Written by Suma rp
Breastfeeding after IVF can be challenging. Mothers who have undergone IVF procedures may face issues like the absence of lactation, delayed lactation, and other hormonal problems—not being able to feed their newborn causes emotional damage to the women.
However, the key aspect is a breastfeeding mother has to remain stress-free. If she is stressed, their breast milk production will be disturbed. Many women who deliver babies through IVF face these issues. Here are some challenges and tips that help to cope with the breastfeeding challenges women face after IVF.
In This Article
IVF refers to In-Vitro fertilization, a process in which an egg from a female donor and sperm from a male donor are fertilized in-vitro in the laboratory. The process is tedious and involves constantly stimulating and monitoring ovulation to collect ovum and sperm from fertilizing them in a culture medium. Then, the fertilized egg is injected into the womb after reaching a particular stage for further development.
Couples who undergo IVF procedures must be administered medicinal drugs prescribed by IVF experts. Overdose of such hormonal injections may cause hormonal imbalances, stress, and fatigue, which lead to lactation problems. Sometimes the stress condition also interferes with lactation.
[Read : 15 Ways To Restore Hormonal Imbalance After Pregnancy]
During IVF, your body takes a ride on hormones. Doctors will ensure a viable pregnancy until they feel that the baby can grow on its own without any external support. Till then, you may need to be on hormones and medications. This may disturb the production of oxytocin and prolactin, which are directly involved in milk production.
Hence, hormones play a crucial role in breastfeeding after in-vitro fertilization treatment. However, post-IVF, not all but some women often face issues of hormonal imbalance, which result in the low secretion of lactation hormone.
There is no such difference between normal mother breastfeeding and an IVF mother breastfeeding. Some women who give birth through C-section/cesarean also face similar breastfeeding issues as an IVF mother experiences. However, women conceived through IVF have a higher chance of facing the issue because of all the medications they consume.
[Read : Breastfeeding After C-Section Delivery]
Here are a few valuable tips to overcome breastfeeding issues after IVF.
For good lactation, you need to maintain good eating habits. Your food plays a main role in aiding better lactation. Hence, be sure to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. Most importantly, women need to stay hydrated and take plenty of iron. A healthy diet helps to improve milk production.
The most crucial tip for mothers undergoing IVF is avoiding stress. Too much stress can suppress lactation hormones, significantly reducing milk production and the absence of lactation. We understand that staying stress-free is difficult after the baby’s delivery. But remember post-partum stress can further complicate the conditions.
Relax! Breastfeeding is not an easy thing, be it an IVF conception or a normal one. Therefore, try to meditate and get involved in activities that make you happy. Stay calm as much as possible. The more you stress out, the higher your latching issues. Try to avoid unwanted stress and keep yourself happy.
The valuable suggestions from the best lactation consultant can help to get rid of such lactation issues. Everyone needs breastfeeding tutoring, not just an IVF mom. An expert can help you know the root cause of low milk production, improper latching issues, and other issues related to lactation you are experiencing.
There are so many nurses and certified IVF doctors who provide lactation classes for new mothers. These classes provide adequate knowledge about lactation-related issues after IVF treatment and how to overcome such problems. Hit the classes, and prepare yourself a bit early.
IVF treatment may suppress lactation hormones, and over-stressed conditions further complicate breastfeeding. Remember that lactation needs to be stimulated. If you observe low or no milk secretion, it is good to invest in a good breast pump post-delivery. Using a breast pump can help to induce milk. You can use a manual breast pump or an automatic pump. If you don’t want to use a breast pump, hand-expressing or pressing can be beneficial to induce lactation.
[Read : How to Choose the Right Breast Pump For Your Baby?]
It is normal to feel emotionally restless during IVF procedures and your postpartum will also be stressful. Try to work on the happy hormones that help to make you happy and keep your mind calm. Indulge yourself in meditation exercises and workouts that release endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin. The hormones give you a sense of happiness and calmness and make you feel good.
IVF procedures and transfers keep you forbidden from taking proper baths. But now after your baby’s birth, you can take a good hot shower to relieve stress. This can help you be better at milk production and encourage you to work more on it. Avoid long showers and do not use any kinds of perfume or essential oils.
Breastfeeding is never an easy task, be it an IVF mother or a naturally conceived mother. If you are still pregnant and are about to deliver your baby, talk to your doctor about your chances of normal delivery.
IVF procedures can have higher chances of twins. And it may be challenging to feed twins at one time, especially when you’re facing lactation problems. So here are a few tips for breastfeeding twins post-IVF.
Being a mother of twins is very difficult. We know you have to spend a lot of sleepless nights nursing your babies and raising them. But remember that do not compromise your nutrition and health. Eat a well-balanced, nutrition-rich diet. Avoid foods that impact milk secretion.
It isn’t easy to handle twins at one time, especially when feeding them. Hence, choosing the right feeding gear that helps to make feeding more manageable would be excellent.
The proper breastfeeding position helps feed your twins accurately. Moreover, it helps to make breastfeeding more pleasurable and hassle-free. Therefore, it is essential to learn about the breastfeeding position before breastfeeding.
Feeding your twin simultaneously can be a time saver approach and help feed both babies simultaneously. On top of this, it helps in improving lactation. You can use a twin pillow for sitting comfortably and keeping your twins on both pillows to feed side by side. You may need to learn about synchronized breastfeeding during an early stage. But it can be helpful to avoid the problem of feeding twins at one time.
A good latching position helps feed twins in the right manner. Sit up straight in an armchair with armrests. Bring your infant over your front, stomach to tummy. Hold your infant in the curve of the forearm. With your outstretched palm, grasp the back of the baby’s head and keep him near the breast to feed. Likewise, there are many other breastfeeding positions available that you can choose to feed your twins.
To induce a good latch, you can use a breast pump. In addition, you can purchase either a manual or motorized pump. They both help to induce lactation. Alternatively, pressing the breast can also trigger the same action.
Breastfeeding issues are very common, especially when women get pregnant through an IVF procedure. If the tips mentioned above and tricks didn’t help you achieve good lactation, we recommend you consult with your doctors. They will guide you about the procedure and medicinal treatment if required to treat such conditions.
Every woman is different and so is her body. Lactating or not lactating can not define her capabilities of looking after the baby. First, try to stay calm as much as possible. Do not take stress as it may disturb your lactation cycle. If you cannot fix your breastfeeding challenges on your own, do not be afraid to consult a doctor if you still cannot lactate or breastfeed your babies after the IVF procedure.
Yes, IVF mothers produce breast milk like normal mothers. However, due to the treatment effect, few women may experience problems with lactation after IVF.
Most IVF mothers can have a vaginal delivery. However, mothers at greater risk of labor pain or other complications may need a c-section delivery.
IVF mothers are at greater risk of hormonal imbalance and other risks such as depression, anxiety, ovarian torsion, pre-eclampsia, placental separation, placenta praevia, and lactation issues.
Read Also: Low Milk Supply – Breastfeeding Issues
Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.
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