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PCOS & Breastfeeding: A Mother’s Perspective

March 17, 2020

Sarah is a mother who delivered her third child on September 7, 2019 at Our Lady of the Angels Hospital in Bogalusa, LA. In this article, Sarah shares her breastfeeding journey with the hope that other mothers who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may find encouragement in her story 

My first two babies received my breast milk for about two weeks, which was much shorter than I would have liked. I blamed myself for not producing enough breast milk for my babies. During my third pregnancy, I learned that my medical condition, polycystic ovary syndrome, can cause breastfeeding problems. Having this information in advance helped me set realistic and obtainable goals with the help of my doctor and the labor and delivery team. I faced many difficult challenges but my sheer determination and the support at Our Lady of Angels Hospital helped me exceed my breastfeeding goal.

I breastfeed my baby in his favorite latch position and supplemented the rest of the time. I was incredibly proud of my 3-4 ounces of “liquid gold.” Many times I felt discouraged but I told myself, “a fed and full baby is the goal.” I stumbled through postpartum exhaustion by nursing, pumping and supplementing; I had an enormous sense of pride that I could do this for him. My original goal was to breastfeed for one month and in the end, I was able to breastfeed for nine weeks. It was a great triumph!

I could not have done it without the loving-kindness of my husband, the labor and delivery nurses and my OBGYN. They lifted me up when I felt down. They encouraged me when I needed to hear reassuring words. My nurses educated me in tricks-of-the-trade to help me surpass my goals.

So, do yourself a great favor and ensure you have support whether it’s your partner, family, a friend, your doctor and nurses, whomever you choose. Make sure your breastfeeding wishes are known and ask your supporters to rally in your corner when needed. Remember that not all breastfeeding journeys are the same- quite the contrary, they are all so different. Remember to encourage yourself because sometimes it will get tough. Remember to tell yourself, “You’ve got this!” Remember that it’s okay if you don’t reach your breastfeeding goal. You have just birthed a beautiful miracle into this world…enjoy it. Enjoy your baby and enjoy your own breastfeeding journey!

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