Maternal neuroendocrine serum levels in exclusively breastfeeding mothers

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Abstract

Background: Low milk supply is a common cause of early weaning, and supply issues are associated with dysregulation of thyroid function and prolactin. However, hormone levels compatible with successful breastfeeding are not well defined, limiting interpretation of clinical lab results. In this study we sought to quantify ranges for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), total T4, and prolactin in a cohort of exclusively breastfeeding women. Materials and Methods: Women planning to breastfeed were recruited in the third trimester of pregnancy. Maternal endocrine function was assessed before and after a breastfeeding session at 2 and 8 weeks postpartum. We used paired t tests to determine whether values changed from the 2-to 8-week visit. Results: Of 52 study participants, 28 were exclusively breastfeeding, defined as only breastmilk feeds in the prior 7 days, at both the 2-and 8-week study visits. Endocrine function changed with time since delivery: the TSH level was higher, whereas total T4, free T4, and prolactin levels were lower, at the 8-week visit than at the 2-week visit (by paired t test, p≤0.01). We found a wide range of prolactin values at the 8-week visit, with a 5th percentile value of 9 ng/dL before feeding and 74 ng/dL at 10 minutes after feeding. Conclusions: Neuroendocrine function changes during the first 8 weeks after birth, and a wide range of values is compatible with successful breastfeeding. Further studies are needed to define reference values in breastfeeding women.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages197-202
Number of pages6
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Fingerprint

Breast Feeding
Mothers
Prolactin
Serum
Thyrotropin
Third Pregnancy Trimester
Weaning
Thyroxine
Postpartum Period
Thyroid Gland
Milk
Reference Values
Parturition
Hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics
  • Health Policy
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery

Cite this

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title = "Maternal neuroendocrine serum levels in exclusively breastfeeding mothers",
abstract = "Background: Low milk supply is a common cause of early weaning, and supply issues are associated with dysregulation of thyroid function and prolactin. However, hormone levels compatible with successful breastfeeding are not well defined, limiting interpretation of clinical lab results. In this study we sought to quantify ranges for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), total T4, and prolactin in a cohort of exclusively breastfeeding women. Materials and Methods: Women planning to breastfeed were recruited in the third trimester of pregnancy. Maternal endocrine function was assessed before and after a breastfeeding session at 2 and 8 weeks postpartum. We used paired t tests to determine whether values changed from the 2-to 8-week visit. Results: Of 52 study participants, 28 were exclusively breastfeeding, defined as only breastmilk feeds in the prior 7 days, at both the 2-and 8-week study visits. Endocrine function changed with time since delivery: the TSH level was higher, whereas total T4, free T4, and prolactin levels were lower, at the 8-week visit than at the 2-week visit (by paired t test, p≤0.01). We found a wide range of prolactin values at the 8-week visit, with a 5th percentile value of 9 ng/dL before feeding and 74 ng/dL at 10 minutes after feeding. Conclusions: Neuroendocrine function changes during the first 8 weeks after birth, and a wide range of values is compatible with successful breastfeeding. Further studies are needed to define reference values in breastfeeding women.",
author = "Stuebe, {Alison M.} and Samantha Meltzer-Brody and Brenda Pearson and Cort Pedersen and Karen Grewen",
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T1 - Maternal neuroendocrine serum levels in exclusively breastfeeding mothers

AU - Stuebe, Alison M.

AU - Meltzer-Brody, Samantha

AU - Pearson, Brenda

AU - Pedersen, Cort

AU - Grewen, Karen

PY - 2015/1/1

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N2 - Background: Low milk supply is a common cause of early weaning, and supply issues are associated with dysregulation of thyroid function and prolactin. However, hormone levels compatible with successful breastfeeding are not well defined, limiting interpretation of clinical lab results. In this study we sought to quantify ranges for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), total T4, and prolactin in a cohort of exclusively breastfeeding women. Materials and Methods: Women planning to breastfeed were recruited in the third trimester of pregnancy. Maternal endocrine function was assessed before and after a breastfeeding session at 2 and 8 weeks postpartum. We used paired t tests to determine whether values changed from the 2-to 8-week visit. Results: Of 52 study participants, 28 were exclusively breastfeeding, defined as only breastmilk feeds in the prior 7 days, at both the 2-and 8-week study visits. Endocrine function changed with time since delivery: the TSH level was higher, whereas total T4, free T4, and prolactin levels were lower, at the 8-week visit than at the 2-week visit (by paired t test, p≤0.01). We found a wide range of prolactin values at the 8-week visit, with a 5th percentile value of 9 ng/dL before feeding and 74 ng/dL at 10 minutes after feeding. Conclusions: Neuroendocrine function changes during the first 8 weeks after birth, and a wide range of values is compatible with successful breastfeeding. Further studies are needed to define reference values in breastfeeding women.

AB - Background: Low milk supply is a common cause of early weaning, and supply issues are associated with dysregulation of thyroid function and prolactin. However, hormone levels compatible with successful breastfeeding are not well defined, limiting interpretation of clinical lab results. In this study we sought to quantify ranges for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), total T4, and prolactin in a cohort of exclusively breastfeeding women. Materials and Methods: Women planning to breastfeed were recruited in the third trimester of pregnancy. Maternal endocrine function was assessed before and after a breastfeeding session at 2 and 8 weeks postpartum. We used paired t tests to determine whether values changed from the 2-to 8-week visit. Results: Of 52 study participants, 28 were exclusively breastfeeding, defined as only breastmilk feeds in the prior 7 days, at both the 2-and 8-week study visits. Endocrine function changed with time since delivery: the TSH level was higher, whereas total T4, free T4, and prolactin levels were lower, at the 8-week visit than at the 2-week visit (by paired t test, p≤0.01). We found a wide range of prolactin values at the 8-week visit, with a 5th percentile value of 9 ng/dL before feeding and 74 ng/dL at 10 minutes after feeding. Conclusions: Neuroendocrine function changes during the first 8 weeks after birth, and a wide range of values is compatible with successful breastfeeding. Further studies are needed to define reference values in breastfeeding women.

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