Breastfeeding after a thyroidectomy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 01-11-2007, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I posted in the Health and Healing forum, but thought I should also try here. I have recently been diagnosed with Medullary Thyroid Cancer and will have to have a total thyroidectomy and neck dissection. I am still nursing my 16 month old and would like to continue to do so after my surgery. Has anyone here had a thryoidectomy or other major surgery and continued to nurse afterwards? I am hoping to work with my surgeon to choose medications that are as breastfeeding-friendly as possible. Any suggestions as to how you coped with nursing after a major surgery would be helpful. I had a surprise C-section with my second child (she was breech and no one, including me suspected it!) so I've nursed a newborn after surgery, but I didn't need to be under general anesthesia for that, as I will now. Thanks for your help!
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#2 of 7 Old 01-11-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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While my dd was nursing I had my wisdom teeth cut out and 6 months later I had to have nasal surgery. With the wisdom teeth, I basically pumped and dumped x2 after surgery and probably didn't nurse for at least 6 hours after surgery- got my mom to help with dd. With that one, I was basically just taking tylonol and IB profin for the pain, so nothing major. The nasal surgery though was SUPER painful- and I didn't nuse dd for a couple of days while I took narcotics to cope with the pain. She had no trouble returning to nursing when I was ready.

Both times we spoke with dd before hand and told her mommy was "sick" and not going to be able to nurse her for a while. I also made sure I had as much support for dd (mainly my mom) as possible while I recovered- and I highly recommend you get some extra support. If you currently nurse many times a day, you might want to try cutting back a little in the days leading up to the surgery, so the shift isn't so sudden.

General anesthesia will be out of your system in a matter of hours- less than 24 for sure, but the bigger issue will be what type of pain relief you need and other meds after the surgery. Those are things to talk to your dr about.

I hope your surgery goes well!!

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#3 of 7 Old 01-12-2007, 12:27 AM
 
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I had a total thyroidectomy after cancer, although mine was a few years before I had DS. I am so sorry you're going though this now. I hope that you have a speedy recovery.
My understanding is that you can pump and dump after general anesthesia. Thyroid replacement meds are usually OK for nursing. I assume you'll need radioactive iodine treatments? Those are not compatible and you will not even be able to be near your children while taking those. Perhaps you can discuss waiting on those until you are comfortable weaning.
Feel free to PM me. I just passed the 5 year mark since my surgery and am doing well. I'd be happy to share more about it with you.

modern-mama to DS (5.16.05) and DD (9.11.08) and one more (GIRL!) coming in December
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#4 of 7 Old 01-12-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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I have nursed after a thyroidectomy (sp)? But I didnt have to have raidioactive iodine either. There is a risk of breast cancer for moms that are still breastfeeding that have the raidioactive iodine. From what I have read the iodine collects in our milk ducts but if you were totally weaned (which could take a LONG time) then the risks wouldnt be as bad. I wonder if you can pump and dump for a while and that would help reduce the amount of iodine in your breasts and the risk of cancer.
Have you tried posting in the La Leche League forums? They have a thread or two about thyroid stuff there. I have not really read them. But they might be helpful.

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
Homebirthing, somewhat crunchy, single mom of ~5~.
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#5 of 7 Old 01-12-2007, 01:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erkuhlmann View Post
Hi all,

I posted in the Health and Healing forum, but thought I should also try here. I have recently been diagnosed with Medullary Thyroid Cancer and will have to have a total thyroidectomy and neck dissection. I am still nursing my 16 month old and would like to continue to do so after my surgery. Has anyone here had a thryoidectomy or other major surgery and continued to nurse afterwards? I am hoping to work with my surgeon to choose medications that are as breastfeeding-friendly as possible. Any suggestions as to how you coped with nursing after a major surgery would be helpful. I had a surprise C-section with my second child (she was breech and no one, including me suspected it!) so I've nursed a newborn after surgery, but I didn't need to be under general anesthesia for that, as I will now. Thanks for your help!
Oh I forgot to tell you that you can nurse as soon as you are awake from your surgery. Seems like I was really waking up when they took me to my room afterwards and my husband and 12 month old son was there waiting. DS was so happy to nurse. The night after the surgery was the hardest because nobody brought me a breast pump and I was a little to exhausted to ask for one. I woke in the wee morning hours and got out of bed and stood over the bathroom sink and hand expressed. Then the next morning I just stood in the warm shower and let my breasts leak till they felt much better. About 5 hours later I was on my way home and so glad to see DS.

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
Homebirthing, somewhat crunchy, single mom of ~5~.
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#6 of 7 Old 01-13-2007, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi peachymomma,

Thanks for your information. I don't think I have to do any radioactive iodine treatments, as I am told that medullary thyroid cancer doesn't respond well to those. I don't know what scans I will have to do before or after surgery yet, though. I am interested in how you coped with physical pain after your thryoidectomy and nursing. Were you able to nurse in bed? My ds still likes to nurse at night, and I am wondering how I will accomplish that after neck surgery.

Thanks
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#7 of 7 Old 01-16-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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PM'd you mama

~Carla~ LOVING~ LIFE~
Homebirthing, somewhat crunchy, single mom of ~5~.
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