I’m hearing of an increasing number of mothers who dont tell their doctors they are breastfeeding when prescribed medication as they have had negative reponses to duration of feeding in the past. I have examples of mums being told from 6 weeks to 3 years that braestfeeding has no value and they are doing it for their own benefit. Interesting that the World Health Organisation (WHO) says otherwise. So mothers come to me to check the safety of the drug – how many dont have any input?
Some of you who have joined recentky may not have realised that this page is an offshoot from my book published in 2013. If you are a healthcare professional encountering queries you might like to buy it or if you are a mum suggest it to your healthcare professionals. It is available on Amazon or through my publisher Routledge
I have Crohns disease myself diagnoses when I was 22 years of age – so a good few years ago now. I get some many questions from breastfeeding mums with Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis I set up a facebook page for mutual support www.facebook.com/groups/BreastfeedingIBD/. If you know anyone with this condition who is breastfeeding, maybe having a flare or new drugs prescribed let them know. You can breastfeed with most of the drugs prescribed and through surgery if you need. IBD is in part linked with being formula fed and those of us with it pass on a genetic predisposition to our children to develop it. It’s a condition I wouldnt wish on my worst enemy and ther is new cure only symptom control. Fact sheet will be developed once book is finished
I wrote this elearning pack for pharmacists sometime ago but it is still relevant (some updates should be added shortly by NES) http://www.breastfeeding.nes.scot.nhs.uk/breastfeeding_final_pdf
Need I say more? As a grandmother to three gorgeous little ones breastfeeding equals lots of oxytocin which makes me happy and relaxed too.
Today’s question of interest is an area which frustrates me – mums needing ingrowing toe nail treatment involving the use of local anaesthetics and a few drops of phenol (or sodium hydroxide). Guidelines from podiatry seem to suggest this treatment cant be carried out until a mum stops breastfeeding. But that may leave her in pain for a long time. Why? It si unlikely phenol will get into milk but we have no published studies. My fabulous colleague produced this poster from data sent to us by mothers and presented it a conference in Oxford in June. One mum at a time challenging practice.
Every day I hear stories where mothers have been advised to stop breastfeeding in order to take medication, without considering the risk to mum and baby of interupting breastfeeding even temporarily. Formula milk is not the same as breastmilk and never will be. Not all babies will drink from bottles. Not all mothers can express. Not all babies will go back to the breast. Not all mothers can maintain their supply. Medication should not be a reason to stop breastfeeding without looking at evidence based sources on safety, taking professinal responsibilty and last but not least involving the mother in making an informed decision