A Journey of Breastfeeding and Basedow’s Disease

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Kristen’s journey as a first time mom has not been the easiest, but has been an adventure she will never forget. While Kristen took on the mom role, she made the decision to breastfeed. This was best for their family. She worked hard to provide this experience for her and her daughter as she grew in the first few months.

Last year I got to see Kristen right after her daughter was born at my yearly breastfeeding event. All the milk moms come out who want to participate and get single portraits and group photos done. She was so excited for this! As we stayed close through the months, her breastfeeding journey was coming to an end. Kristen soon learned that she was being diagnosed with Graves’ or medically known as Basedow’s disease. She made it 11 months breastfeeding and is so proud!

Here is a little more on Kristen’s story:

“I was diagnosed with Graves’ or medically known as Basedow’s disease, the thyroid overproduces hormones. The condition is more common in women under age 40. Around 2017 I brushed it off and didn’t take it to seriously. As I approached the age where I wanted to have a child I buckled down and got to the knitty gritty.

During pregnancy I was on a strict medicine schedule and monthly ultrasounds. After pregnancy my hormones took care of themselves and I started to feel normal. Until about 4 months after delivery, my doctor told me if I didn’t have surgery or radioactive iodine treatment, my breastfeeding journey would need to come to an end. This is due to my body not being able to regulate my hormones anymore.

Again, not thinking it was a big deal (mainly because I wasn’t an oversupplier) I brushed it off and continued my medication. About 10 months in I noticed over time I would pump less and less. Nursing my daughter soon became difficult, as well. I called my doctors office and they got me in to do some blood test. The blood test came back showing I wasn’t making my own hormones and my body wasn’t responding to my medicine anymore.

All of this is going on during the Covid pandemic. I wasn’t able to get surgery until the shut down as lifted. Unfortunately at this point it was far too late. Making it this far in my breastfeeding journey was a blessing from the start. Moms everywhere should know that it doesn’t matter how long you for, how hard you try, if your supply is over or under but that trying is key! Do not feel defeated.”

Kristen also deals with a skin condition known as Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin pigment disease that causes skin color in patches all over the body. When she was about 10, she went to multiple dermatologist who tried several routes to help, but it just kept spreading. She was very self-conscious about it for the longest time. As she got older, learning to accept and love her body has been a challenge she is conquering.

To get help with your breastfeeding journey, consult with a lactation specialist. A good start is visiting: https://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/lactation-consultants/

Kristen and her daughter are in my private studio in Ohio. Kristen is wearing a Agneshka Boutique one of a kind dress.

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