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Thread: Extended-Breastfeeding, Weaning and Hives

  1. #1

    Unhappy Extended-Breastfeeding, Weaning and Hives

    Hi all! I may be cross posting this because I am in desperate search of some answers.

    I have two kids (almost 4 and 1.5). I breastfed my daughter until she was 2.5 with no problems. My son is now 19 months and he dropped his middle of the night feeding 3.5 weeks ago (my daughter never did so while nursing). The first night he slept through the night I woke up in the morning and my breasts, hips, butt and upper thighs were covered in hives. At first, I would not have related this to breastfeeding at all and instead to an allergic reaction- perhaps to our new laundry detergent even though we'd be using it for a month and a half already.

    A couple days later, after only using benadryl lotion thinking it was a one time thing, I woke up and went to the E.R. because they were all over my body minus my face. I took prednisone for awhile with benadryl, but now I'm on zyrtec and zantac which seem to hold them off for the most part. I've seen three allergists and skin tests show no new allergies for me, a couple patch test with the laundry detergent shows nothing and I've seen my OB and gotten a work up of blood tests done which all came back normal (my TSH was slightly low, but T3 and T4 were in optimal levels and the doctors weren't concerned- I've made an appointment with an endocrinologist any ways).

    Now that I've gone through a bunch of doctors. I'm wondering if it could be related to breastfeeding and/or hormonal imbalances. I have not had my period return for this many consecutive months since before I got pregnant with my daughter in 2011 (in between having my daughter and getting pregnant with my son, I only had it twice with extended breastfeeding. This time I'm going on 7 months). My husband and I started having unprotected sex in November, not preventing but not necessarily trying to get pregnant, as we do want another child this year. I began to start feeling more anxious after this and At the end of November my was 2 weeks late from where it had been the past 5 months (no pregnancy though). In December I began feeling stressed by a few things and then on the 27th the hives showed up.

    Anyways... sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share the whole story. Any thoughts, ideas, experiences? I really want to see a naturopath or homeopathic doctor, but can't afford the out of pocket costs at the moment.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Extended-Breastfeeding, Weaning and Hives

    I did a quick google and found a bunch of web posts and articles about people who are allergic to oxytocin (one of the major hormones of breastfeeding). I am really dubious about the reliability of said posts/articles, though! It seems weird to me that we could be allergic to something which is such an intrinsic part of our body chemistry, and which is produced not only during breastfeeding but at many other times as well (e.g. during sex, when we are feeling loving or protective).

    In short, I'm pretty doubtful that the hives are connected to breastfeeding. My guess is that you experienced a weird allergic reaction that you may never entirely figure out.

    I would definitely want to see the endocrinologist. Low TSH is not something to just brush off- you can have pretty normal T3 and T4 and still be hypothyroid. And while it's completely normal not to have your period back at 1.5 years postpartum, poor thyroid function can cause a LOT of weirdness in the body, including absent menses or subfertility, and anxiety. And it's definitely something you would want under control before getting pregnant again, because thyroid disfunction is linked to miscarriage and also to developmental problems for the fetus.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Extended-Breastfeeding, Weaning and Hives

    Thank you for the reply!

    I'm definitely getting my thyroid checked out as we have a history of thyroid issues in the females of my family. I'll be seeing an endo to make sure everything is ok.

    I also failed to mentioned that I lost about 20-25lbs last year with some healthy eating changes and strength training (no cardio or extreme dieting), so I'm sure that has effected my body as well.

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