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#17113 - 09/02/14 01:27 AM HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Hi everyone!

This is my first post, and I'm very new to all of this.

Short history - I'm 41 right now. I was in a horrible accident when I was 19 (9 months pregnant), and lost the baby. I had major internal damage (almost died), and they had to remove my entire uterus, and all but a tiny part of one ovary.

About 3 years ago, I discovered I was post menopausal (premature, due to the earlier loss of my uterus/ovaries) - it was devastating, because I had been planning on doing a surrogacy with my own eggs, but it is what it is, so my current husband and I decided to do a surrogacy with an egg donor.

We are now (finally) expecting twins in about 4 1/2 months!

Now, for my question.

For the last 2-3 years I've been on the maximum dosages for the following hormones:

Biest (Estriol/Estradiol) cream, testosterone cream and progesterone (pill).

I really want to be able to breastfeed the babies and am willing to do whatever it takes, and have been reading everything I can find, but I'm confused about whether or not I need to stop my hormone therapy. I've seen things that say I should stop my HRT, like here:

http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/induced_lactation/menopause_protocol.shtml

which then goes on to say to start taking Microgestin - which is basically estrogen and progesterone, exactly what I was taking.

Are these really different?

And what about the testosterone I'm on?

Then I read on this page that says to start taking Oestrogen and Progesterone:

http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-BABB

- which is, as I said, basically what I'm taking now... so confusing.

I'm very concerned because I was feeling absolutely horrible before I started taking my hormones - in fact, it is because of how horrible I was feeling that I went to the doctor and found out I was post menopausal, and while I would be willing to endure feeling like that, it seems like it would not be healthy for the babies.

Thank you for being here, it is amazing to find other people in similar situations that care enough to share their experiences!

Tanya

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#17114 - 09/02/14 02:43 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Also, here's my other question/concern. Would it actually be good for the babies to have my milk (assuming I can produce it)? Can the fact that my body is low on certain hormones have an affect on nutritional qualities of the milk I would produce (maybe they need a certain amount of hormones to be passed on to them that I won't be able to supply)? As much as I would like to experience breastfeeding I want to do what's best for them. I am a huge fan of everything pure, natural and organic. I would love to raise them on breast milk and would hate to use artificial formulas....

Could you please advise?

Thank you!

Tanya

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#17118 - 09/02/14 10:49 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
Hi Tanya,

I would love to help you but your specific questions are geared more towards Lenore. Please email her directly with these questions as well as have your post out here for others to see.

Good luck to you!

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#17119 - 09/02/14 11:05 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Thank you so much for your message Claudia, I just emailed Lenore. Hopefully I get a response from her soon (I am not impatient at all! wink

I went to see the doctor that I go to for my HRT to see if she would be willing to work with me on trying to make it work, prescribe the meds for the protocol etc. She was very skeptical when I started talking and said it was not going to work, then I showed her a printout of the protocol. She expressed a serious concern about the quality of the milk if it ever happens and about it potentially being harmful for the little ones because of the meds I would be on and because of my general hormone imbalance. She said she will look into that and will see me in a week.

I want to make it happen so much, I would do anything in my power to try to produce good quality milk.

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#17124 - 09/03/14 10:35 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
A lot of doctors are unfamiliar with the protocol and show skepticism. Lenore will be able to point you in the right direction. In the meantime, have you looked into milk banks? They are a good alternative to formula for supplementing until you reach a full supply.

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#17126 - 09/03/14 11:46 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Yes, I agree, I wasn't surprised by the negative reaction from my doctor, I expected the skepticism. I just hope she will be understanding enough to keep working with me.

Thank you very much for bringing up milk banks. I did do a lot of googling trying to find a sources for donor breast milk, preferably local but was unsuccessful. I don't think I ever did a search on 'milk bank' though, just never thought of it. Now thanks to you I found it, it seems like the closest one is in North Carolina (I live in GA)

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#17128 - 09/05/14 02:55 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Nona Offline
extra helpful experienced member

Registered: 09/27/02
Posts: 1176
I am the one they invented the post menaposaul protocol for. IT worked well for me. I had a hysterectomy at 21 and was on hormones until 41 when I wanted to breast feed. I took the ortho 1/35 and the domperidone. When I came off the hormones... pumping actually kept my hot flashes and such at bay. I did not take testosterone so I cannot help on that either. I know when I came off and pumped my milk was normal. Now with the meds your taking now.. only Lenore can answer.
_________________________
Adoptive mommy to 4 , Last 2 adopted nursed. Youngest nursed till she was 5! Raising 2 grandbabies, as infants they were raised on donor breast milk smile

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#17129 - 09/06/14 02:05 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Nona, thank you so much for your post! It is such an honor to meet you! smile You wanted to beast feed and got it done. So you are the mother of the protocol smile Wow, I am amazed how similar our situations are, I had the surgery at 19 and I am 41 now.

So are you saying that when you started pumping you came off the hormones *completely* ? You were not taking *any hormones* while breastfeeding (and from what I understand you were brestfeeding for quite a while)? And the menopause symptoms didn't bother you? Did you stay on Domeperidone for the whole time you breastfed?

I sent a message to Lenore a few days ago and still waiting to hear from her. I would definitely like to ask her some questions.

My doctor is concerned about the effects of me taking Domeperidone on the baby... she said she is going to do some research, I am seeing her again on Tuesday. I have done some research on it too, and of course, I found positives and negatives, there is no drug or herb out there without a potential side effect.

She is also saying my milk is not going to be good quality... I would absolutely love to prove her wrong! Do you know by any chance if there is a place where you can get your milk tested?

Thank you!

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#17143 - 09/07/14 02:24 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
I am also wondering if it would be possible to substitute Domperidone in the protocol and use herbs instead. Domperidone is a synthetic galactagogue, and herbs are natural galactagogues (I googled and found at least fifteen), what if I just make a high concentration herbal infusion from them and drink it until it's time to pump.... Has anybody tried that?

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#17144 - 09/08/14 02:27 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Nona Offline
extra helpful experienced member

Registered: 09/27/02
Posts: 1176
Tanya,
Yes I came off ALL HRT while nursing. As long as you are taking estrogens it will PREVENT your milk from coming in. Domperidone will not hurt the baby. I took it the entire time I nursed. Most doctors are not familiar with the protocols or adoptive nursing. The difference in our milk and a birth mothers milk is in the beginning. We have "premilk" It still has immunities in it. And birth mothers have colostrum. When our milk comes in its the same as a birth mothers. There is no difference in our milk. We have had the hormones to build our breasts. Our bodies thought they were pregnant. And produce milk for our infants to. My daughter is now 10 and had one ear infection in her life. Has had no doctor visits other than immunizations. Trust your body. Any milk you make will be better than synthetic formula companies make.
_________________________
Adoptive mommy to 4 , Last 2 adopted nursed. Youngest nursed till she was 5! Raising 2 grandbabies, as infants they were raised on donor breast milk smile

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#17145 - 09/08/14 02:31 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Nona Offline
extra helpful experienced member

Registered: 09/27/02
Posts: 1176
Tanya,

I am not sure about just doing the herbs instead of the domperidone. The prolactin levels that are achieved with the domperidone are pretty good. I took herbs WITH the domperidone. I am not sure the levels could get high enough with herbs alone. Now I have heard of a few women that have used the herbs and have had milk. But I would be afraid of it not working and have no milk when time to pump. IT has been done. But I personally have not heard of that many moms that did it. Moms.. if you accomplished this without domperidone. Please respond. I would love to know to smile
_________________________
Adoptive mommy to 4 , Last 2 adopted nursed. Youngest nursed till she was 5! Raising 2 grandbabies, as infants they were raised on donor breast milk smile

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#17150 - 09/10/14 04:52 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: Nona]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: Nona
The difference in our milk and a birth mothers milk is in the beginning. We have "premilk" It still has immunities in it. And birth mothers have colostrum. When our milk comes in its the same as a birth mothers. There is no difference in our milk.


Nona, could you please tell me how long approximately does that 'premilk' stage last?

Thank you!


Edited by tanya732 (09/10/14 04:52 AM)

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#17151 - 09/10/14 04:58 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: Nona]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
I will absolutely know let you know how things are going and what happens, and I am sure I will ask a few more questions smile

....and here's one - where do you buy domperidone? I have read that people order it from other countries as it is not approved in US for lactation aid use. What's the best way to get it if I decide to go with it?

Thank you!

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#17152 - 09/10/14 10:30 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
Hi Tanya,

Most of us get it from this website. It took about a week to arrive at my house in the US. It typically requires a signature upon arrival but you can request when you order it that a signature is not required.
http://www.inhousepharmacy.biz/

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#17153 - 09/10/14 01:34 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Thank you Claudia! I am so glad I found this forum, it is such a huge help!

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#17176 - 09/17/14 07:58 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Nona Offline
extra helpful experienced member

Registered: 09/27/02
Posts: 1176
inhousepharmacy is where I always bought mine to. They are great and ship quickly.

Premilk length depends on each woman. ITs the clearer white you get in the beginning. You will know when its just milk. It will take on the full white in color. :0
_________________________
Adoptive mommy to 4 , Last 2 adopted nursed. Youngest nursed till she was 5! Raising 2 grandbabies, as infants they were raised on donor breast milk smile

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#17280 - 09/22/14 01:43 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Andrea H. Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/22/14
Posts: 1
When I'm on the inhousepharmacy page, it says that a prescription is required before they will ship the order. Is there a way around this? I ordered once from them last year and know I never sent a prescription, but I can't remember how I accomplished that. :-)

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#17281 - 09/22/14 02:18 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
I'm not sure. I just looked myself and have never seen that before. I wonder if they changed their policy.

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#17284 - 09/22/14 01:00 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Andrea, thank you for posting the question! Yes, I ran into this 'prescription required' issue too! First, after talking to everyone on the forums about domperidone but before I tried to order from inhousepharmacy I assumed it should require no prescription since noone mentioned it. Then when I got on inhousepharmacy website and tried to order it stopped me from placing my order and asked for prescription. I was going to post this question myself but again I assumed that it just my silly assumption wink that I don't need a prescription, after all we live in US and most drugs do require it. So I started looking for a doctor that would prescribe it to me... yet another expense. My current doctor that manages my HRT has refused to work with me on the protocol as she 'doesn't believe it is going to work and doesn't consider it safe'. I spoke to several doctors on the phone and they all refused to work with me on it! I was so surprised and upset. I would like to start on the protocol asap, the later I start the less effective it will be and I already don't have that much time left. Finally I found one doctor that agreed to see me about it and I have an appt with her this afternoon.

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#17286 - 09/22/14 08:52 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: Andrea H.]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Andrea, I have a great news! I just talked to Dr. Newman, you should be able to order Domperidone without prescription from http://www.inhousepharmacy.vu/ (.vu not .biz), however you cannot pay with a credit card, you can only use E-check, which should be fine.

I just ordered from them myself. Yay! Now I don't have to go to a doctor! smile

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#17287 - 09/22/14 09:19 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: Nona]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Originally Posted By: Nona
Premilk length depends on each woman. ITs the clearer white you get in the beginning. You will know when its just milk. It will take on the full white in color. :0


Thank you Nona! I just placed my order for Domperidone so obviously it is too early for me to start pumping since I have not even starter the protocol yet but I was curious the other night and tried to hand express and see what happens. A few tiny brown drops came out... LOL don't know why they are brown, maybe because I am so old wink but I am very excited about getting some white stuff soon! :))

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#17526 - 10/13/14 01:53 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
So I finally got all my drugs together, taking them, waiting to see what happens... smile

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#17528 - 10/15/14 10:40 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
Good Luck!

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#17529 - 10/15/14 09:03 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Thank you! smile I am so excited about this whole thing!

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#17776 - 10/29/14 06:01 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
I have been the domeperidone for about 3 weeks now and on BCP for just over 2 week..... my breasts are HUGE! If it keeps going at that rate I might start falling over smile

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#17777 - 10/29/14 11:29 PM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
Claudia Offline
experienced member

Registered: 09/27/08
Posts: 247
That's good news!!... as long as you don't fall wink

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#17778 - 10/30/14 02:01 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: Claudia]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
LOL it is getting hard to keep balance wink I swear, about half of my body weight is in my breasts right now.... So it looks like the protocol is working... very curious to see the final result

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#19322 - 12/11/14 03:14 AM Re: HRT and Breasfeeding a surrogate baby [Re: tanya732]
tanya732 Offline
member

Registered: 09/02/14
Posts: 25
Hello,

I just want to post some updates and some questions. I also posted a new topic in the Medical Intervention section since I am taking medication (Domperidone).

So the protocol that I had to follow was the accelerated one since I came across it so late and didn't have the luxury of time to prepare myself properly. The first part of the protocol (before pumping) seemed to go very well, my breasts became so big, heavy, full and painful I thought they were ready to just explode with milk when the time comes.... However this is not what's happening.

I have been pumping for about 3 weeks now and all I am getting is drops with about one teaspoon of milk from each breast per pumping session. When I started pumping I had just a drop or two it very thick brown substance, then I started seeing some progress, the liquid became more and more like milk and drops became more plentiful. I thought it would keep going up and up from there but for the last week and a half the amount I am getting has been the same - barely a teaspoon per breast per session and it doesn't seem to be increasing. I feel like I got stuck on that amount and I don't notice any progress. My breasts also don't feel that plump and heavy any more.

I am still taking Domperidone 90 mg a day, Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle and constantly drink lactation promoting herbal tea. I pump about 7-10 times a day and try to do it at least once and sometimes twice during the night.I use Medela In Style pump.

When I pump I also try to do hand compressions and when I am finished pumping I hand express for another 10 minutes trying to get every drop out. Interestingly, very often I get more milk out during my hand expressions than from the pump. My breasts are feeling sore from all the work out I am giving them but it is not bad.

Our surrogate is due in about 2-3 weeks and I was really hoping to be able to produce a decent quantity of milk by that time but I don't see how that can happen with the way things are going.

I would really really like to make it happen. Is there anything else I can possibly be doing? Or maybe doing something differently? I would appreciate any comments or advice!

Thank you !

Tanya

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