Understand the Breastfeeding and IVF
Breastfeeding after IVF is not considered a concern, because many women successfully feed their infants after IVF like natural birth.
NOTE: We know that there are several questions that came to your mind regarding breastfeeding and IVF. like what exactly is IVF?
IVF (Vitro fertilization) is a fertility treatment where an egg is fertilized by sperm but outside the body in a specific lab.
This fertilized egg is called an embryo, which transfers back to the women’s body, where is created into an infant.
IVF is a treatment for those women who cannot naturally conceive, where the egg is fertilized in a lab environment.
NOTE: But when is the decision taken on whether to put the fertilized eggs back in? it totally depends on several reasons like:
- Women age
- embryo quality
- overall health
- if women already have previous IVF treatment or failed
- personal preference
Whereas breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your infant with vital and essential nutrients which promote overall growth.
A 4-week study showed that after birth 92% of IVF women and 88% of natural birth women successfully breastfeed their infants.
Breastfeeding after IVF is not a complicated topic, after the egg is transferred back to the uterus, the body will follow the same process as natural pregnancy.
Where the body has all hormones disturbed like progesterone and estrogen which helps in the production of milk in the breast (7)
After giving birth many IVF women successfully breastfeed like a natural pregnancy, and IVF does not impact directly their breastfeeding.
Challenges That Moms Facing During Breastfeeding After IVF?
In most cases, many IVF women successfully breastfeed as like natural birth, because it does not directly impact breastfeeding (7)
But in some women after IVF breastfeeding may become challenging due to various reasons such as:
- Hormonal imbalance (a common reason in IVF women)
- if women are already on medication period, then milk secretion may become difficult
- stress and any trauma may disturb overall health
- breast-realted issues like breast engorgement
- multiple births, IVF increases the chance of multiple births
- some women face challenges due to a lack of support and information
It’s important to remember, that breastfeeding may also be challenging in natural birth women due to several issues (8)
So if you are experiencing lactation issues and other infants related issues then consult your doctor or lactation consultants.
Here are some challenges that new IVF moms face while breastfeeding such as:
- Low milk supply
- hormonal imbalance
- breast issues like breast pain, heaviness, swelling, sore nipple, etc
- emotional stress can affect both partners and may impact the milk supply
Make sure to consult your doctor if you face a low milk supply, stress, other breast-related issues, and abnormal changes in your baby.
Tips for successful Breastfeeding after IVF
As we already told you that many women successfully breastfeed after IVF because after fertilizing the egg it transfers back to the uterus.
After the transfer, the body follows the same process as natural pregnancy like creating milk secretion hormone, increasing uterus size, etc.
But still, several women face breastfeeding issues after IVF, due to several reasons which we already discussed.
Here are tips that increase your chance of successful breastfeeding after IVF include:
In most cases, not doing frequent breastfeeding also leads to several breast issues like engorgement, redness, etc.
Frequent breastfeeding trigger milk secretion hormones, which increase milk production,
So try to do frequent breastfeeding, which will breast reduce swelling, and sensitivity, and reduce the size of breasts.
In this, the baby is not completely attached to the nipples, which creates friction b/w the nipple and lips leading to soreness in the nipples.
To do proper latching make sure you will follow these guidelines include:
- Proper body position and baby mouth position should be correct
- baby’s nose and chin should touch your breast
- if you feel sucking, then it means the baby consuming milk
If you still face breast-related or are unable to do proper latching, then consult an experienced mom or your health care provider.
Maintain Breast Hygiene
Breast hygiene is also vital so prevents infections like mastitis (which generally occurs first few months of feeding)
It improves the overall breastfeeding experience in both infants and new moms.
Seek Medical Help
If you experience any concerns related to breasts, and baby then consult your doctor, it might be some other sign of concern.
Concern with your doctor if you experience:
- Breast pain, and engorgement
- if the baby’s weight is not increased, may sign that baby not sucking enough milk.
- nipple bleeding or any other colour discharge like dark yellow, green, and other
- any sign of infection, and redness in a specific area
- talk to your doctor if you face any discomfort in a baby
Do massage To enhance milk secretion
If you experience low milk supply and other breast-related issues like breast pain, or soreness, then massage with a gentle hand can help it.
Make sure to avoid direct contact with EO on the skin because it’s highly concentrated, first mix it with carrier oil.
In this, the baby is immediately given to the mom which helps in many things like triggering breast milk secretion hormone, creating bonding, etc
It even doing after delivery where the mother holds their infants on their chests also known as kangaroo care (7)
Monitor baby mood
This means feeding your baby whenever they show indications of hunger, like crying, rooting, sucking their finger, etc
This will help mothers to increase milk production and prevent several breast-related in new moms.
Go with Pumping
If moms do not agree with breastfeeding due to their personal preference, then pumping is the best alternative to secreting milk.
It allows the mother to do other work because in this breast milk is extracted through the breast pump, which can be stored and drunk later.
If you experience any discomfort and abnormal changes in the baby then consult lactation healthcare, which will help to find the exact cause.
Breastfeeding after IVF is not a concern, because after IVF many women also successfully breastfeed.
If you are still not able to breastfeed then try these methods like massage on breasts, frequent breastfeeding, proper latching, etc.