Mothering

Understanding Your Reproductive Cycle

Basic information about your menstrual cycle and how your body works here.

Breastfeeding

PCOS is often correlated with difficulty breastfeeding, sometimes due to low milk supply and other times due to oversupply. [It hardly seems surprising to me that a disorder that messes with our hormones would affect something as hormonally regulated as nursing.]

I will be adding a lot more material about breastfeeding, as this is a topic that I feel strongly about. I successfully nursed my youngest for 10 months while supplementing with formula; I will always be sad that I could not exclusively breastfeed my children, but I’m proud to have accomplished this much, and I know it was worth the time and struggle.

Relevant Posts:

About insufficient glandular tissue, or hypoplastic breasts, and low milk supply

Hormones and Breastfeeding

Oversupply

Metformin for Boosting Low Milk Supply?

More Thoughts on Social Pressure and Breastfeeding

Parenting: Some Thoughts on PCOS and Having Kids
My thoughts on how you can prepare your daughter for the possibility that she will also have PCOS here:

Mothering a Daughter


Linkage: Breastfeeding

Here are some useful links for moms experiencing breastfeeding problems. I particularly recommend Kellymom!

The BFAR website provides information and support to mothers who wish to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery, and is a resource for health care providers for information about the feasibility and protocols of breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery. Many of these approaches can be useful to moms with low milk supply for other reasons. There is information here about increasing milk supply, as well as information about how to supplement without undermining the nursing relationship.

Jack Newman’s site–he is a lactation consultant and very helpful as well. This site is especially useful for learning techniques; there are videos to see what a proper latch looks like, how to do breast compressions, etc.

Kellymom–the online source for all things nursing-related! This is a great site.

La Leche League International--you can find a chapter near you! Do be aware that, while LLL leaders are excellent resources and committed to breastfeeding, they may not be experts on PCOS or associated problems. They will be able to help you with milk supply issues, but you should be prepared to tell them that you have PCOS so that they know you may have a deeper problem than just technique.

Lowmilksupply.org–it’s just what it sounds like!

Mobi, or Mothers Overcoming Breastfeeding Issues–a really helpful group.

Linkage: Infertility

This blog is not about infertility–I have been lucky enough that I have never experienced it, and I don’t have answers about it. However, here are a few books and links that might be a good starting place if you’re looking for more information:

  • FertilityFriend: a free charting web site (this is good whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not–it can help you track what’s going on with your body).
  • Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Wechsler, is the reproductive Bible–it is the definitive book on infertility, your cycle, and birth control, among other ovary-related things.  I have not read this, but it is so highly recommended as THE book on fertility that I feel comfortable recommending it.
  • The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination’s page on PCOS.
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