Breastfeeding with hypothyroidism - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, Ladies!

Does anyone out there have experience breastfeeding with hypothyroidism? My understanding is that as long as I make sure my TSH levels are good throughout pregnancy and after delivery (this means checking them frequently and adjusting meds accordingly), my supply should be fine.

In both "Living Well with Hypothyroidism" and "The Thyroid Guide to Fertility Pregnancy and Breastfeeding," author/patient advocate Mary Shomon explains that she was unable to breasfeed because her TSH levels were wildly out of range (having gone into a very hypo mode) after her daughter's delivery and she didn't realize this until it had affected her milk supply. To avoid this situation, she suggests having your levels checked right after delivery.

Anyway ... any problems, tips or success stories would be great to hear. We should be TTC very soon, and I'd like to have some ancedotal information about this.

Thanks!!
K

K(h)aren. Writing/editing mama to my quixotic Sam (12.07) and my intrepid William (01.11).

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#2 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 10:59 AM
 
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I technically have hypothyroid but it is totally under control thru meds (had my thyroid removed cancer) When I was pg I went every 3 months to check my levels. Then within 3 weeks of the birth went in and then every 3 months after that till year old then 6months. That is a lot of visits but it is needed since pg and bfing can really affect the levels. I had no trouble with dd oversupply actually and haven't had any with ds either. I just make sure to keep a close watch on my physical symptoms ie heart palpitations, shakes, weakness etc. and if anything starts changing I go right in for blood work. So far no problems.

Just keep close watch on everything and make sure that u have a endocrinologist not just a regular dr as they know way more in general about this than the avg dr does. Good Luck ttc.

 
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#3 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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I have slightly underactive thyroid. And have never had any problems with supply. I take .025mg of synthroid....the lowest dose

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#4 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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i am suppose to take synthroid every morning 75mg. i probably remember 5 out of 7 days. my supply has been huge as usual at 2 weeks post pardom. havent been checked yet. guess i will ask at my 6 week pp visit to have my blood drawn. i am worried now about NFP and avoiding pregnancy.

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#5 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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I also take synthroid every day and have my throid level monitored regularly. I EBF my dd who is now almost 9 months and haven't had any supply issues. Good luck!
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#6 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great! Thanks for the responses, ladies. It's good to hear this hasn't really been an issue for most people.

I am also on Synthroid -- about 162 mcg/day, a fairly high dosage, but I have my levels checked regularly and also monitor my general thyroid and endocrine health through charting my cycles -- I can tell right away if something is off thyroid-wise if my cycles are screwy. I'm hoping that being in touch with my body, as well as being conscientious about checking on my TSH levels, will result in a good outcome for me. I am really, really, really looking forward to BFing!

Thanks, again. And Kudos to all of you for chosing to BF your babies -- you're wonderful!
K

K(h)aren. Writing/editing mama to my quixotic Sam (12.07) and my intrepid William (01.11).

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#7 of 11 Old 05-12-2006, 08:02 PM
 
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I have Hypothyroidism, too...and I NEVER remember to take my meds. I'm just ditzy that way, but anyhow...it's not affected my supply at all, I have WAY too much milk. I only learned recently that it can even be a problem.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#8 of 11 Old 05-13-2006, 12:41 AM
 
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This is an important issue!

I believe mine was mismanaged during pregnancy, even though "technically" within the levels, right at the bottom range with free T4 and T3, etc. So my doc said "normal!" but I asked for the numbers, and was shocked. I raised my medicine level myself and I feel much better, and have a bit more milk (but some of that maybe due to the domperidone I'm taking). I have other symptoms of hypothyroidism that were exhibiting, which is why I asked to get it tested again after birth.

There is NEW evidence that your level of medicine should be RAISED throughout pregnancy even if your TSH tests are NORMAL. Please look into this.

I can't express how much difficulty I"m having feeding my daughter, I have to suppliment 50% with formula, she was extremely ill during her first week, etc. It's a big deal. Try to find an endo/OB you can ask that knows about the NEW guidelines about managing this during pregnancy. I, and my baby, were harmed by unknowledgable midwives. Ugh -j
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#9 of 11 Old 05-13-2006, 02:18 AM
 
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I have hypothyroidism (due to radiation from cancer treatment) that is managed with Synthroid. I very rarely have had to have my dosage adjusted (like 2-3 times in the last 5 years, through two pregnancies) and have never had any problems with my supply. Unless you count TONS of milk a problem (my DD doesn't)! DD is still going strong at 27 months.
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#10 of 11 Old 05-13-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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I have been told that naturpaths scale for determining hypothyroid is much more sensitive then the average doctor and people who test out fine for Thyroid are finding releif with this new scale.
Shawna N.
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#11 of 11 Old 05-13-2006, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for continuing to provide feedback on this, ladies.

Jenny, I'm so sorry you ran into problems. You're absolutely correct about recent findings re: increasing levothyroxine (Synthroid,, Levoxyl, etc.). I found out about this a few months ago. Here's the New England Journal of Medicine abstract, if anyone is interested:
http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/351/3/241

And here's a write-up on this from Mary Shomon's thyroid.about.com:
http://thyroid.about.com/od/hormonep...dosechange.htm

Essentially, the mean levothyroxine requirement increased 47 percent during the first half of pregnancy (median onset of increase, eight weeks of gestation) and plateaued by week 16. This increased dose was required until delivery.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful endocrinologist right now who takes a holistic approach to treating hypothyroidism, and he's very up-to-date re: current treatment (including using the new 0.3-3.0 TSH scale, reviewing my cycle charts, actually determining my level of wellness based on how I *feel*, etc.). I'm planning on being very vigilant about watching my levels, and I've always asked for a copy of my test results (actually, I'm a bit obsessive about making sure all information is shared with me).

I'm so glad so many of you have had successful outcomes!

K(h)aren. Writing/editing mama to my quixotic Sam (12.07) and my intrepid William (01.11).

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