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Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

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Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

Postby amym » Sun Apr 04, 2004 05:56 pm

by amym (354 Posts), Sun Apr 04, 2004 05:56 pm

My blood pressure is now down to "prehypertension" range and my doc suggested that it may return to normal once I stop breastfeeding. I am tempted to stop earlier than I planned to because of this, but what if it doesn't happen? Then I will have given up several months where I could have given my daughter breast milk, which I know would be better for her than formula. Oh, what to do?

If anyone has heard of this happening or has had it happen themselves, please let me know.



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Re : Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

Postby paljane8 » Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:46 am

by paljane8 (1416 Posts), Mon Apr 05, 2004 11:46 am

Hi Amy,

Boy, I looked and looked for info for you and I came up with nothing linking lowering bp after you are done nursing. Infact, almost all studies recommend breast feeding for those who want to even if they are taking antihpertensive meds-although they need to be montiored closer because of the possible introduction of trace amounts in breast milk. My thoughts are to ask you doc what he/she means. Are you on antihypertensive meds? What is your bp now? It is such a personal decision as to whether you want to continue breast feeding-but, find out what your doc means and then you can make a choice that works for you.

I am very curious, let us know what your doc says and what you choose to do-ok? How old is your daughter?

Nancy Eastwood
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Janie-5/12/03 (PIH, oligo and low blood flow)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/4/4lbs/
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Re : Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

Postby amym » Mon Apr 05, 2004 01:48 pm

by amym (354 Posts), Mon Apr 05, 2004 01:48 pm

Nancy,

I have kind of a weird situation, I must say ... I have been diagnosed with something called "postural tachycardia syndrome" that started two days after I had my daughter, and I think my doctor figures my blood pressure not returning to normal is related to that. This illness involves swelling, headaches, palpitations and muscle weakness. It apparently is related to blood volume and hormones, so presumably it involves blood pressure. I am being told my hypertension might not be "essential" hypertension as is the usual case post-preeclampsia. Therefore, if I end my hormonal breastfeeding state, I may get better.

To make matters more complicated, I was put on a beta-blocker in Dec. to control the heart rate. The nice thing is it also lowers BP, but because I started taking it just a month after having my daughter, I don't know what my blood pressure would be doing if I wasn't taking it. It is running anywhere from 105-132/68-84, but mostly in that 120-130/80 range. I want to stop the beta blocker because of the side effects, but I don't know what will happen to my BP. I know you and the other preeclampsia victims might not be the best suited to answer my question, but any advice would be nice -- what would you do if you were told to stop breastfeeding to possibly improve your own health, but that would mean fewer months of breast milk for your baby? And the fact that she was just 4-1/2 pounds at birth makes me want to breastfeed her as long as possible. I'm totally torn.

Amy

DD Delaney (born 11/26/03, 37 weeks, PIH & IUGR)

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Re : Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

Postby catherine » Mon Apr 05, 2004 02:26 pm

by catherine (2832 Posts), Mon Apr 05, 2004 02:26 pm

Hi Amy, I hope you don't mind me horning in on this topic. Is it very important that your BP get back to normal without meds in the next 2-3 months? The reason that I ask, is that you aren't nursing a newborn anymore, so I would anticipate that her nursing frequency is going to start to drop, especially once she sleeps through the night. As that happens, the hormones begin to kick back in. Three babies in, I'm pretty familiar with this, as soon as I get to sleep through the night, I ovulate and AF shows right back up again. Extrapolating from that, I would anticipate that at least for some women, it is possible to return to hormonal cycling and still nurse. So, your hormones should be tending back to normal relatively soon anyhow.

It is even possible that by partially weaning her, that you can get your cycle back. Right now my 10 month old is receiving formula at daycare and nursing at home and at the weekend. I'm confident that I can sustain a reasonable supply with that schedule. She is on at least two meals a day of solids also. She was slow to start (8 months before the first flicker of interest) but is keen to eat now.

If the side effects of the beta blocker are very uncomfortable, then I think that you have to do some balancing. The "protective" effects of BM drop dramatically after 6 months. So, the maximum benefits that you'll have provided are on the wane. It is a wonderful, and special intimacy that you share with your child when you nurse, but moms who FF are very far from estranged from their little charmers. I think that it is important to remember that family health is what you are aiming for, if yours is suffering, then ultimately that isn't going to benefit her.

I know that this was a) long and b) probably not hugely helpful. I just wanted to warn you against falling into the trap of not wanting to "deprive" your preeclampsia baby of "more". I felt a lot of guilt about the impact of my disease on my baby's health, still do, still worry about the possibility that her rough ride into this world has "stolen" from the store of her potential. As such, I was always determined to get everything (whatever that exactly would be) else right[:p][B)]

Catherine
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Re : Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

Postby amyk » Tue Apr 06, 2004 06:59 am

by amyk (198 Posts), Tue Apr 06, 2004 06:59 am

Well, there's really no way I can top that answer...still, I'd like to add that I have been gradually ending the bf'ing (mostly because it really isn't bf'ing, it's all pumping). I've been cutting out one pumping session every couple of weeks. I'm down to two a day now (and I got AF last week) and I ought to be completely done by May. As I've been cutting down, my bp has been dropping. I don't know if it's because of this or solely time, but it has been falling and it's nearly where I want it.I think that when I completely stop and throw in some more exercise it'll be right back to normal.
Whatever you decide will probably be the right decision!

Amy

Chloe (8/6/01) 35 weeks, p/e, hellp
Tristan (9/3/03), 32 weeks, p/e and hellp AGAIN
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Re : Has anyone's BP gone down after stopping nursing?

Postby amym » Tue Apr 06, 2004 07:50 am

by amym (354 Posts), Tue Apr 06, 2004 07:50 am

Thanks so much for the advice, Catherine and Amy! I think I am going to wait another month and then start weaning Delaney, since she'll be starting cereal then. Like I said, I know my BP problem is more complicated than yours because of the other symptoms, so it's hard to predict what will happen. But I did feel a lot of guilt for not being as "healthy" as other moms who are able to breastfeed with no need for meds. My doctors want me to start taking Effexor too for this problem because antidepressants somehow help it, and obviously this is something I can't do while breastfeeding.

I am so glad your BP is returning to normal, Amy! That's a relief. Hopefully mine and many of the other women here will find the same thing happen.

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