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  • Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

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    Old 02-27-2005, 01:47 AM   #1
    MandyS
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    Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

    I am breastfeeding my 2 month old baby. Since the start I seemed not to be able to give enough breast milk to my baby. I started supplementing with formula from first week and I still supplement. I am wondering if my milk supply is really low because of the evil circle of supply and demand. Meaning supplementing with formula makes my baby not demand as much breast milk. On the other hand the doctors said my baby was not growing and he had jaudice that needed food to flush it away.
    I read somewhere can not remember where that this lady could not produce enough milk because she was hypo. Is that really true, does anyone know? I am really dissapointed I have to supplement so much. I do use a pump and take herbs such as fenugreek and fennelseed tea. It has been two months and I am afraid that I might dry up completely way too early. I always assumed I would exclusively breast feed for at least 6 months. If anyone knows of any connection please let me know.

     
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    Old 02-27-2005, 03:45 AM   #2
    BonBe
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    Re: Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

    Hello Mandy

    I am in age way beyond this, but did breast feed my two children, each for 12 months with the first child it was exclusivily. He never even saw a bottle. the second child was only 6 months, then I gave a bottle along with breast (even pumped out when she became ill from a severe cold and was hospitalized, there I was making the trip every 2 hours to the hospital and back dragging my 4 year old with me. (no neighbours or family) hubby had a 'travelling job at that time'

    My first impression is that maybe with the herbal teas and supplements your baby just doesnt like the 'taste' therefore not wishing to suckle more hence your circle of supply and demand. Certain foods do in fact transfer to milk. I am not sure of the hypo theory, Have never seen any women talk about it, (nursing and being hypo) I would not think it mattered at all as long as you were still producing milk. Lots and Lots of doctors and baby care professionals are not that up to par with breast feeding.

    Can you contact your local chapter of La Leche League? They are world wide, and it helped me so much when my son was born. He was colic for 6 months cry cry cry and only thing that soothed him was nursing.... I was almost like attached to him for those six months..... and both hubby and I were too scared to try a homemade forumal fear of killing the kid type thing, good thing as it would have been simple to do but I firmly (like you) wanted to just breast feed totally. It is so important, and you must try to explore all avenues.

    Maybe someone here, can advise but as I said I never heard of the connection tween thyroid and nursing.... just when it involves the RAI stuff and after surgery with RAI but for our condition.... I am not aware of it. Find a sympathetic to nursing moms health care person..... and do try to contact La Leche (not sure of the spelling) someone can adivse who is well versed in all the ins and outs of nursing.

    Bonnie

     
    Old 02-27-2005, 05:24 AM   #3
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    Re: Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

    I can throw in a few cents if its worth anything. For one, it is common to have high prolactin scores when Hypo. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for breast milk production so if the story holds, it would be a little easier for milk to be produced when hypo and the opposite when hyper. Our son is now 18 months but was breast fed for the first 12 months exclusively. We never had too much of a problem, thankfully. However, whenever you are hypo, sex hormones are out of control and it can cause trouble.

    For my personal thoughts on the subject, I think it might have to do with the introduction of formula. I know this can be a touchy subject to new moms and I do not want to criticize anyone, but your own body in nearly every case will meet demand. Once you introduce formula, the taste and nutrients are different and your baby does not need as much breast milk and that will show in the amount you can supply. The body is nearly perfect with this regard and supply will meet demand, barirng the introduction of an outside source. Your body knows this and will not produce as much as you would without the introduction to formula. For us, we pumped 3x per day while working and breastfed direct in the morning and at night with breastmilk bottle in between. There was not a heck of a lot of milk at first but the supply quickly kept up with demand eventually as our baby had no other choice and was well fed all the time.

    You will need to speak with your doc with regard to changing things at this stage. Babies and in particular, baby feeding routines do not do well with radical changes. Your baby is probably used to the formula now and your body might not be able to produce what he or she needs right away. My only suggestion would be to start pumping daily and freeze it or store it in fridge for a few days to build up your supply and then wean the baby of formula if its ok with your doctor. Once you start pumping, with a good machine, your supply should come in.

     
    Old 02-27-2005, 08:56 PM   #4
    MandyS
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    Re: Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

    Thanks, it is good to hear from folks with experience.
    I am trying hard to feed more frequently but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Hopefully I'll get an increase eventhough it is not enough to stop the formula. I've gone to our local lactation nurses twice. The last time was a month ago and a nurse told me, when asked about increasing milk production, that the cruel truth is that by one month if you haven't been able to increase the production then you won't. Didn't sound right to me then or now, based on what others tell me and what I've read. We'll see how things go. I feel more confident now and feel good that you don't think it is hypo related either. I got really worried. At least with my second baby in the future I know to feed non stop and not to start bottle feeding whatever the doctors say. If necessary I'll pump like crazy in the first few weeks. Thanks.

     
    Old 02-28-2005, 04:45 AM   #5
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    Re: Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

    For us, it was all in the pump. We used one pump and it was horrible. we switched to a significantly more expensive model and it was like a herd of cows moved next door.

    Sometimes the local hospital where you had your baby offers very affordable hospital quality breast pumps. They worked very well but because we werein it for the long haul, we decided to purchase the more expensive but very popular double pumper. It worked like a charm. Suction is the biggest difference. The cheap pumps had no suction and the expensive ones were much better. For us it made the world of difference.

    I forgot the brand we use but it is very popular and was like 300 bucks. Once you start pumping on a regular basis, even at work, on time, each and every day, that supply will come in faster than you would imagine. Above all, keep at it. We've been blessed with an 18 month old that has not even caught as much as a cold yet and docs think its from breastfeeding.

    Last edited by nastyhashi; 02-28-2005 at 05:29 AM.

     
    Old 02-28-2005, 05:40 AM   #6
    BonBe
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    Re: Breastfeeding and Hypothyroidism

    When my DD was ill in hospital at 3 months age.... I expressed milk into a sterilized tea cup!~ (no money for a pump) and it worked great, I was facinated seeing streams come out (not gross) and I woujld take the bottle to the hospital for them to feed her between my trips during the night. Soon my husband was back from a buisness trip and he took over the driving so it made it easier. then in 4 days baby came home and life resumed. So despite all the ups and downs, if you can manage to keep up the milk supply, do so.

    Do what you feel is right, and really unless you are with a bunch of nursing moms for groups and stuff, I do not understand how some baby care professionals can even for one min grasp the situation. Heck they hardly know about the thyroid (as most doctors do not fully understand it either) and it seems to me that the first thing they all say is


    BOTTLE BOTTLE BOTTLE do try as best as you can. I wish you could have some practical help from a nursing mom who has been through it all.

    Bonnie

     
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