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Breastfeeding With Sleeve



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Hi All,

My DD is a couple weeks shy of 7 months. I am getting sleeved on Jan. 22. She has been breastfed since birth and now since she is eating solids, I have began storing pumped milk. My goal is to BF until she is 12-15 months. I spoke to my PCP and she is a little concerned that with the drastic cut in calories, I won't produce any milk or nutritious milk. I plan on still taking prenatal, Fenugreek, and other Vitamins to keep my supply up, but I am wondering if I will need to start the weening process now pre-op. Any thoughts?

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i would try weaning now just in case. You've already done more than 6 months of breastfeeding which is more than most people do nowadaays, and the most important benefits for the baby. It's just a thought, yoou don't know how you're gonna feel after surgery and what your milk production will be like. My baby was about 8 months when I was sleeved, but I had given up before becuase of other issues. Good luck with your sleeve!

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There is NO REASON to stop nursing. I spoke to Dr Aceves who is a highly regarded Mexican Surgeon. If you know about the community in which he lives and works they know a helluva a lot more about breastfeeding than we do. Dr Aceves said it is great to continue breastfeeding after surgery. All the drugs will be out of your body. Many many women around the world live on way less calories per day than we will be consuming. Dr Aceves said many of his patients continue to breastfeed and do fine. I also talked to my OBGYN who delievered my first son and who is the head over the birthing center here in knoxville now. She checked to make sure lovenox was fine and said it is perfectly fine to continue nursing. It will not negatively affect my health or my son's. My PCP said the same thing. I had my surgery in October and here it is January. I've continued to nurse and haven't had any problems.

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The only concern I would have (since I did nurse my babies) is the pain after surgery with your incisions for the first week or so. You may have to pump until you are healed. Good luck! I hope it works out for you. : )

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Oh my goodness..please don't wean before surgery just because of this. I am still breastfeeding my 20 month old. Yes, My milk supply did drop a little but our bodies and our breasts are wonderful things.. the baby will nurse more and up your supply. And if she is already eating solids, yes she may start to eat more on her own. But there is no reason to wean. If you have any problems or questions PM me, I am currently nursing and have nursed my other 3 kids well into toddlerhood... I have lotsa info! :-)

Hi All,

My DD is a couple weeks shy of 7 months. I am getting sleeved on Jan. 22. She has been breastfed since birth and now since she is eating solids, I have began storing pumped milk. My goal is to BF until she is 12-15 months. I spoke to my PCP and she is a little concerned that with the drastic cut in calories, I won't produce any milk or nutritious milk. I plan on still taking prenatal, Fenugreek, and other Vitamins to keep my supply up, but I am wondering if I will need to start the weening process now pre-op. Any thoughts?

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Thank you everyone. I have def notice a decrease in my supply since starting my pre-op diet and there isn't enough Fenugreek in the world to conpensate. I didn't have a caloric intake but it is very low carbs and low fat high Protein. I asked my local Le Leche League and they daid it is def because of the diet and that WLS will only compound it the immediate. After a couple of months when my body stablizes then I may be able to get my supply back my pumping through the stall period. I have milk stored to get her to 9 months, but I really wanted to breast feed for at least a year. I don't want to her my DD harm, because I am focusing on my weight. Woosa!

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I'm not sleeved yet, but I am a professional Lactation counselor. DO NOT WEAN! Just nurse as ofter as your daughter wants. Fenugreek is only slightly effective in increasing milk supply and I would suspect that any fussiness you might be seeing and interpreting as low supply are actually baby's reaction to the flavor of your milk. This is not a concern for her. Your caloric intake doesn't change the quality of your milk at all. In fact women in countries where this is severe famine are often seen with fat little babies on their hips. Your body will take every it has and put it into milk for your little one, just as it would for pregnancy. This is of course an issue for you and you should try to boost your Protein after the surgery (my nutritionist suggested putting greek yogurt in my shakes to up the Protein by about 10mg a day). Unfortunately the LLLi leader you spoke with may be using old info. We don't need alot of calories to make milk, and we absorb far more calories then a non lactating woman would. We have alot of new info that is breaking alot of the old beliefs but the old beliefs do still persist.

Keep in mind that babies go through fussy periods that have nothing to do with supply, such as at around 6 months they have a "growth spurt" where they nurse all day long and all night long too. If you have not had a period PP yet that can also be on it's way back and causing you to dip slightly. This is ok and normal. Also they get to times when they re JUST about to do a new milestone and they will nurse nonstop, ditto with teething for some babies. Just roll with it, it's almost certainly not you.

Some things that may cause supply issues are birth control pills which are often recommended after surgery because of our increased fertility once we start losing weight (this includes progesterone only products), and lack of time nursing. Things that do not decrease supply are not eating enough or drinking enough (lots of research has been done on this, honest). Here is an awesome way to boost supply (without digging into your freezer stash), power pump. To do this, set up your pump and turn on the tv. When there is a commercial turn the pump on and pump. When the commercials are done, turn it off. Rinse and repeat for 30-60 min until you've seen 1-2 tv shows. This high frequency, short duration pumping schedule tells your body you have a set of starving twins and to ramp up production in a hurry. If you do this and let your daughter eat as often as she wants you'll be back to a full supply in no time. There is no reason to believe you need to wean or that your milk will change, but doubt and supplementation are a sure way of decreasing the feedings you give her for which will lower your supply. Keep up the great work and congrats on nursing this long already. I'm sure you'll be able to make it to a year and as long as you want to nurse as long as you keep it up.

Lucia (CLC, and mom of 4 breastfed babies including a set of twins and a singleton who will be nursing when I'm sleeved)

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I'm not sleeved yet, but I am a professional Lactation counselor. DO NOT WEAN! Just nurse as ofter as your daughter wants. Fenugreek is only slightly effective in increasing milk supply and I would suspect that any fussiness you might be seeing and interpreting as low supply are actually baby's reaction to the flavor of your milk. This is not a concern for her. Your caloric intake doesn't change the quality of your milk at all. In fact women in countries where this is severe famine are often seen with fat little babies on their hips. Your body will take every it has and put it into milk for your little one, just as it would for pregnancy. This is of course an issue for you and you should try to boost your Protein after the surgery (my nutritionist suggested putting greek yogurt in my shakes to up the Protein by about 10mg a day). Unfortunately the LLLi leader you spoke with may be using old info. We don't need alot of calories to make milk, and we absorb far more calories then a non lactating woman would. We have alot of new info that is breaking alot of the old beliefs but the old beliefs do still persist.

Keep in mind that babies go through fussy periods that have nothing to do with supply, such as at around 6 months they have a "growth spurt" where they nurse all day long and all night long too. If you have not had a period PP yet that can also be on it's way back and causing you to dip slightly. This is ok and normal. Also they get to times when they re JUST about to do a new milestone and they will nurse nonstop, ditto with teething for some babies. Just roll with it, it's almost certainly not you.

Some things that may cause supply issues are birth control pills which are often recommended after surgery because of our increased fertility once we start losing weight (this includes progesterone only products), and lack of time nursing. Things that do not decrease supply are not eating enough or drinking enough (lots of research has been done on this, honest). Here is an awesome way to boost supply (without digging into your freezer stash), power pump. To do this, set up your pump and turn on the tv. When there is a commercial turn the pump on and pump. When the commercials are done, turn it off. Rinse and repeat for 30-60 min until you've seen 1-2 tv shows. This high frequency, short duration pumping schedule tells your body you have a set of starving twins and to ramp up production in a hurry. If you do this and let your daughter eat as often as she wants you'll be back to a full supply in no time. There is no reason to believe you need to wean or that your milk will change, but doubt and supplementation are a sure way of decreasing the feedings you give her for which will lower your supply. Keep up the great work and congrats on nursing this long already. I'm sure you'll be able to make it to a year and as long as you want to nurse as long as you keep it up.

Lucia (CLC, and mom of 4 breastfed babies including a set of twins and a singleton who will be nursing when I'm sleeved)

Bravo Lucia and THANK YOU for posting this!! As a breastfeeding Mom of a 6 month old preparing to get sleeved, I was soooooo relieved to read this post! I have been full of angst about having surgery and being able to continue to breastfeed. I wasn't planning on weaning, but I was really worried about supply issues related to the surgery. Fortunately, I have a fabulous surgeon who reassured me from the beginning that I wouldn't have to stop B/F'ing. The only thing he said was that I would have to pump and dump for 24 hours after surgery. I will have plenty of stored milk for my little one and I really appreciate you reiterating the fact that our decrease in calories DOES NOT mean a decrease in supply! I plan on BF'ing for a year and am grateful that I can integrate my health into the process. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a valuable post! :)

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Just wanted to add a quick not and say if pumping doesn't work for you stop doing it. I had to pump for my son while my elder was in the hospital and it TORE MY NIPPLES UP! like bloody hamburger meat and that was with a hospital grade pump. FYre is right on. I've nursed my little one through having the sleeve and I'm 4 months post op he and I are doing great.

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Therea are medications that can up your milk supply considerably. I took motilium and in 3 days I had more milk than ever. I would pump 200 ml in just a few minutes and still have more. Talk to your doctor about it.

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Hello, i am new here and just signed up so that i could apply to this topic.

i am in the beginning phase of doing research and will be going to a consultation soon about this surgery.

i have a 3 month old and nearly cry at the thought of not being able to breastfeed him. i was very pleased upon reading your posts, however, no one wrote about the loads of toxins that are released into the bloodstream from the fatcells that are lost rapidly right after this surgery.

i read somewhere that this release of toxins will most definitely get into the milk (no one knows, though, how much of it gets in there.

have you guys heard about this before? i would rather bottlefeed than feed my baby a massive amount of toxins.

please reply when you get a chance. thanks so much in advance!

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I did read about that and asked my OB about this she said the nutrition in breastmilk trumps any "toxins" that you could emit to your baby by simply losing weight. There have been several reports of actual metal toxins found in formula not to mention plastics leeching from bottles. Back to topic my OB said "Does that even sound right? A mother naturally loses weight after having a baby, do you think nature would make it to where her new baby would be ingesting toxins?" Both of mine are weaned now but I nursed my eldest after my vsg and he's doing amazingly. Had NO issues what-so-ever!

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I just wanted to add one thing to this subject, although my babies have been weaned for years and years (they are 25 and 21). BFing helps the mother's uterus contract and helps her lose weight after pregnancy. I can only imagine that it would help a nursing mom lose more weight after any WLS.

My youngest was in a NICU for 8 days after birth and had ongoing health problems for several years after his birth. We had a great pediatrician who advocated BF. I asked her one time if my milk was helping him even with all those medical problems. Her response was "Imagine how many more problems he'd have had without your immunities!" I nursed both kids until they were nearly 2 years old and both of them are now taller and healthier than any other kids in our family.

My youngest has Type 1 diabetes, but his doctors think the onset was delayed by several years because he was nursed for so long. That makes me glad I did nurse him so long, even though it was tough sometimes to do it.

Good luck with nursing your babies after surgery! I hope it goes well for all of you!

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I am also nursing my 17month old and will be sleeved in January. I am not planning on weaning anytime soon. I say dont give up! You can do it! ;)

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