Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is breastfeeding safe?

Guys, I'm getting worried. I'll have my one-month postpartum check-up with my endo tomorrow. My OB-GYNE advised that I should nurse my baby. I have been doing so for a month now, but I've read some internet materials saying that breastfeeding might increase a pituitary tumor. My last MRI (post-surgery) was indicative of a 3mm residual tumor... I feel that I'd rather shift my baby to bottle feeding much as I want to continue nursing her, than take the risk of a tumor regrowth---that is SCARY!!!


mother in israel said...

Do you have a link to those articles? As far as I know breastfeeding does not increase health risk of any conditions to mother or baby.

When considering weaning, one must take into account the effect of weaning on the baby as well. It's harder to start again onc you've stopped, so be sure to research it carefully and discuss it with your doctors.

Alecia E. said...

Hi Princess!

I asked the same question to all my doctors when I got pregnant because I had the same concerns. I nursed my other three kids and wanted to breastfeed my new baby, too. I got three different opinions from each of them: My OB said there was a high possibility the tumor would come back, but he couldn't say for sure. He encouraged me to nurse and said it was probably okay. My endocrinologist said the tumor wouldn't come back, and my neurosurgeon took the wait-and-see approach. He never really said one way or another.

I have been nursing Danielle for 6 months now. My endo hasn't been checking my prolactin levels because he said it would be very high if I am breastfeeding. I have also been told to wait on my MRI until I am done nursing. I plan on feeding her for a year.

It's a personal decision, really and not one to be pressured into. My husband didn't want me to nurse because he was afraid the tumor would come back. My situation is a little different than yours, however, because I was considered to be in remission (still am) when I got pregnant. Had I not been I think I might have thought more seriously about nursing for a shorter period of time.

What a blessing that you have been able to nurse at all - especially after pituitary surgery! You definitely have a reasonable concern, though. I hope your appointment with the OB went well - that he was able to ease your mind a bit.

You have to be careful about what you read on the internet. You can always find articles that confirm your fears and others that rule the fears out. The Net can be a valuable tool, but it can also perpetuate unnecessary worry, too. Make sure you discuss it with the doctor if you do read something that concerns you.

Congrats on the new baby - hope your recovery is going smoothly! *smiles*

Cess Lubag said...

Thanks much for the comments.

Yes, I better be careful on what I read on the net. But, at least the info I get make me seek for further info and validate those that I base my decisions upon.

Thanks, Alecia, for the advice. I feel that my endo has not much had experience in working with patients with my condition. The Philippines is a small country. I guess most of the few Filipinos who have acromegaly go undiagnosed/untreated.

When I asked my endo if it was safe to breastfeed, she said that she does not think there is any problem if I continue nursing. As to having blood work and MRI done, she thinks that it is too early for me to undergo the tests. She left it for me to decide when to have them done. She gave me the request already but said that it is best to wait at least 2 more months. Now, what do I do? *sigh*

Because of what you said, I'm thinking of also putting off having the MRI until after I'm done nursing. I'm still on leave from work for a month, so I'd probably discontinue nursing when I resume work. Well, maybe one more month wouldn't hurt, right?

Re IGF and glucose test, you think I should also delay?

Thanks VERY much again!!!

Alecia E. said...

If I had the test orders in hand it would be difficult not to go and get an MRI. I would want to know now and not wait anymore so I could put my mind at ease. Even still - I would go along with what the endocrinologist has said and wait the two months...but of course that is up to you.

As far as the IGF-1 and glucose tests go - I had my blood work done 6 weeks after the baby was born and the IGF-1 was normal (although it's starting to climb a little now). I haven't had a suppression test for over a year. My endo uses that as a last resort when looking for residual tumor.

Anonymous said...


I was just wondering whether anyone could help me. I have just had a blood test and it seems I may have acromegaly. I've just had a little girl, she is now 5 months old. She is growing out of proportion though; she is in 12 month old clothes already. Could my excess growth hormone be affecting her? The doc said she didn't know! Said she'll check. I feel a bit lost right now, as it seems I may have had this for a long time.