Hypothyroidism and Breastfeeding

As many know, hormonal changes during pregnancy and postpartum can cause thyroid levels to temporarily (sometimes permanently) increase or decrease, even in moms who have never had thyroid irregularities.

Underactive thyroid (hypothyroid) often causes fatigue, poor appetite, dry skin, thinning of hair, and depression. These symptoms are often “blamed” on breastfeeding or postpartum blues.

An infant who is slow to gain weight may be another clue to mom’s underacitve thyroid. 

If hypothyroid is diagnosed, it can usually be corrected with replacement therapy. If an adequate dose is reached, there should be a dramatic relief of symptoms and increase in breast milk (these medications are safe to baby through breastfeeding).

Women on thyroid medications before pregnancy should always be re-evaluated after baby’s birth to determine if adjustment is necessary.

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