Today's question is answered by Jennie Bever, PhD, IBCLC* at the Arizona Breastfeeding Center:
Breastfeeding is an "energetically expensive" activity for the human body. In order for breastfeeding to work well, a mother's thyroid has to be working well to adjust for the mother's energy needs.
Postpartum thyroiditis is more common than you might imagine. If you are tired (more than usual for postpartum), you notice that your hair is falling out more, and you suspect that your milk supply is affected and/or lower than you would expect, you might have a low functioning thyroid gland.
Hypothyroid: low-functioning below normal levels for pregnancy+lactation
Moms with a low-functioning thyroid typically experience low milk supply. If you suspect that you might have a low-functioning thyroid, have your thyroid levels checked by your IBCLC* or your primary care provider. Once your thyroid function is regulated, you will probably see your milk supply go back up.
Hyperthyroid: high-functioning above normal levels for pregnancy+lactation
Moms with a hyper-functioning thyroid typically experience the ability to make enough milk, but it won't come out. Basically, the ability to "let-down" is inhibited. If you suspect that you might have hyper-functioning thyroid, have your thyroid levels checked by your IBCLC* or your primary care provider. Once your thyroid production is regulated, you will probably be able to let-down when your baby latches as one would expect to when breastfeeding.
I hope that you received some answers and/or validation if you have pre-existing thyroid conditions, or if you suspect your thyroid is a little off. Never hesitate to ask the questions that will get you the help you need so you can breastfeed your Sweet Pea and meet your breastfeeding goals.
*IBCLC: International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant
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The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. This blog and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.