Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hypothyroidism and breastfeeding

The other day, a mummie on our facebook wall, had a question about Hypothyroidism (aka under active Thyroid) and breastfeeding. Here is what she asked: "I have a topic/question. I had pregnancy Hypothyroidism and had no idea that it could affect my milk production. My LO is 15mos and I have been exclusively BF and I feel that I might have low supply..none of the usual "tricks" work for me. I drink tons of water and eat plenty of good fatty foods and protein. None of herbals agree with my LO and the teas don't make a difference either. So can we assume that my Hypo made a difference? And If we decide to have another LO, will I continue to have this problem? I have two older children that I nursed and never had a problem with milk, it came in when I was 6mo along and I was a "leaker" (lol), but I didn't have Hypo those pregnancies either. I don't have it now..it has gone away..but has it made a permanent impression?"

I had not heard of this before.... so naturally I decided to go on a research binge! What I found was pretty interesting! For one.... I did not know that Thyroid Deficiency can happen during pregnancy and I also did not know it could affect breastmilk supply. 


So here is what I found....Thyroid Disease is fairly common in women of child bearing age and comes with a lengthy list of symptoms.

fatigue
mental fogginess and forgetfulness
feeling excessively cold
constipation
dry skin
fluid retention
non specific aches and stiffness in muscles and joints
excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
depression
thinning hair
poor appetite
(Which if you think about most of these can be connected to normal postpartum fatigue, postpartum depression or EVEN breastfeeding. So it is important to get checked out.)


Now the issue of breastfeeding and low breastmilk supply....Luckily.... the medication used to treat this disease do not conflict with breastfeeding! (Meaning all this medicine does is raise the Mummie's Thyroid levels to normal, therefore making her feel better  and helping the breastmilk supply increase. The Le Leche League has some GREAT  articles about this..... and who better to trust than them! I also found a Mummie who has experienced Hypothyroidism and she gave some great tips, that helped her.

It seems as though that if you no longer suffer from pregnancy related Thyroid Disease, and are still suffering from low milk supply, your levels in the Thyroid may not be as "normal" as they should be.

I hope this helps some Mummies..... Good luck and as always.... HUGS TO YOU!

~Mummie

5 comments:

  1. Thanks! I had thought I found all of the articles that would help figure this out, but you managed to find some I missed. I will just have to check up on my levels again. I was told that they were fine and back to normal, maybe they aren't or maybe they dropped..I will have to find out and will upddate you! Thanks again for your help and support! I am truly thankful to have found your FB page..:)

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  2. Oh Misty you are so welcome! Please do keep me posted!

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  3. I was told to check my thyroid, but i really didnt think it was a bog deal to check.....but now?? Totally going to go check it out... Thank ypu for this :)

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  4. *big.... I'm still getting used to one handed typing sorry!!!!

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  5. Check out www.stopthethyroidmadness.com for thyroid info. They saved me from misery! I have no affiliation with them other than just loving the site! :-)

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Thanks for commenting!