Postpartum Thyroid Problems


Postpartum Thyroid Dysfunction and Low Milk Supply

A significant amount of thyroid hormone is needed to initiate breastfeeding, and this is how this breastfeeding problem starts. There is an increased need for the thyroid hormone and iodine during pregnancy, which puts a strain on the thyroid.

Postpartum thyroid dysfunction is common, especially in women with Hashimoto's thyroid inflammation.

Reduced milk production in women with thyroid dysfunction is due to low blood levels of thyroid hormone. (underactive thyroid)

If thyroid hormone is given to a mother with breastfeeding problems, the issues should disappear quickly within a week.

The good news is that, if you have thyroid problems, you can safely breastfeed, whether your thyroid problem developed before, during or after pregnancy.


Symptoms of Postpartum Thyroid Dysfunction

thyroid, thyroid gland, illustration of a thyroid gland
  • Swelling of the thyroid gland.
  • Dry skin.
  • Fatigue.
  • Depression.
  • Intolerance to cold.
  • Poor milk supply.
  • Hair loss.
  • Difficulty losing weight.
  • Rapid weight loss.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • More symptoms discussed here (external link)

It is important to be evaluated by your Health Care Provider. If it has been proven by blood tests, that you have gone into a hypothyroid state, there is thyroid medicine that can be used during lactation.

Should I carry on taking my thyroid hormone drugs (i.e., Synthroid, Levoxyl, Armour, Thyrolar) while I'm breastfeeding?

Yes. Thyroid hormone replacement crosses into breast milk in small quantities and has no adverse effect on a baby.

Can I get a thyroid scan when I'm breastfeeding?

A thyroid scan is not advised while breastfeeding. A thyroid scan involves an injection of radioactive iodine. The radioactive iodine will pass into the milk for weeks, and can have an effect on your baby's thyroid.


Natural Treatments while Breastfeeding


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