WLS while breastfeeding
I have had my initial evaluations for Lap RNY, but have not met with my surgeon or gotten a surgery date scheduled.
I am currently breastfeeding, though, and would like advice from other women who were breastfeeding at the time of your surgery and how your experiences went.
I did a search on the boards for this topic and saw a few posts similar to this and all the responses of how it is not advised and most people don't think it is possible to continue breastfeeding after wls. I have also found a few success stories!
I am looking for actual experiences with having wls while breastfeeding, not just opinions on whether or not it should be done.
I'm hoping there are some women who have either succeeded or failed at breastfeeding during the process of having the surgery and recovering who will be willing to share their experiences and advice.
Hello there. My son was 14+ months old when I had my VSG. I'm 18months post-op and he still nurses. We had zero issues. He was eating solids but still got a good source of his nutrition from me. Don't let anyone tell you that it's not possible. Wrong! Obviously, you must make sure you get adequate hydration/nutrition. Go up to the search feature and type in wls and breastfeeding. There was a lady who had bf'ing twins when she had wls. Good luck!
Anyone else with btdt tales?
Good luck with whatever you decide. Maybe contact your local La Leche league and see if they have any recommendations. Or the lactation specialist at your local hospital.
I don't believe I would have been able to do both, but as a midwife, I acknowledge that some people are super mums and can do it all and good luck to them!
I would be surprised if your surgeon were keen on doing WLS on a breastfeeding mum - mine was willing to postpone my surgery if I wanted to carry on feeding but I chose to have the surgery as we were pretty much finished anyway.
Good luck with whatever you choose!
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Now that I've decided to go for it, I don't want to have to keep waiting.... I guess I'd like to have my cake and eat it, too. Is that a bad cliche to use on an obesity forum??? ;)
on 6/25/12 9:58 pm
I encourage you to contact La Leche League. They are the breastfeeding experts & have many physicians on staff.
I wish you the best! What lucky kids you have!
I haven't read the rest of the thread -- but nursing post op is possible -- hard but possible. I would not ever suggest nursing exclusively for an infant during massive weight loss.
Please ask a lactation pro and your surgeon.
Why would I have to pump and dump for several days? Are you an anesthesiologist or pharmacist intimately familiar with the medications used during surgery and their passing through to breastmilk?
I had 5 c-sections, and never had to pump and dump with the anesthesia or pain medications administered to me. I was encouraged to breastfeed, actually! So, I know there are breastmilk-friendly medications that could be administered. I have not had this abdominal surgery, however, and would love input into the medications commonly administered and why I would not be able to breastfeed while using them and if there are alternate medications that would be better for my situation.
I weaned my child during my stay in the hospital for my WLS.
She was 3. Not a big deal.
Also - you could have worded your inital post this way - as you appear to be very well-read in nursing and could probably answer your own question. :)
The type of anesthesia is very different from the epidural they give you while having a c- section ( I have had both). They must give stronger anesthesia for WLS because of the time it takes to perform the operation, and the fact that they don't want you to move. They also administer different types of meds while you are in the hospital, which may be toxic to infants, as well as the barium used in the barium swallow.
Because my son was only three months, I was not willing to take the risk that I would damage my milk supply and waited until he was fully weened before I had surgery.
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on 6/26/12 7:29 am
on 6/26/12 3:35 pm
on 6/27/12 3:33 pm
I can not count the times I heard health care professionals including OB's pediatricians, maternity nurses give incorrect info. If I had a dime every time I heard wrong info id be pretty wealthy. I wouldn't ask your bariatric surgeon or PCP's opinion about breastfeeding, this is most likely a very foreign subject to them, of course mention it so they know you are lactating, but expect to hear the pump and dump myth. Anesthesia has a very short half life, I have consulted on post op gall bladder removals, appendectomy's etc and was able to confer with their surgeon utilizing resources like Dr Hales book or forum located at ibreastfeeding.com so that we could agree on the safety of the breastmilk/resuming lactation.
Contact the hospital IBCLC before surgery, she should be able to hook you up with a hospital grade pump while you are inpatient as well as storage containers and a place to store milk. She should also be able to review your post op orders and see that meds are compatible with lactation. A lot of the same meds given after WLS are given after a c-section, pain killers, anti nausea, benadryl, etc.
More info here: http://kellymom.com/category/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/ Meds approved for lactation by American Academy of Pediatrics (Not all meds have been evaluated yet by AAP, this does not mean they are not compatible, you can look at Dr Hales site and/or book, call local IBCLC or La Leche league, they can not "Approve" a med but can read to you the information word for word so you make your own informed decision: http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/meds/aap-approved-me ds/
As far as any scan after surgery, barium swallow etc, this is what breastfeeding expert Dr Jack Newman states in his myths about breastfeeding:
begin quote "by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
1. Nursing mothers cannot breastfeed if they have had X-rays.
Not true! Regular X-rays such as a chest X-ray or dental X-rays do not affect the milk or the baby and the mother may nurse without concern. Mammogramsare harder to read when the mother is lactating, but can be done and the mother should not stop breastfeeding just to get this done. There are other ways of investigating a breast lump. Newer imaging methods such as CT scan and MRI scans are of no concern, even if contrast is used. And special X-rays using contrast media? As long as no radioactive isotope is used there is no concern and the mother should not stop even for one feed. Herein are included studies such as intravenous pyelogram, lymphangiogram, venogram, arteriogram, myelogram etc. What about studies using radioactive nucleotides (bone scans, lung scans, etc.)? The baby will get a little radioactive nucleotide. However, as we often do these very same tests on children, even small babies, and the potential loss of benefits if the mother stops breastfeeding are considerable, the mother should continue breastfeeding. The exception is the thyroid scan. This test must be avoided in breastfeeding mothers. There are many ways of evaluating the thyroid, and only very occasionally does a thyroid scan truly have to be done. Check first before taking the radioactive iodine, the test can wait until you know for sure. In many cases where the scan must be done, it can be put off for several months." end quote
Dr Jack Newman is a renowned breastfeeding expert, you can email him personally here and ask him his opinion on WLS while breasttfeeding http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/contact.php
My concerns would be your health, you would need to be especially vigilant about nutrition and vitamins, discuss plan with bariatric nutritionist, your body will make milk but if you are lacking it will take from you making you feel run down. Also id ask about ketones from rapid weight loss entering into breastmilk and if they are safe for your baby, I can not find much updated info on that so that's definitely a question for Dr, Newman.
When I went for my evals, the nurse said I definitely had to stop, but the nutritionist didn't think I would need to. I am aware that the concern is more for my health than the nutrition in the breastmilk and I would absolutely be hyper-vigilant about my vitamins and hydration.
I will definitely check out the information you provided and I am so glad I can go into my meeting with my surgeon armed with some real research to make my case for continuing to breastfeed throughout recovery.
Thanks again for retyping everything and sending this info along!!