Mother’s thyroid and breast feeding
  • Can a mother breast feed the baby is she is suffering from thyroid?
If mother is suffering from hypothyroid or hyperthyroid before the pregnancy or has developed it during pregnancy or after the delivery, in all the three cases she can breast feed the child.
  • Are the medicines taken by the mother suffering from thyroid harmful for the child?
Even if the mother is suffering from thyroid and she is taking medicines there is no problem in feeding the baby. These medicines in very minimum amount [less than 1%] get into the child’s body through breast milk. If the mother is suffering from hyperthyroid and she is taking a medicine named Radioactive Iodine[RAI] then she should not breast feed the baby.
  • When child’s and mother’s blood test should be done?
After the birth if the baby is normal, the mother should immediately start feeding the baby from the first day itself. Blood test of both mother and child should be done after 7 days and then after 3 months.
  • Does any type of test or treatment can cause damage to the mother?
The breast feeding mothers should not get the thyroid scan test. In this particular test the Radioactive Iodine is being used which can permanently damage the child’s thyroid gland.
  • Is there any effect of thyroid on the quantity of milk produced in the breast?
If the thyroid is not that high, then there is not much effect on the quantity of milk produced in the breast. If the thyroid is very high, then the quantity of breast milk gets less. If the child passes less urine, does not gain weight, sometimes the weight keeps reducing, then mother should consult the doctor, get the tests done and then change the dosage of medicines. In a span of week the quantity of milk will increase and the urine of child will also increase.
  • If the thyroid is diagnosed during pregnancy, then what care should be taken by the mother?
Mother should continue the medicines of thyroid. The child developing in the womb is not affected by the medicines. After the delivery, the mother should immediately start feeding the baby. Tell the paediatrician about this. Get the blood test of the child after 7 days and also after 3 months. If there are any symptoms of hypothyroid in the child, then immediately the treatment should begin. If the hypothyroid symptoms continue for a long time then that directly affects the physical, mental growth and development of the child. Mother should continue with breast feeding.
  • Many mothers believe that if they stop the medicines of thyroid[less or more] for some time then the child would be safe, fact or myth?
This belief is totally wrong. If the mother’s thyroid levels are maintained the child is less affected by the medicines and their side effects. If the medicines of hyperthyroid or hypothyroid is stopped then the TSH levels might increase or decrease in mother’s body. In such situations there will be more side effects on the child. So if the mother wants that the child is less affected by the thyroid, then she should keep the TSH levels in the normal range, she should take the medicines as prescribed by the doctor and in proper dosage.      

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