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Old 06-03-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Planning to nurse with PCOS & Hypothyroid...what do I need to know

Hello. I'm due with my second child in September. I have a 5 yr old that I tried to nurse, but failed miserably due to what we later found out was retained placenta in addition to my hypothyroidism and PCOS & lack of support at home & at work. Our ped had me supplementing with bottles and I was pumping all the time...then I got mastitis and it was just a mess and I gave up after three months; and our son ended up on a very expensive hypoallergenic formula. I have a different OBGYN this time, I'm signed up for WIC and have been assigned a breastfeeding peer counselor, but she's not a LC and I'm really scared that I wil faill again. I'm on full replacement for my thyroid and I'm currenting taking 175 mcg synthroid per day. Before getting pregnant I was also taking 1000 mg metformin for my PCOS, but my endo took me off it for the pregnancy and I have been having blood sugar issues ever since. I'm going for my second GD test in two weeks. I really want to go back on it after I have the baby. Is it safe to take meformin while breastfeeding and how soon after delivery can I start taking it? Has anyone else breastfed successfully with a non-functioning tyroid and PCOS? Thanks.

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Old 06-03-2012, 09:03 PM   #2
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You should be fine, actually.

Heres what you NEED to do, to ensure success.

-monitor your thyroid levels
-take breastfeeding starter class
-attend support groups
- have NO visitors until baby has had a successful milk transfer
- put baby to breast IMMEDIATELY
- no pacifier, no bottles for two weeks (this is a rule I use for new, non-experienced breastfeeding moms)
- attempt to feed every two hours, around the clock, for the first few days. You can go every three at night, but do every two during daylight
- ask to see a LC ASAP after birth
- its not all about latch, but also positioning. Read up.

Milk comes when it's demanded. It's not just about a baby at breast, but baby at breast frequently, and efficiently.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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Re: Planning to nurse with PCOS & Hypothyroid...what do I need to know

Quote:
Originally Posted by keen1981 View Post
You should be fine, actually.

Heres what you NEED to do, to ensure success.

-monitor your thyroid levels
-take breastfeeding starter class
-attend support groups
- have NO visitors until baby has had a successful milk transfer
- put baby to breast IMMEDIATELY
- no pacifier, no bottles for two weeks (this is a rule I use for new, non-experienced breastfeeding moms)
- attempt to feed every two hours, around the clock, for the first few days. You can go every three at night, but do every two during daylight
- ask to see a LC ASAP after birth
- its not all about latch, but also positioning. Read up.

Milk comes when it's demanded. It's not just about a baby at breast, but baby at breast frequently, and efficiently.
Ok I've contacted wic about meeting my breastfeeding counselor before the baby is born and Thursday I'm going to the hospital to take a tour of the birthing center and I'm going to ask about the LC. My endo has been really good about checking my thyroid levels while pregnant so I'll have to talk to her about checking them often while I'm breastfeeding. I've already read a few breastfeeding books, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions that are must reads? Thank you.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MandaMommy2

Ok I've contacted wic about meeting my breastfeeding counselor before the baby is born and Thursday I'm going to the hospital to take a tour of the birthing center and I'm going to ask about the LC. My endo has been really good about checking my thyroid levels while pregnant so I'll have to talk to her about checking them often while I'm breastfeeding. I've already read a few breastfeeding books, but I was wondering if you had any suggestions that are must reads? Thank you.
Honestly, books are Kinda a wash for me. The place to go.. The place that was referenced in my coursework, over and over is... Kellymom.com

It's evidence based facts. Not opinion. Not babycenter nonsense. Get familiar with their forums. I lived there. I had a horrible start with my son. I did everything wrong and listened to the WRONG advice. But kellymom's forums got me thru. I ended up becoming an educator because of them!!
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Last edited by keen1981; 06-04-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:04 AM   #5
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I could have written this thread!! Although, I dont have hypotheyodism, I have hypoplastic breasts, meaning I don't have all the parts or storage to make milk. To ensure I could nurse Ds2 I dd a ton of research and I found that medications during labor can affect the hormone release needed for milk production. (check out the busniess of being born, it's a movie, if you haven't already) so step one for me was to have a med free birth. Like pp said, put baby to breast immeditely and nurse nurse nurse! No pacis. Lots of Skin to skin. And contact your local LLL they ate NOT the same as wic, or even hospital lactation consultants. They have so Much more knowledge and information. I have found my LLL leader invaluable to this. Make sure you have support at home. If you have anyone at home saying "formula" or you have those formula samples handy, it is soo easy to switch over at a time when you are hormonal, and sleep deprived. Good luck mama!

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:02 AM   #6
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Re: Planning to nurse with PCOS & Hypothyroid...what do I need to know

I'm definatly going to find a LLL meeting since my wic peer counselor hasn't called me back. The LLL meeting closest to me is in the evening so that won't work, but there's another one that I can try that's a little further away. We live out in the country so nothing is exactly close anyway. I don't have alot of support at home other than my husband and I'm not sure if that's just because he won't have to feed the baby. He didn't help much with our son till he was older, but I guess he can help me now by entertaining our son while I'm trying to figure all this out. We haven't bought any formula, I found my poppy pillow and I've been looking for nursing bras. I'm hoping the fact that my boobs are getting huge is a good sign, but idk...
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MandaMommy2
I'm definatly going to find a LLL meeting since my wic peer counselor hasn't called me back. The LLL meeting closest to me is in the evening so that won't work, but there's another one that I can try that's a little further away. We live out in the country so nothing is exactly close anyway. I don't have alot of support at home other than my husband and I'm not sure if that's just because he won't have to feed the baby. He didn't help much with our son till he was older, but I guess he can help me now by entertaining our son while I'm trying to figure all this out. We haven't bought any formula, I found my poppy pillow and I've been looking for nursing bras. I'm hoping the fact that my boobs are getting huge is a good sign, but idk...
Even if you can't make a meeting, you can always call and speak to one on the phone. They have so much information, it's worth your time!

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: Planning to nurse with PCOS & Hypothyroid...what do I need to know

I also have PCOS, hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's), and hypoplastic breasts. I have never been able to EBF. I usually have to start supplementing at 2 weeks old (usually with donor milk) so that my kids can gain weight and thrive. I was really cautious with supplementing my last LO because I didn't want to overdo it, and he ended up diagnosed with Failure to Thrive (he was 9lbs at birth and only 9lbs15oz at 2 months old, despite supplementing a few ounces after every feeding). My case is pretty extreme, though. I make less than an ounce at every feeding so there is just no way for me to be able to provide 100% of my child's needs. However, here are some things I did to maximize my chances at BFing for as long as possible:

-Encapsulate my placenta and start taking the pills asap after birth
-Have domperidone on hand to start taking immediately after birth
-Take More Milk Plus Special Blend (it has Goat's Rue to help with the insufficient glandular tissue) immediately after birth (and I've been told you can take Goat's Rue the last few weeks of pregnancy to also help)
-Have an SNS (supplemental nursing system) so that if you do have to supplement it can all be done at the breast
-Look into donor milk for supplementing if it is something you are comfortable with
-And definitely have a support system in place, LLL is great!
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Re: Planning to nurse with PCOS & Hypothyroid...what do I need to know

My husband and I went to the hospital today for a tour. We're delivering at a different hospital this time because I changed OBs and I love it. I spoke with the head nurse who gave us our tour about breastfeeding and she was so supportive and told us all about their lactation consultant program. When I told her that I have PCOS she said they will set me up with a rental pump and a supplemental feeder just in case I need it paid for by my insurance before I leave the hospital. She gave me a number to call to speak with the lactation cordinator so they can get everything ready before I deliver & there's a breastfeeding class that is also covered by my insurance. I really like this hospital. Everyone just seems so nice and helpfull
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:50 AM   #10
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Re: Planning to nurse with PCOS & Hypothyroid...what do I need to know

I have both and, while this isn't the norm, the hormonal imbalance for me causes an oversupply of milk. Which, admittedly, is a better problem to have than a low supply.

DS1 and I had a very rough start because he was deep suctioned after birth. His mouth hurt. Also, I have flat nipples (did not know until trying to BF him) and he couldn't latch. We used a nipple shield for six weeks. I owe my success to my lactation consultant and nipple shields. Kellymom.com is also awesome. DS2, though early and sleepy, was easier--the supplemental nurser really does work. It's a pain, but worth it.

I am not up on the current recommendation, but was told with both kids that metformin while breastfeeding isn't recommended, particularly if exclusively BF.

If there's any question about supply and baby's weight, you need to monitor that carefully. We went for weigh-ins every 48 hours with ds1 because he lost too much weight; he wasn't getting anything because he couldn't latch and we were both a wreck. I did have to supplement, and if you have to it's not the end of the world--just don't use a bottle. We used a syringe to feed formula and/or expressed breast milk. It killed me to have to buy Enfamil but it was only for a short time and, well, the baby has to eat. Don't feel like you've failed if you have to supplement. I had to with both kids, and ds1 nursed for four years (ds2 is 20 months and shows no sign of weaning). They both use/d pacifiers as well, though I would avoid that until your baby shows that he/she can latch well.

Good luck!

Edit: also, you did not fail with your older child--you did your best! Be proud of that.
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