116: Let’s debunk “breast is best” and talk about how PCOS affects breastfeeding (because it feels like nobody does!)

Since the birth of my sweet baby girl Flossie last month, I’ve been pretty vocal about my low milk supply and struggles with breastfeeding — not only because of my PCOS but also due to the fact that I had two failed inductions and a c-section.

You’re told by your doctor, midwife and antenatal teachers that “breast is best”. I know I had this absolutely drilled into me! But is it really?

Well, the short answer is yes — we know that “breast is best”. 

But what do you do when breastfeeding is not an option? 

Will your PCOS affect your chances of being able to breastfeed? Can your lifestyle affect your breastfeeding abilities? How can you improve your chances of being able to breastfeed with PCOS and what should you look out for? What are some practical changes and additions you can make to help you if you have low supply?

For all of you who are currently pregnant or are planning to get pregnant, these may be questions you’re asking yourself. Unfortunately, your midwife, antenatal teacher or GP may not have the answers. 

If you don’t know where to turn to for answers or even what to look out for that may affect your chances of being able to breastfeed – this week’s episode of The PCOS Nutritionist Podcast is one you’re going to want to tune in to.

In this week’s episode of The PCOS Nutritionist, I talk about all things breastfeeding and PCOS – what you need to look out for before and during pregnancy that may affect your ability, what you should do to get an idea of whether you’ll be able to breastfeed or not, how to tell if your baby is getting the adequate nutrients they need from your breastmilk, and lifestyle factors all women should think about that may affect milk production.

I know this podcast isn’t relevant for everyone, but if this sounds like you, you’re planning to get pregnant in the future or you’re thinking back about your breastfeeding experience(s) after hearing about mine — it’s for you!

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re trying to conceive, currently pregnant or recently postpartum
  • My breastfeeding experience so far with Flossie has made you curious to understand more about PCOS and breastfeeding
  • You want to know if PCOS will stop you from being able to breastfeed
  • GPs / midwifes / antenatal educators / Obstetricians have told you that ‘breast is best’ and you shouldn’t be using formula
  • You can’t / weren’t able to breastfeed and you want to hear more about the science behind why that might be
  • Preparation for breastfeeding or not being able to breastfeed is something that you want to sort before baby arrives
  • You have insulin resistance
  • You had issues with ovulation during puberty
  • Your GP / midwife / antenatal educator doesn’t seem to be able to answer your questions

Some things we cover in this episode:

  • The top three things that are likely to impair your chances of being able to breastfeed
  • What insulin resistance has to do with breast growth, milk production and breastfeeding in general
  • Drugs to help breastmilk production
  • Things outside of PCOS that may be affecting your ability to breastfeed
  • What breastpump I use and how much I’m pumping vs. what I’m trying to do breastfeeding wise
  • How to know if your baby isn’t getting the nutrients they need from your breastmilk
  • The best way to eat for breastfeeding
  • Are lactation cookies actually all they’re cracked up to be?
  • Getting back to your pre-baby weight – is it possible to do it and breastfeed at the same time?
  • Herbs to help breastmilk production
  • What I’m doing to help my low supply

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