I loved breastfeeding! It was such an emotional and bonding experience between me and my son, and it came so much more natural to me than I had ever imagined before becoming a mother. Sure, it was complicated to get started properly because of soreness and getting the flow right and the joy of mastitis hit me a couple of times in the beginning. Also, because of my injured tailbone I could only breastfeed when I was lying down, which made it all quite inconvenient. But for the relationship with my son I absolutely loved it – and so did he!
So when I was told that the prolapse might see an improvement when I stopped breastfeeding I stood in front of a difficult decision. I was back on that battle where the personal me wanted to try everything to get my own body back to some sort of normality… but as a mother I really didn’t want to stop breastfeeding! The discussion came up every time I went for a ’prolapse checkup’ and I came from the appointment confused and a little sad. When to stop breastfeeding was not a decision I wanted to make in this way. I wanted to be able to continue as long as my little one needed/wanted it without having any other reason making me decide to stop. And on top of it, I didn’t know that stopping would for sure help, it was just a ’might’. I guess it was also for that reason that each time the question came up, I ended up putting it behind me, and I let the mother win this battle.
I therefore continued breastfeeding with no consideration of the prolapse and stopped when my son was 17 months old. I saw no significant difference in the prolapse symptoms after. And I feel very pleased that I listened to my heart on this one.
But what are your experiences? I am not sure if this breastfeeding thing is something scientifially proven or not. But I believe it is due to hormonal reasons – something about that the estrogen levels are lower when you breastfeed making the vaginal tissues weaker, so when you stop and your cycle and estrogen levels are back to normal it may have a positive effect on the tissues and pelvic floor strength – but please do not quote me on this. I am in fact very curious about hearing YOUR experiences on the topic?! Has anyone had a prolapse improvement after stopping breastfeeding? Or do you have any other thoughts (or knowledge!) on this? Please share!
April 29, 2018 at 13:27
Hi there, My physio said the same thing with regards to breastfeeding and building a stronger pelvic floor. She said that oestrogen levels drop when breastfeeding and can make muscles lax and that things may ease up for me when I stop breastfeeding. My periods re-started after 3 months so I am not completely without oestrogen. The main issue for me at the moment is joints and ligament/tendon pain/injury – I am currently dealing with de quervain’s tenosynovitis (aka mummy’s thumb) and other milder twinges in all joints really. I am still breastfeeding – like you I want to keep going for my little one <3 – but I am also looking forward to seeing if my body heals a bit more when we stop.
April 30, 2018 at 13:35
thanks for commenting! Sorry to hear you are suffering from de quervain’s, it’s a nasty one. Hope you recover from that soon.
Interesting to hear that you have been advised the same thing about breastfeeding, and also that you just like me have chosen to continue for your little one! I think we can very much relate to one another and all the different thoughts and emotions around this.. I am very much looking forward to hear if you have further improvement in body healing when you do decide to stop BF! For now, stay strong and positive!
Many thanks for sharing!