Is anyone out there trying/has tried, to breastfeed a toddler (16 month old), whilst suffering from endo? How are you coping?

I'm really struggling but don't want to give up because I love the bond and the closeness, but the nights are killing me. She's likely to be my only one and I feel so blessed to have had her, because since I did, I've had the endo diagnosis. And a vile pregnancy. And Pain and crushing exhaustion. And depression. So I just want to hold her close and nurture her for as long as she needs. And the teething pains always seem eased by the feeding. Are/were you in a similar position? Any words of support/hints? Thank you!

7 Replies

  • Sorry to hear you struggling. I don't know if what I say is helpful as not experienced breastfeeding but will do in 4 to 5 weeks as expecting my boy to arrive in September, and was diagnosed with endo last year, most of it in my ovary as had 6cm chocolate cyst in it. I can relate to how you feel blessed i do too and want to to everything right as I can and naturally too because of the bond and want to breast feed as long as possible or express and donate milk in hope to hold off my periods, but am very anxious about getting endo pain again in the future and not knowing how I will cope if this happens.

    If my pain returned, I would probably feel very exhausted and very depressed about it too. Since i want to breast feeding as long as possible also, and if was struggling to cope with endo pain I would call my GP to try and arrange to speak to him/her to discuss my pain and feelings about breastfeeding, they should support you in your decision to continue breastfeeding as it is your right to want to carry on.

    Is there anyone that can give you a break so you can rest/sleep? Have you family/other half that can help you so can express and bottle the milk so they can feed her while you take a rest? I think you have done very well and admire the fact you have continued to breastfeed for 16 months as many women struggle to breastfeed anyway but having endo pains to suffer with as well that is a total bummer I hope I can do it as will feel like a failure as a woman if can't cope with breastfeeding after a couple of weeks.

    I don't think there is enough literature or support for new mothers out there that have endometriosis. Having a baby/toddler is hard enough as it is but with additional chronic diseases such as endo. New mums with endo should be given a lot more emotional support and pain management options, and should be prioritised in being seen by specialists because I do not think it is fair that new mothers having endo are to suffer alone, and have to think about giving up breastfeeding because of endo pains. GP/midwife should be behind you 100% when it comes to breastfeeding as this culture is all for it as can see benefits it has on both mother and child so I would think they would give you the support you need. Sorry for babbling on a lot am tired not very good at keeping short and sweet at this hour! Hope my babbling/thoughts help a little. xx

  • It does. Thank you. Hope it all goes well. It's good that they have diagnosed your cyst before labour starts. Will you have a ceasarean?

  • Thank you. I had the cyst drained during investigative laparoscopy last May and MRI last July showed it was only 1.5cm's after draining it. Body not want to get pregnant while I had the cyst my ovary was not strong enough to hold and maintain the corpus luteum (yellow body that forms after ovulation and when pregnant get larger to produce pregnancy hormones during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy until the placenta takes over hormone production). Not sure if it is still there, but had no endo pain at all and very lucky as very easy pregnancy. Going natural delivery, he has dropped now and in a nice head down position, feeling very heavy lately! Had 36 week scan today was amazing to see him and he is growing well too. Looking forward to meeting him very soon :) xx

  • Hi, sorry to hear you're struggling. I would say you've done an amazing job at breast feeding for that long. I only managed 2 days with my first and 5 days with my second, it was so painful I just couldn't carry on. Don't beat yourself up if you have to stop. I am very close to both my children despite not being able to feed them myself. If it's getting you down then it might be time to stop. Just do what feels right for you hun x

  • hey!

    Wow well done for feeding for so long. I am feeding my daughter, she is 14 months old. I have endo, hypothyroid and pernicious anaemia and I would say that I have found these conditions to be worse since breastfeeding because, to be honest, I think it does knacker your body a bit, afterall your body has to work to produce the milk. However, my doctors have been fantastic regards the hypothyroid and PN. I have had my blood checked more often and my meds kept ontop of. Like you say, the bonding is fantastic, and if you want to carry on then go for it. I love BF my daughter and it's so healthy for the both of us in lots of ways. But it is worth mentioning and reiterating to your GP/gynae and maybe be assertive and ask for their support. x

  • OMG! thank you! I was beginning to feel so lonely. I had hypothyroidism too for a while but is has calmed down. Thx so much for getting back to me ! Xx

  • My daughter is 20 months so I totally know what you mean about the closeness of breastfeeding thing and not wanted to have to give up before you choose, I ended up in A&E yesterday in agony an all that was going through my head was 'what if I have to stop feeding her, now, this second?!' I co-sleep with her and have done since she was small as I had severe pre-eclampsia and had to have and emergency c-section and there was no way I could get up to feed her on demand every couple of hours etc.

    I am due to have a scan/gyn appt next week for suspected Adenomyosis and am currently having a really rough time but I'm so glad Ive struggled through feeding so that I can still do something nice when everything else is sore and difficult, it can be done :-)

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