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Can I breastfeed if I have infertility?

I was anovulatory and I conceived naturally five weeks after a failed IVF cycle. Nine days postpartum I was only producing 5ml/day of breast milk pumping 8-12x (and latching 6-8x/day) using a medical grade Medela pump on the preemie setting.

I was told by three different lactation consultants at my hospital I would not be able to breastfeed due to my infertility issues (something about insufficient hormones for effective lactation?) I then took Domperidome for 12 weeks and got to 9oz/day. But that plateaued after 8 weeks, so increasing prolactin helped me produce some milk.

I can't find much information related to infertility and breastfeeding, so I don't know if I didn't try hard enough or if it was the baby's poor latch. I want to try for a second child. My infertility issue still exists. What can I do during pregnancy to ensure I'll be able to breastfeed?

Christine Tracy | Other-provider

Christine Tracy

To ease your mind, the best thing to do during your pregnancy is relax and enjoy being pregnant. Each pregnancy and each baby is different. There are no guaranteed physical predictors that tell us one way or another how breastfeeding will go. 

I suggest you read a general book on breastfeeding. The "Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" is a great one. You will find tips on how to get breastfeeding off to the best start possible, how to avoid issues, and how (and when) to find help. While reading the book, stay in contact with the IBCLC at your delivering facility and ask questions. It sounds like you have a complex situation that will benefit from one-on-one consulting and teamwork.

Remember, if an adoptive mother who has never been pregnant can breastfeed her child, you can too. Breastfeeding is not just about making milk, it is about your relationship and one-of-a-kind bond with your baby.

Read more answers by Dr. Tracy