How Mirena IUD’S May Reduce Milk Supply

mirena-iud

About 6 weeks postpartum, your health care provider will bring up the subject of birth control. Your doctor has your mental and physical health in mind when he talks to you about a birth control method. An unexpected pregnancy can be very difficult if you’re not ready.

There are many birth control methods that are compatible with breastfeeding. Condoms and other barrier methods are safe and effective when used appropriately. But these methods are considered “risky” to many doctors because they rely on patient compliance and errors can occur. More and more doctors, therefore, are encouraging new mothers to use an IUD for birth control.

There is a relatively new IUD on the market, that definitely can and does create problems for breastfeeding mothers. It’s called Mirena. The Mirena IUD releases small amounts of synthetic progesterone over time. Progesterone is the hormone that keeps you from lactating during pregnancy. It follows that progesterone, even a small amount, could cause a reduction in milk supply for a breastfeeding mother.

There is no research that I know of to back up this claim. I only have the experiences of many clients who have had devastating results with the Mirena. I would bet that there are many others who didn’t put 2 and 2 together and just believed that their milk ”dried up” all by itself or because they had returned to work. Since the resumption of birth control and going back to work often occur at about the same time, a mom could assume that being away from her baby most of the day is what caused the drop in milk production. So who knows how many mothers quit breastfeeding because of the Mirena?

So what should you do about birth control? Let your doctor know that breastfeeding is important to you and that you want to avoid risking your milk supply. Explore all options—including barrier methods. Remember that any birth control method is a “back up” method if you are fully breastfeeding and your baby is under 6 months old. . Avoid birth control methods that rely on hormones. Lastly, if you have already instituted birth control that includes hormones, and you are concerned about milk production, please call me for help!

Renee Beebe, M.Ed., IBCLC
Lactation Consultant
Postpartum Doula
206 356 7252
www.second9months.com

13 Comments to “How Mirena IUD’S May Reduce Milk Supply”

  1. joleen buchholz says:

    I had the merina inserted 4 days ago and have noticed a huge dip in my milk supply. My baby get fustrated at the breast. I’m going tomorrow to have it removed since breastfeeding is very important to me. I wanted to know if my milk supply will come back up and how long Will it take for the hormone to leave my body?
    Hope you can answer my questions

  2. Renee Beebe Renee Beebe says:

    Joleen, good for you for taking immediate action. Please, also, inform your Dr. about this issue and what happened to you. This is a BIG problem, but the information is not being given to Drs. Your milk supply should rebound quickly, since the Mirena was in for such a short time. If you are still having trouble after a day or 2, please contact me. I am the author of the post. You can go to my website and contact me from there. http://www.second9months.com. Best of luck!!

  3. Rxrivas says:

    I just had the mirena placed in 3 days ago and a day later noticed my milk supply decreasing drastically. My son will be 8 months old and I Planned on nursing until he was done just like my other 2 children. I am so upset that my baby cries and doesn’t want to latch on due to frustration and disappointment from the lack of milk. I have made an appointment to get it removed my only concern now is my milk supply returning and my baby latching on again. What can I do to encourage his old nursing habits again? I am overwhelmed with this and disappointed in my obgyn that they are so uninformed.!.

  4. jenna says:

    ive had mine in for 3 weeks and i can only get an oz out of each breast at a good pumping session Aand my baby wont take a bottle ive tryed and tryed what do i do hes soo upset

  5. Renee Beebe Renee Beebe says:

    Jenna, If your mirena is causing you problems with your milk supply, you can go back to your OB and have it removed!!! I’m concerned about you and your baby! Try a cup or a spoon to feed him.

  6. Liz says:

    I’ve had Mirena for 3 1/2 months now and have had a variety of symptoms since insertion that were mostly not listed on the ‘risks’ in the brochure. I discussed with my physician, who I have a great relationship with and trust fully, however, she did not feel many of these were related to the IUD. The past few weeks though, I have just about lost all supply in my right breast and amwondering if this is yet another Mirena side effect. The other symptoms were affecting me, but now that my baby is being affected I am very frustrated and feel I need to finally have this IUD removed! This is my second child who is now 5 months old.

  7. jodie says:

    I got the mirena 2.5 months ago. After only a few days of having it I noticed a drastic drop in my milk supply. I had 500 ounces of milk saved in the freezer. My son gets very frustrated trying to nurse and I end of defrosting milk for him. At the 4 week checkup with my doc I told him I was worried about my milk and the mirena is the only thing that had changed and I think it’s the cause. He told me it is absolutely not the mirena. I have gone through most of my frozen supply and only have 15 ounces left. I’m calling on Monday to have it removed. I’m really hoping I don’t need to start formula before then. I should have looked online before getting the mirena instead of taking my doctor’s word. I have read numerous stories similar to mine.

  8. Rachael says:

    Hi I got mirena put in on October 16 and notice my supply decreasing.. Especially in my left breast. I am only pumping out an ounce when I used to get 3 in that one. I’m getting mine removed Monday. Wondering since I didn’t even have it in for a month how long it will take for my supply to get back where it used to be. Thanks!

  9. Brea says:

    Jeez… I just had mirena removed after having it for a year because it was causing me major depression and cramping on a daily basis. I woke up with huge breasts this morning, and everything finally clicked. Several months ago, before I started supplementing with solids, I was having problems getting my baby to nurse and she seemed hungry all the time. I started adding formula bottles to fill her up. I should have researched mirena more, but it really makes me angry that this sort of thing isn’t mentioned in the doctor’s office, I wouldn’t have gotten mirena if I had known beforehand.

  10. Nancy says:

    My doctor assured me mirena would not cause problems. I got it placed 3 days ago and I just tried to pump and got less than 1oz. Baby has been very very fussy during feedings.I’ve had to supplement with formula. We’re also battling thrush so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I am calling Monday morning to have it removed!

  11. Claire says:

    I had mirena places about 8w PP and I didn’t really notice a difference at first. But then there would be days where I would barely pump anything, when before I would pump 5-6oz. My baby’s weight gain stopped between 2 and 4 months. That’s when it finally clicked- the mirena!! I called to have it removed immediately, and I’m hoping my supply returns with lots of nursing and pumping. The last week my supply finally went to almost nothing out of the blue. I’m not even back at work so I’m not sure there’s any other culprit than the mirena! The dr also assured me the mirena was safe, but said she would “remove it anyway, it’s your body.” I can’t wait for my milk to increase. In the meantime I’m using frozen stuff but it’s still heartbreaking.

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