which brings me to my topic request.

Mm. We’d like to give our newly one year old a sibling. What a gift. Yes, but I’m feeling a little lost about conceiving while breastfeeding. I’ve done some research and searched the topic in the Facebook group but would love an episode about ovulating and conceiving while breastfeeding. I have a lot of questions that I haven’t been able to find answers to yet.

You two being midwives and lactation consultants bring better, more complete information to the subject than what I’m currently finding that focuses on either one part or the other, but not. . My husband and I are planners , so That’s so cute. Yeah, so we prefer, that’s their thing. . I love that. So we prefer to track ovulation instead of just indefinite trying until a pregnancy occurs, especially as my husband is about to enter into his busiest time of year at work.

Mm-hmm. , can a breastfeeding individual track an accurate LH search? I’ve been exclusively nursing our 12, almost 13 month old for almost 11 months now, along with the introduction of solids. At six months. My baby still doesn’t eat solids as well as I’d like, despite trying to put them first. Year old, she eats dinner well, but doesn’t do as well for breakfast or lunch.

She still nurses on demand during the night and between meals. I’ve tried to hold her off until I’ve attempted to give her solids first for meals. Could nursing her so frequently still cause a delay in ovulation at over a year postpartum? I still don’t have my period yet. I took the mini pill a couple days after her first birthday, so I know that can also take time to get my cycle back.

Will I be able to track my LH surge without a period? Would I be able to use a PDG test in parentheses, prove accurately while breastfeeding or without a period? Would you guys even recommend something like a PDG test at all? Does breastfeeding impact B B T tracking? Is there any particular method of tracking fertility that’s better when breastfeeding?

I feel it, girl. I feel it. Yes, she apologizes for all the questions and she apologizes if we’ve already done an episode on this topic, but she is really. interested in learning about how to conceive while breastfeeding so she can get pregnant again at some point this year. She says, again, thank you for all you do.

Sincerely, Jennica Beret. Thanks for that email Jennica, and, you know, since we, we usually pick a little short question for these to start off with, but this is a really nice email to start off with because I, I hope you guys know you’re not alone out there. If you’re struggling to conceive while breast.

and Jennica. I hope we can answer most of those questions in this episode today. I, I hope we get them. It’s a little bit complicated though, and you might leave this episode feeling like you need more information. That’s cool. Please email us, you know, we’ll see if we can help or use some of the resources that we point you to.

Yeah, absolutely. And I wanted to pick that long one just because she asked so many good questions. Yeah. She hits it all and it’s like such a classic story. Absolutely. Before we really get started, if you didn’t catch the last episode where we talk a lot about lactation, amenorrhea and birth control go check that out first.

Even if you want to conceive rather than control birth it lays a lot of the foundation for what we’re gonna talk about today as far as hormones and cycles and things like that and how breastfeeding affects that. And we’re gonna maybe skip over some of those details because we just did an episode.

Yeah. So if you’re trying to conceive while still breastfeeding and you haven’t had any luck, or maybe you had to use fertility treatments for your first pregnancy and you’re anticipating that you might need them again, you visit your ob gyn and their only suggestion is Ween . Now what? Now what?

Well, let me tell you, that’s not your only option, but I understand why they would say that. Because, . If you’re in a position where breastfeeding is causing ahea, right, no periods, then you might have to change something about your breastfeeding in order to get cycles and ovulation back. So I expect you to all be familiar with the lactation, a amenorrhea method now expert.

She’s pointing aggressively at you right now. I hope you feel it . So essentially, . My first steps when people come to me in this situation is we’re like trying to do the anti l a m, right? Anti lamb, still, still breastfeeding, but all the things that disqualify you from Amen. , everybody’s body’s different, right?

But this is a good place to start. That’s like really low impact and doesn’t require full weaning. You. , A lot of you guys try to conceive starting like at six months postpartum and then God bless you. You’re surprised at eight months and 12 months and 20 months when your period still hasn’t come back.

Yeah. A lot of people think they’re broken and they’re not broken. It’s sometimes just the messaging that we’re sending our bodies. Yeah, and sometimes your body might know something you don’t about yourself. Yeah, and my number one, Place to start. And this includes you, Jennica, up top . My question is, are you nursing at night?

And usually the answer is yes if you still haven’t gotten your period back. And night weaning is the most logical place to begin in my mind because it really changes what’s going on in your body, hormonal. and if we’re nursing babies over a year, sometimes it’s nice to like explore a boundary setting and get a little bit of your body back too.

So it’s kind of like a win-win. Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes it does help them to stay a little bit more focused during the day when they’re eating, if they are actually hungry when they wake up in the morning. Yeah. And if you guys remember. Breastfeeding at night is one of the key tenets of L A m, and it is one of the big things that tells your body, I have a little baby who needs lots of milk and we can’t have another baby yet.

So , it is a hard thing to do, but it is a nice like halfway step that does not involve fully weaning and can bring your period back really quickly. But it’s not your only option, right? Or it’s not the only thing you can do just at that time. You know? The next thing I often say is let’s, let’s get into like a data gathering stage.

Start with basal body temperature taking. Is it always accurate when you’re breastfeeding? No, but we’re never gonna know unless we do that. You might be ovulating without having your period. Mm-hmm. and we won’t know necessarily unless we’re testing, right? Mm-hmm. , unless we’re getting your basal body, unless we’re tracking cervical mucus.

You know, if you’re tracking those things and you’re like, oh. Does kind of look like I might be ovulating, then you can use some of those ovulation tests just to double check. Right. In which case, you know, you might be at a better starting point than you thought. Yeah. And your cervical mucus will look like egg whites whenever you’re ovulating.

And it’s usually just that 24 hour window that the egg is available and ripe to be fertilized. So if you see it mm-hmm. , if you see the egg whites and you don’t have time to get the test strips, just have sex and just hope for the best . Sure. Yeah. And, and. on the flip side, if we do this and you’re like, oh, I’m not ovulating at all, great.

That is good information to have because that’s gonna help us figure out what we need to do next. . Yeah, absolutely. Cuz then you know, by the time you get in with an infertility specialist, especially if you used fertility treatments the first time, you’ll be a shoo-in for fertility treatments the second time and you can gather all that data and bring it with you to the appointment.

You’ll get more bang for your buck. You could say, listen, I am not ovulating. I have been using the test strips. I have been doing my basal body temperature. It ain’t happening. What’s next? Okay, you’re not ovulating. Something’s going wrong. And it does look like you have to seek fertility treatment. We can do that.

Again, most fertility specialists are gonna ask if you’ve weaned and they’re going to want you to have weaned at least a month prior to beginning treatments. , and this is complicated. We don’t have a lot of data about this. Most of the drugs we’re gonna be using are probably safe. Some could affect milk supply.

Others are definitely dangerous. And so because of that, you do kind of get that blanket well, you just need to wean and make it easy. And you know, these treatments are not cheap and they are very time consuming. And as a provider, For fertility, you want good outcomes and you really want to have your numbers look really good , and so you don’t want anything like breastfeeding interfering with, you know, your time, your effort, your money, and their numbers.

So it makes sense for them to be like, just don’t do it. If there’s a chance that it could affect it, just get rid of it. But maybe that’s not working for you. Mm-hmm. , and that’s not a risk you’re willing to take. Yeah. And we wanna keep breastfeeding as part of the plan. And I do wanna preface this before we get into medications and all that by saying you’re not alone in wanting to go forward with this treatment without weaning.

And I don’t necessarily recommend this, but I have to say that a lot of people. do not tell their providers that they’re breastfeeding because many providers will not allow them to do IVF if they’re breastfeeding. And I wish we could all be honest with our healthcare providers, . And I don’t know your situation.

I don’t know the doctors available to you. I’m gonna try in this episode to give you the best information we have available. We’re gonna give you extra resources, and I don’t wanna encourage withholding important information, but. Unfortunately, that’s a position a lot of people find themselves in, and I have had some patients who plan to do fertility treatments like ivf.

You know, they know that they’re getting out the big guns for the next pregnancy, so they will talk with me and plan with me. on how to get extra milk in the freezer. Mm-hmm. safely, you know, without hurting their bodies. Yeah. Or going into crazy oversupply to plan to get enough milk to make it to a year but let them ween at like eight months.

Sure. So they can start trying again if they’re timeframe. Yeah. Yeah. So that way you’re still providing breast milk, maybe it’s not at the breast, or maybe your baby is just doing some nonnutritive sucking once a day. But you know, every, there’s a happy medium to everything is what we’re saying. Well let’s take a quick break and thank a sponsor and then we’re gonna come back and look at some of the specific medications you might be considering and what the safety information is for them.

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Okay, so now we get into like the nitty gritty details, which I kind of geek out about. Oh my god. Drugs, , you know, so we’re gonna be looking at things like Clomid follicle stimulating hormone, aspirin, progesterone, blah, blah, blah. We’re getting into it. No, this is not every possible medication that you might be offer.

However, I did try to hit both. The most commonly used and a few that I know are definitely contraindicate. It is very hard to get this information. Looking at things like infant risk and LactMed is actually not enough because maybe we have absolutely no data. So I did have to go into places where there was like, Citizen data collection , you know, where people were just self-reporting in Facebook groups and on specific websites for this.

So I’m just prefacing it with that. We don’t have the kind of hard-hitting evidence for safety that we would like to have. However, there are many people who have safely taken these medications that we’re gonna talk about. Okay. Okay. Yeah. And I like the first one you’re starting with cuz I feel like it’s the most common.

Most common. Yeah. We’re starting with Clomid. Claine. It is just, it’s the one that you are given usually first if you’re not ovulating. Yeah. Clomid induces gonadotropin release, which causes the whole cascade that we talked about in the last episode. Yeah. And this medication is not, Really likely to enter your milk, but there is some evidence of it reducing your milk supply.

And one of the issues with this medication is that it has a long halflife of several days, and the concern is that the exposure to the infant could be significant after that much time. And that’s really consistent with any medication that has a long halflife. We always will say, you. Lactate with caution with this medication.

So we have basically no study on how this affects infants, but we do have reports from many moms that they have safely taken it and noticed no adverse effects in their baby. Yeah, absolutely. And this is probably the most. Of that, like self collected data we had because it’s just the most commonly recommended, not just for I V F, for lots of fertility issues and that’s not one that you absolutely have to go to a fertility specialist mm-hmm.

to get. Mm-hmm. , that’s usually the first line. So you can actually do that as a certified nurse midwife. Yep. You can do that as an ob, B G Y N, obviously. So they’ll hit you with a little Clomid, see if they can’t pop out some eggs for you. Yeah. . Yeah. And it’s really. , if you’ve never done fertility treatments before, it’s not that scary.

The, the long half-life is really the big concern. And if you wanna be super duper cautious, you could plan to pump and use that milk for something else for a couple of days. But know that so far we don’t have reports of adverse effects for babies with that medication. Yeah, that’s good. It’s a good place to start.

Let’s go to progesterone next. This is typically used in I V F when we’re starting egg retrieval. It facilitates successful implantation and continuation of pregnancy. This medication, again, unlikely to enter milk, could have a negative effect on supply. You’re gonna see that theme over and over because we know pregnancy can often reduce supply.

Yeah, so like these are all pregnancy hormones, . This is commonly used in birth control. progesterone is what we recommend for birth control. When you’re breastfeeding, very, very low risk to your baby. Yeah, this is fine guys. Very low risk. And really it should not have that much of a, an effect on your supply.

No. Unless it’s a big dose, right. . Right, exactly. But yeah, just. The research does show us that progesterone should be totally fine. Yes. So this one should be good. So if you’re prepping for IVF and you’re not quite at the IVF stage yet, and you’re just doing the progesterone, you don’t necessarily have to ween yet.

You’re good. Okay. So next we have Mino Tropin. . Mm-hmm. . And this is basically follicle stimulating hormone and lutin hormone. Yes. And this is going to stimulate ovulation. So it’s the get up and go and the ejection button of that little egg to shoot it out of your ovary. And this medication is very unlikely to enter milk and is considered an L three.

as far as safety and lactation? Yeah, as far as infant risk goes, basically what they say is we don’t have any information, but it’s probably fine. It’s not likely to hurt baby. We do have lots of like individual reports from people who’ve undergone IVF while breastfeeding and they have not reported any adverse side effects in their babies, and we can basically say the same thing for FSH given on its own, which it often is.

The interesting thing. About FSH and LH is that they are super unstable in the digestive tract. So even if some of them do get into baby’s mouth and belly, they’re just gonna break down in that acid. They’re not gonna be absorbed as hormones and affect their body. Yeah, that’s really interesting. And we’re not injecting the baby.

No. You know, we still have that lactation filter on. Exactly. And that’s something we’re. Thing we always have to kind of translate in our heads and we’re like medications and milk and babies. We’re not injecting this straight into the bloodstream for baby. It’s in our bloodstream, and then it goes into their gut.

and that is a totally different like absorption rate and uptake and some of these medications just don’t survive the belly. It’s full of acid, , it’s gonna eat it. Exactly. So those do not survive in the B. Okay. Then we have aspirin, which it’s use in IVF is controversial, but it’s still. Commonly recommended.

Mm-hmm. . And this medication does enter milk in low doses, but it’s usually clinically insignificant. Right. There’s been some chatter about like risk of raise syndrome and babies, but it doesn’t really seem like there’s any data to actually back that up. No. They’re like, just in case we gave some aspirin to some kids back in the day directly, and it was bad.

It was really bad. Yeah. But at this point, like it actually. Kind of safety rating has gone is less severe now. It used to be a little bit higher when we were a little worried about that, but now it’s just a really low risk medication and if you take low doses, that’s considered safe. Yep. Infant risk has Aspir enlisted as an L two, which is low risk for lactation.

Mm-hmm. . Okay, next we have Buser, which is a GnRH agonist, and this medication is used to turn off ov a function when you move onto the next step in ivf so you don’t risk releasing mature eggs before they can be collected. Right? You like you, if you want the eggs to get big, big bacon. And then it’s like, hold up.

It’s a pregnant pause if you will. everybody. Hold onto your, It’s another L three with very little information, and we guess that it might affect milk supply, but anecdotally folks say that it hasn’t. Right? And these gonadotropin analogs are not absorbed orally, right? So again, risk for baby, extremely low because they are gonna be taking, if anything, from you, it’s orally.

It’s not like your baby daughter is breastfeeding, gets some of this GnRH agonist in her mouth, and then her eggs start holding. No, no, no. her. Her gut. Just gut destroys it. Eats it. Yeah. Which is lovely . Yeah, it’s great. I’m gonna take this next one. Cuz it’s not a medication but an herb. Commonly recommended.

And actually I’ve seen doctors recommend this. Whoa. Which is interesting. It’s Vitex. Vitex is made from chase tree berries. It’s a desert herb. And it is probably the most commonly recommended hormone in any case of something we might consider like female reproductive hormone imbalance. In very low doses, it actually increases serum prolactin and it’s been considered atago.

We know from study that this herb interacts with the pituitary gland, but we don’t have like the fullest scientific western understanding . A lot of people take this to get their period back. In any case of Amenia, and I’ve had some really successful. Cases of this for people experiencing amenorrhea for a number of reasons.

Is this a high nutrient herb as well? Like nettle? No, it’s actually not. We’re looking, we’re basically using these tiny little berries, so not like a big leafy green that are just like the kind of berry that if you taste it, you’d be like, Ooh, that is very intense. And this is not like food berry. This is medicine.

Okay. in high doses, we sometimes see it reducing milk supply because it contains, I’m gonna say terpenes, but di di panes, and they have a dopamine like effect and they can inhibit prolactin production. So you definitely wanna consider that if you’re taking a lot of Vitex now. We don’t have any adverse reports from infants whose breastfeeding mothers took this.

And again, like I said, it’s been used as a galata GOG for a very long time. Historically, I’m not super worried about the safety of this. It just, I think the problem with Vitex is because it sometimes works really well and it’s pretty low risk. We just throw it at every. , you know, we’re like, oh, you have a period problem or a fertility problem.

Take Vitex, have fun. It, it even sounds like a medication. It does. And I don’t think we should be using it that way. I also need to mention that long-term use has been associated with an increase in depression. Mm. That makes sense with the dopamine effect, . Exactly. So when I have clients on th this, I tell them we need to check in in six.

if they’re still taking it, then. Mm-hmm. , if they’re still taking it in six months and like their Edinburg postpartum depression test is the same or whatever depression screening we’re using. Is it Edinburg or Edinburgh? Edinburgh, no. There’s an Edinburg and in Edinburgh that are different things. It’s Edinburg.

Okay. I was like, oh my God, I’ve been saying it wrong my whole life. Yeah. If those depression screenings are the same and anecdotally, I’m fine. I’m like, cool, let’s check in in another six months. But often what I see is they’re like, oh yeah, now that you mention it. Mm-hmm. maybe not feeling great. And I’m like, cool.

Let’s take a two month break. So Vitex and low doses can increase your prolactin. Mm-hmm. . But high doses. High doses over long periods of time. Jack up your dopamine. Yeah. Which can then jack up your prolactin production. Jack down your pro jack down mess up. Mess up with jack down, Jack . Anyway, yeah. I’m not so concerned about milk production with this as I am about like, if you’re taking it for eight months straight and nobody mentioned that it could, for those like especially who are already prone to depression, it couldn’t exacerbate that so.

Mm-hmm. . Anyway. Okay, so here’s one to avoid. Yes. Full stop. Yes. So let’s chat about Fe. . Mm-hmm. , because Femara is one that your fertility specialist might go to if you have previously had to go that far to use it for fertility. Mm-hmm. , they might be like, well this is the one that worked for you before.

You’re 37 years old. Let’s not mess around. Let’s just jump straight to Femara. So if this is one that you are talking about using with your fertility specialist, then you definitely will need to ween. Although the milk transfer is. Any amount ingested by the infant can permanently affect their ability to produce estrogen, which is bad for boys and girls, right?

We need estrogen. Everybody needs estrogen. Just like everybody needs testosterone and androgens, like we basically all use the same hormones just in different amounts. . Exactly. And it does also have a long half-life and is considered very hazardous during lactation. So this is the one with the little like red X skulling cross bins guy next to it for lactation.

Yeah. This ain’t no L two . This is a hard stop. So, , if you have to do something like that, either you’re gonna have to see lactation for a period of time, completely ween or seek an alternative. Pharis an interesting one. Fertility is an off-label use for it. It’s actually usually used for breast cancer because it lowers your estrogen levels so it stops that breast cancer growth.

But it can also trigger ovulation, especially for people who definitely have big hormone imbalances like Pecos, right? So, yeah, we’re, we’re gonna be really cautious about this one. Okay. Next up we have D H E A. Can I try to say it? ? Oh gosh, sure. This is like a 20 letter word. Are you ready? I think so.

De Hydro Epi. Androsterone. No. Nope. Let me try. That’s good. De hydron. Doone. Derone. Drester . Honestly, I think that was a gold star. . I get a sticker. . It is used to improve your ovary function. Yeah, it’s a sex hormone precursor produced by the adrenal glands, which are those little glands that hang out on the top of your kidneys.

Yeah. This is another big an no no. It’s considered the highest risk level on infant risk associated with both decreased milk production and risk to your infant because of androgen effects. Yeah. You don’t wanna be messing with the androgens and your baby. Mm-hmm. , that’s not cool. It really controls everything in your.

Mm-hmm. . It’s not a fun time if your androgens are all messed up. So yes. To improving your ovarian function if you need that, but no to jacking up your precursor sex hormones. Yeah. For you and baby. Absolutely. Now, I know this is not every medication. There’s no way we could cover them up. But I’m gonna give you a couple of resources here that you can go to now if you need some more.

One is our favorite Facebook support group. It’s called Breastfeeding Mums like Your British M U M S, undergoing Fertility treatment slash ivf. Related to that group, there is a website called Fertility Medication Lactation Safety. Breastfeeding infertility treatment. I will, I will link it. , but it basically helpful.

It was, it was a lot. I’m gonna link that. It’s related to the group and kind of just goes through a lot of the medications and then also the like, kind of citizen science they’re doing in collecting data from their group, saying like if they had people use this medication and breastfeed, if they had adverse effects, et cetera.

And it’s sad that that’s what we have to do. , that’s kind of what it is right now, because they just won’t sanction any funding for Yeah. Research projects that include pregnant or lactating people. Sure don’t. Yeah. And you know, I know this is a really hard choice. The choice between continuing to nourish the baby you already have or.

Possibly weaning and taking a chance on a baby you do not have yet. Oh, when you put it like that, it’s hard. It is really hard. I’ve had some difficult conversations with people about that. , you know, and certainly not everybody has to wean to conceive, as we already said, but sometimes you get to that point where it’s not working and you need some of the medications you can’t take while breastfeeding or you don’t feel comfortable taking those.

Mm-hmm. , you know, and like this infertility stuff really sucks and. trying to decide like, is your family complete? Do you need to have another child? Do you want to have another child? What happens if you spend all this money and you don’t? You know, it’s, there’s no right answer there. Yeah. It’s really hard and it kind of depends on how you look at your family and how you make decisions as a family, right?

Like, do you make decisions from a spiritual place? Mm-hmm. , do you make decisions from a business standpoint? Like my. Almost runs like a business. We’re like, does this fit into the business model? Yeah. Is this a good business decision or a bad one? And unfortunately it’s really hard to do that with kids.

Oof. Yeah. And just because there’s a lot of feelings, there’s so many feelings, you can’t separate it. We’re all just doing our best to make the decision that’s right for our family. And you know, I think some of the hardest conversations I’ve had around this are, you know, people who I’ve worked with when they had a miscarriage or several miscarriages and they.

They really, really feel like they need another baby or really want another one. And it is so hard to end your fertility journey on miscarriage and Oh yeah. You know, on unsuccessful IVF treatments, like it’s much easier to have a baby and say, we’re done. than to spend a ton of money and time and sadness, and, you know, and then say we’re done.

It just, it’s not the same. So if you’re in that situation and you’re still trying, I feel for you. I really do. And I hope that you guys can find the, the thing that works best for you and your family. I hope you have support through this cuz it’s not an easy thing to do and I hope you have peace with your decision, whatever that looks like for.

Yeah, so definitely join those Facebook groups. Get a support group that you feel comfortable with. Mm-hmm. , weigh your options carefully and just know that most people do not have to completely wean to conceive, but if you do, it’s okay. Mm-hmm. , and you can use donor milk or you can plan ahead for it. You can use formula, you can use formula.

Yeah. And also know that we’re here for you if you wanna do consultation around this. Heather and I have had a person or two, we’ve bounced back and forth to like mutually build up, you know, when they’re doing this. We’ve had some people successfully conceive and not had to ween and, and some patrons.

Yeah. So We’re happy to consult around this and help you with those things like night weaning that might kick your system back into, back into gear. All right, well, let’s take a quick break and when we come back, we’re gonna end on a very high note and give an award to a very, very deserving gal.

Do you have a baby that struggles with excessive gas, fussiness, colic, and general sleep problems? Well, I did , but then I used a Vivo Probiotics. A Vivo is a pediatrician approved probiotic for babies that’s even used in NICU on the Gentles tummies all over the United States. It is an amazing, unique product that contains a specific strain of bean fantas that we need.

To digest human milk oligosaccharides, that’s actually 15% of breast milk that your baby will then be able to utilize. Whereas if you don’t have the bacteria, there’s so much extra in the gut, which is why American babies poop like 10 times a day more than babies that are colonized with B infants. I have personally seen this probiotic help my baby and the babies of many of my clients, and frankly, if we’re dealing with any of these symptom, It is the first thing I go to, and the best part is it’s not like any other probiotic that we would take when we’re sick or taking antibiotics where you take it every time you go through antibiotics for the rest of your life.

If you give your baby a vivo in the first a hundred days of life, it actually colonizes in their gut. And becomes a part of their immune system, which then they can pass to the next generation. And this is how we make change Y’all, Aviva is amazing because it’s gonna safeguard your baby’s health today and give you peace of mind in the future.

Check out Avivo probiotics through the link in our show notes and enter code milk minute for $10 off.

All right. Welcome back everybody. We have a really exciting award today. Okay. Can I read this one? Yes. Okay, . All right. This award is for Kayla Flanigan. She says, love you ladies while we love you back. Yes, saying, I’m currently breastfeeding my six month old and almost three year old. I’ve had an aversion to feeding my toddler since I gave birth, but I’ve pushed through for the last six months, but we’re slowly weaning off the boob.

My win is making it through a whole day without her asking for boob. I won’t lie. I was a little sad after she went to sleep, but proud of her as well. Hoping to be fully weaned by her third birthday in March. Our fingers are crossed for you, Kayla. That’s awesome because you know, your six month old is moving into older baby territory already.

And that’s, that’s a lot of gymnast sticks right there. Oh yeah. , what does your son call gymnastics? Oh, he calls it Stumbly gymnastics. Stumbly gymnastics. Cry. . That’s so cute. Anyway, Kayla, we’re gonna give you the Drop By Drop Award because sometimes you just have to take it drop by drop. Yes, absolutely.

And you can see Kayla’s. Cool picture in our Instagram story if you want to do that. , I don’t, stories are only live for 24 hours, so you have to do it today. . No, we, we keep it in our highlights though. Oh, good. We save all of our little pictures from our awards and the highlights, if we remember to and

They should be there for you to look at. Thank you so much for sending us that. All right, and here’s an Apple Review from lafa 12 most helpful podcast. I’ve been listening to this podcast since finding out I’m expecting. There’s so much useful information that it’s easy to listen to with the humor of Heather and Maureen.

With each episode, I learn more. It’s so easy when you’re pregnant to be consumed with researching baby products and forget you’ll care for the baby after birth. I’m thankful I learned about this podcast so early and have been able to catch up. Thank you ladies for creating something so uplifting and educat.

You’re welcome, . You’re welcome. Thanks for that review. We really appreciate it. And that’s a really good way to help the podcast. If you guys really wanna support us, and maybe you are not in a place where you can join Patreon, I get it. You can leave us a review or you can like follow us on our social media and leave comments every time we make a post or save our videos, things like that.

Weirdly, just help us out in the world, in the internet world, in the confusing algorithm. and in our hearts, most importantly, I do read all the comments pretty much. Yes. Yeah, I love them. So I mean, thanks for listening to this episode of The Milk Minute. The way we change this big system that is not set up for lactating families is to educate ourselves, our fertility experts, our partners, and our loved ones.

If you guys do wanna join our Patreon, we would love that. I would like to, you know, virtually kiss you on the mouth for that. And you can find that at . Bye.


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