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Breastfeeding and thyroid surgery

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

New member here, looking for advice. I have an EBF eight week old son and discovered I may need thyroid surgery soon, depending on the results of a biopsy I had this week. Besides the fact that I am nervous about the surgery in general, I am extremely upset about the idea of disrupting our breastfeeding relationship. My surgeon told me I would need to pump and dump for two days because of the anesthesia and pain meds. Does this sound right? And my son has never had a bottle. How far in advance should I try to introduce a bottle? If I've never pumped before and suddenly pump for two days straight, will this make my supply drop? How will I know how much milk I need stored up for him? How can I help him not panic and cry the whole two days, since he is a comfort nurser?

Also, has anyone had surgery on their thyroid while breastfeeding? If you have to remove half your thyroid and your body has to adjust, could this impact your supply?


Sorry for so many questions. I don't know where to start with all of this.

post #2 of 5
I would be suspicious of your doctor's advice because they're often ignorant of how meds transfer into milk and tell women to pump and dump because they don't want to bother finding out. Women nurse after having general anesthetic all the time, right?
Dr. Thomas Hale's site infantrisk.com is a good source of information and this link seems helpful: http://www.anesthesiaweb.org/breastfeeding.php
I hope it's a moot point and you don't need the surgery after all!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I'll read the article. I was considering contacting an LC and it sounds like it would be a good plan.


I did find out that the biopsy was most likely benign, which means I could put off surgery until my son has weaned or is at least BF'ing only before bed. Such a huge relief. :)

post #4 of 5
That's great! Happy nursing, mama.
post #5 of 5

MY thyroid swelled up at 4 months pp.  My levels went up and I became dehydrated and my supply dropped.  I had been hypo prior to having my son.  Suddenly, I was hyper and you could see my swollen thyroid.  I went through the sonogram and ct scan to make sure that there was nothing else going on and just my thyroid was swollen.  I am seeing a homeopath now because I don't want to have surgery.  It's too soon to tell if my treatment is working.  With the dehydration, I drink a bottle of gatorade a day and it makes a difference.  My thyroid got really swollen, and then it went down and it's still fluctuating.  I hope this helps.

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