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Depo Provera and Mother's Milk Supply

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Micky over at MochaMilk has a must-read post on her site about Depo Provera. Now I'm not a fan of hormonal birth control (in fact, I blame it for my own fertility problems) but her blog post made me even more upset at the ways these products are being promoted.

Micky's post covers a pretty broad spectrum. From the impact of Depo on a mother's milk supply to the use of it on inner city single mothers without their knowledge, you'll likely find yourself more than a little ticked off after you've read it.

Here's a sample of what she has to say:

Lactation consultants will tell you story after story of mothers who struggle to bring in any milk supply at all after receiving an injection of Depo Provera. Even worse, how many mothers now think this is one more way that their body doesn't work; they could not produce milk for their baby. Yet, it didn't have to be that way.

Do doctors know they are sabotaging their patients? Do they care?

It gets worse...

I have heard time and time again of it being given with and without consent to black mothers (some young, some low income, some not) in the hospital. Apparently some doctors are so concerned that these potentially "non-compliant" patients will either skip the 6 weeks appointment or come back pregnant that they are willing to trample on their right to make an informed decision (especially one they may not agree with).

Anyone else as incensed about this as I am? Now long-time Lactivist readers already know my opinion of obstetrics as a whole (if not, just read the childbirth related posts here on the blog) but this just....arg...it just ticks me off. It's one thing to coerce a mother into a bad birth experience for the convenience of the doctor, it's a whole other thing to take away a mother's fertility without her knowledge and to put her ability to breastfeed at risk. It reeks of the days when moms were given shots in the hospital to "dry up their milk" because doctors believed that formula was so much better than breastmilk.

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  1. Blogger Joanne | 8:29 AM |  

    It is shocking, not to mention illegal, to give women this drug without their consent! I guess they can get away with it because they do it to women who they believe are not likely to get a lawyer and sue over it, especially since they may not know what happened until later.

    Depo can be a great option for women who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to consistantly use another form of birth control. But of course it should be only used after being fully informed about the risks and benefits, especially since it is not immediatly reversible if you change your mind about it.

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