One of the questions that frustrates me is “Can I continue to breastfeed immediately after a VQ scan, they think I may have a clot on my lungs? I’ve been told I have to stop feeding for 12 hours”. Most of these mothers have very young babies – often under 2 weeks so to dump that precious milk for 12 hours is really tough. There hasnt been enough time to build up expressed milk so necessitates the use of formula and a very premature end, against mum’s wishes usually, to exclusive breastfeeding.
The evidence is really hard to find. One option is to request a CT scan after which breastfeeding can continue as normal. The #dontsaystoplookitup poster refers just to CT and MRI scans and not to VQ scans
This information is from my book “Why Mother’s Medication Matters”
I am aware that most pharmacists do not receive any training on breastfeeding during their undergraduate studies. My own PhD studies showed that most of us gained our knowledge from our own personal experiences. As breastfeeding is acknowledged as a major public health area I have begun to prepare some training material for professionals – starting with my own. This is intended to provide a basic understanding of how pharmacists and their staff can help to support new mothers as part of their everyday working practice. More detailed presentations will follow on drugs in breastmilk. If you find this useful and want to know more please buy a copy of Breastfeeding and Medication
It’s breastfeeding celebration week! Did you know that national guidance recommends that prescribers look at supplementary sources to decide whether medications are compatible with breastfeeding? Use this poster to spread the word #dontsaystoplookitup tiny.cc/dontsaystop
Please spread the posters to all wards, surgeries and pharmacies
I’ve recently had several emails/ Facebook messages that mothers have been advised to pump and dump their breastmilk for a period of time after taking medication in order to minimise / prevent exposure of the baby to the drug. This has often been undertaken when the drug is compatible with breastfeeding and resulted in the unnecessary exposure of the baby to formula milk.
For most drugs taken for more than 3 days the amount in milk is constant across 24 hours. So timing feeds with respect to breastfeeding or dumping of the breastmilk is pointless. The half life of a drug is very important but just one of the factors in determining the compatability with normal breastfeeding. If you want to know more please consider buying “Breastfeeding and Medication”
really proud to be mentioned by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society today
This is the e poster presentation I spoke about at the iHV conference in Manchester yesterday. Why do we treat women who are breastfeeding but need surgery differently to the ones undergoing a c section? Interrupt breastfeeding, no support with pumping, difficulties storing expressed breastmilk, negative comments. If you are infant feeding advisor do you know what happens on the surgical wards at your hospital? Can you do some training?
Hoping to turn this into a paper and publish
Recorded Facebook live for Perinatal Mental Health Partnership this week
I was recently asked for input in a guideline on pain relief for new mothers after birth. I was surprised to see it almost seemed to penalise breastfeeding mothers suggesting that if you are breastfeeding you cant have effective pain relief for more than 3 days even if you have had a c section. With a new grandchild due in June I decided to put together this information. It includes pain relief, laxatives, haemorrhoidal treatment and iron supplements
Most people know that I provide information to mothers and professionals on the use of drugs in breastmilk. The service was recently evaluated by Prof Amy Brown and team. I am staggered and humbled by the results. It seems that the small fishes that I rescue every day are becoming a huge tide of knowledge and empowerment
Certolizumab pegol is anti TNF alpha drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. What makes it different is that it is the first drug I can remember which has been licensed for use in pregnancy and in breastfeeding. This means that the manufacturer in applying for marketing authority has accepted that it is safe. www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/7387/smpc
Recently I have found myself suggesting it to mothers who are at the point of needing methotrexate to control their symptoms and therefore needing to stop breastfeeding.
I have to congratulate the manufacturer UCB Pharma on taking this very positive step and hope others follow suite. Please note I have no links financial or otherwise with them.