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NOTE: Opinions and advice provided on this website are based on the personal experience of the author, Stacy Quarty. Ms. Quarty in no way claims to be a professional source of medical, psychological or statistical information.

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Breast Feeding

Q. I am approximately six weeks into my first pregnancy and I'm taking Synthroid replacement to make up for a thyroid deficiency. My main concern regarding Synthroid is not my pregnancy, but breastfeeding. I am convinced the baby should not breast feed because the medication will leak into the breast milk and the baby will receive it. I believe this is a “bad” thing, but my boyfriend is convinced there is nothing to fear. We've read some articles online that don't go into much detail on this subject, but mainly advise to see a doctor. I will be taking Synthroid from now on, so that will not change, only the dosage will be adjusted from time to time. Can you help enlighten us? Should I or should I not breast feed? I know that it's generally much healthier in many ways than formula, but I am scared. Thank you so much!
-Caroline, Florida

A. The risk of using Synthroid while breast feeding is considered to be a very low, "Category A" risk: controlled studies in pregnant women fail to show any harm to the fetus in the first trimester and show no evidence of risk in the later trimesters. The possibility of harm is very remote.

Minimal amounts of thyroid hormones from the drug can be excreted in human milk, but thyroid hormones are not associated with serious adverse reactions to a nursing baby. Also note that adequate replacement doses of Synthroid are usually needed to maintain a normal supply of milk.

My suggestion is to go ahead and nurse. The benefits of breast feeding over bottle feeding, I think, greatly outweigh the very small "maybe" risk to your baby.

Q. Is it bad to color my hair if I'm breast feeding?
-Anonymous, Idaho

A. As it is during pregnancy, coloring your hair while breast feeding is considered one of those "maybe" risks. (See the other hair coloring questions for more details.)

Personally, I colored my hair during pregnancy and while breast feeding. Especially after the birth, I felt that I could use all the help I could get in the looks department. Extra weight, an unshapely body, sleep deprivation and the post-pregnancy hormone flux can really wreak havoc on your self image.

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Q. I'm too embarrassed to ask this question to anyone, so I thought I'd ask here. Does breastfeeding cause sexual arousal? Or is it different with your baby? Sorry for asking. I hope it does not offend anyone.
-Anonymous, Illinois

A. During nursing and sex play, levels of the oxytocin hormone are increased. Oxytocin production peaks just before orgasm and it also triggers the "letdown" milk reflex for breastfeeding. Since this hormone is present in both scenarios, it's no wonder some women become aroused while breastfeeding. Although rare, some women may actually orgasm as a result. Don't worry if you feel aroused while breastfeeding. It's perfectly normal and does not mean you have pedophile tendencies.

Q. I breast fed my son for 11 months. Now he is 20 months old. He was born Oct. 20. Now I have colostrum again, but I tested for pregnancy. Could I be pregnant or is something weird going on?
-Carrie, Missouri

A. It's not that uncommon for a woman's breasts to still produce a small amount of milk or sebaceous liquid for a year or more after breast feeding. If your pregnancy test showed a negative result, you are probably not pregnant.

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Disclaimer: This web site, Frankly Pregnant: The Reality Site of Pregnancy, and the book it represents, Frankly Pregnant: A Candid Week-by-Week Guide to the Unexpected Joys, Raging Hormones, and Common Experiences of Pregnancy, in no way claim to be sources for expert medical or professional advice of any kind.

©2006 Frankly Pregnant: The Reality Site of Pregnancy, by Stacy Quarty. All rights reserved.

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