Is It Okay to Breastfeed during IVF?

Undergoing IVF requires the patient to make slight lifestyle changes. One of these changes may be the need to stop breastfeeding. Both IVF and breastfeeding play with a woman’s hormones. Many times, an IVF patient is required to ingest or inject regular hormones to enhance their chances of becoming pregnant. These additional hormones will likely need to be injected for several months before and after the IVF procedure.

Breastfeeding also affects a woman’s hormones. A woman’s hormones must be at a certain level to continue breastfeeding. A low hormone level may cause the woman to discontinue lactating; too high of a hormone level may cause too much lactation or disturb a breastfeeding baby’s digestion.

Breastfeeding during IVF

Most physicians recommend that a patient not breastfeed during IVF. Because breastfeeding affects a woman’s hormones, there is no telling how the hormones required for the IVF procedure will be changed. To increase the chances of a patient becoming pregnant after IVF, most physicians require that the patient not breastfeed.

This does not necessarily mean that breastfeeding will prevent successful IVF. There is no evidence of a direct correlation between the two, but rather only inferences due to them both having an impact on the patient’s hormone levels. Therefore, some mothers continue to breastfeed, despite their physician’s advice.