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Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding + heavy menstrual bleeding

01/04/2007

Question:

I have a 9 month old that will NOT take any formula. I have started having periods again 3 months ago. I have EXTREMELY heavy bleeding, and the last one lasted 25 days. I called the doctor to make an appointment, and the nurse would not let me schedule one. She says it`s due to hormone imbalance from breastfeeding.

Can I still breastfeed after a hysterectomy, or if I had the ablation procedure? The nurse said I would have to wait until I had weaned baby, and then I could consider going on the pill. I am almost 40yrs old, and do not want to be on the pill. Thanks for any info you can provide

Answer:

Hello,

Your question is quite complex.

First of all, your heavy bleeding cannot be blamed on breastfeeding!

The bleeding should be investigated by a competent OB-GYN PHYSICIAN!

This abnormal bleeding could render you anemic, which in turn could lead to decreased milk supply.

The prolonged bleeding could be due to an incomplete miscarriage or to an endometrial (uterine lining) abnormality.

You can certainly continue breastfeeding through any surgery, including hysterectomy or ablation.

Sometimes there is heavy bleeding during the menopause. Taking progesterone can sometimes control that source of bleeding. Taking progesterone can also lead to decreased milk production.

I do not know the cause of the bleeding, or whether you are just beginning your menopause, or whether you may have had a missed miscarriage, but a good history and physical exam by a good OB doc would definitely throw some light on subject.

If your milk supply does drop you could try using a supplemental nursing system at the breast with a baby-compatible formula until your supply comes back.

Your breastfeeding is NOT the cause of the bleeding, in fact, breastfeeding usually stops uterine bleeding.

Best wishes and best of luck!

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM Jeanne L Ballard, MD, FAAP, FABM
Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati