Hashimoto's thyroisism and breastfeeding

Melissa - posted on 01/27/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I have Hashimoto's Disease (hypothyroidism) and initially my Dr said I couldn't continue to breastfeed while taking Thyroxine, but I did some research and found out it was ok, so she checked it out and said it was ok (her info was outdated).

I am now stabilised on the meds and the Dr said I will only need to have blood tests every 6 months to check it. I am concerned that this is too long as any imbalance I have will go through to my son in my milk.

Does anyone else have a thyroid problem or any insight to help???

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Karen - posted on 06/23/2013

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Hello ladies, my baby is two months old. I from the beginning I have had trouble with milk production. It's very low, I've had to supplement with formula. I had been taking synthroid up until a couple days ago. I notice my milk is even lower Could it be because I'm not taking my pill?

Jaime - posted on 01/31/2009

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I have had a thyroid problem for 10 years.  I am 8 months pregnant w/ my 2nd child (I have had a few miscarriages because of my thyroid).  I nursed my son for a full year with pleanty of extra milk we actually had to throw away bags of excessive milk.



I took my synthroid the entire time being pregnant and nursing.  My thyroid condition did not effect my milk supply at all.  I am on Name Brand Synthyroid.  My Endo has done extensive research and is published on the difference between Name Brand and Generic and she says for Synthroid there is a difference (this does not apply to all drugs).  This may be something you want to talk to your doctor about if you are having trouble regulating your thyroid.  Since I have been on the Name Brand drug my thyroid finally leveled out after years of up and down and constantly changing doses.



Synthyroid does pass into the milk but there is not enough to harm the child.  However because this is a genitic condition your child may end up getting it, not because of the milk but because of the genes that have been passed to them.  The benefit breastmilk out weighs the small passage of medication to the child

Kim - posted on 01/30/2009

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My situation is the same as Courtney's - I was diagnosed about 6 years ago. When I decided to get pregnant my levothyroxine was the only medication they didn't take me off of. My doctor is very conservative, so he takes my labs every 3 months, but there is no concern with it affecting the baby. Both my Ob and my primary physician were involved in monitoring during my pregnancy. My primary is very thorough on these issues, so I'm sure he would have let me know if there were issues.

Nichelle - posted on 01/30/2009

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I had doctor's appointment yesterday and am going on a similar medicine. He told me that although it does cross into the breastmilk, it's in very small amounts. To limit how much the baby is exposed to, you should feed your baby, take your medicine and wait 2 hours before feeding again. It will have to still be monitored and he wants to see me every 3-4 weeks. I hope that helps you out.

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Courtney - posted on 01/31/2009

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Jamie that is so true we are not normal nursing mothers. I never really thought about it, but my thyroid condition could be why I have not been able to nurse my babies for a full year. I am still working on it with my youngest ( 6 months old), I am hopeful that I will be able to go at least a full year. Melissa I hope that these comments have helped to reassure you that everything will be okay!!

Jaime - posted on 01/31/2009

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I also have the same problem.  It happened after my first son was born.  I am on armour thyroid.  I have blood draws every 2 months until my levels are back to where my dr would like them.  I have a 3 month old so I was drawn at 1 month after del.  And have to go also again in march.  I was not able to nurse my 1st son b/c of the problem but did my 2nd and now 3rd with out any probs.  I am not saying it is easy I know that I am not a normal milk producing mother, but I accept that and do what I have to.  I nurse more offten to avoid formula.  I am starting to pump to help boost my supply. 

Courtney - posted on 01/30/2009

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After I posted my last, I read through some of the other comments, I have had hypothyroidism for about 10 years now! I have nursed all of my children with out problem or the need to be off my medication. I am not monitored more then every 6 months and all of my children are fine have had not effects from the medication. I am on generic snythriod ( levothyroxine) have been since I started taking my medication. You should be fine ( all mom's who posted about having this condition) to nurse with out problems. If you are not on an established dosage yet your doctor will do more frequent labs. The small amount of medication that would pass to the baby will not effect his/her thyroid level at all. ( from my experience)

Courtney - posted on 01/30/2009

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I have hypothrioidism too!! I have nursed all four of my babies with out problems. how long have you been on your medication?? Have you been at the same dose for more than 6 months? Are you concerned about the medication passing to the baby through your breastmilk? I only have my labs done every 6 months as well.

Nichelle - posted on 01/30/2009

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Oh, and my medicine is not a hormone replacement, it's a steroid. Although I think the same ways to keep the exposure limited you would follow the same steps.

Melissa - posted on 01/27/2009

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Quoting Nichelle:



I have HYPERthyroidism. I haven't seen a specialist yet, but my family doctor didn't seem concerned with continuing breastfeeding. If I have to take medicine and the say I can't breastfeed, I just wont take the medicine. I'd rather live with the effects of the disorder than quit breastfeeding.






Have you voiced your concern about thinking the blood tests are too far apart? Usually doctors have a reason for the time line they want to take blood but most doctors are very understanding to your worries and would probably allow you to get tested earlier. My advice is talk to your doctor. Just give them a call and have them call you back. 






Also, I didn't know thyroid imbalances could go through breast milk. Any insight?





 




My understanding is that because the imbalance is a hormone imbalance and the medication is a hormone replacement, this passes through the milk.



My Dr initially said I could not breastfeed as the medication would cause my son's thyroid hormones to be to high, but further research suggests that as long as my levels are correct, then he will be getting the correct levels too.



Also, if you are hyper, I'm not sure it would be a good idea to not take medication and continue breastfeeding as your overactive thyroid hormones would be going to bubs. You are best to seek a medication that is safe for breastfeeding, stabilizing your thyroid hormones are in bubs best interests as well as your own.

Liz - posted on 01/27/2009

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I am new to the thyroid issues but my doctor has me go once a month to check my levels.  She told me that my levels have to be pretty accurate in order for my symptoms to go away (and that means checking my levels monthly to make sure I am taking the right dosage of medication).  I too am nursing but my doctor said that the medication I am on would not affect my milk supply or harm my baby.  It's called Eltroxin.  I have Hypothyroidism as well.  I would ask her at the very least to have blood taken every other month while you are nursing.

Nichelle - posted on 01/27/2009

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I have HYPERthyroidism. I haven't seen a specialist yet, but my family doctor didn't seem concerned with continuing breastfeeding. If I have to take medicine and the say I can't breastfeed, I just wont take the medicine. I'd rather live with the effects of the disorder than quit breastfeeding.



Have you voiced your concern about thinking the blood tests are too far apart? Usually doctors have a reason for the time line they want to take blood but most doctors are very understanding to your worries and would probably allow you to get tested earlier. My advice is talk to your doctor. Just give them a call and have them call you back. 



Also, I didn't know thyroid imbalances could go through breast milk. Any insight?

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