Using cocaine when breastfeeding is obviously not a good idea, apart from being illegal. But from messages I get almost every week it seems not uncommon. Everyone says that they are embarrassed and regretful and promise not to do again but need to know how to maintain milk supply and keep baby safe. In my quest to provide information to frequently asked questions this is detailed research on cocaine and the breastfeeding mother taken from an article I wrote for The Practising Midwife (Jones W Cocaine use and the breastfeeding mother. Pract Midwife. 2015 Jan;18(1):19-22.) as well as my book Breastfeeding and Medication
another of the frequently asked questions
Every year there are many questions on coughs, colds and sore throat so thought I would pre-empt them this year by recording a live video as well as the links and fact sheets
Hope everyone has a healthy winter !
Lots of coughs and colds starting already so some information to pre-empt the questions which come every year
Posted by Breastfeeding and Medication on Thursday, September 13, 2018
Great article from UKDILAS – www.cfrjournal.com/articles/postpartum-cardiomyopathy-and-considerations-breastfeeding
Postpartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare condition that develops near the end of pregnancy or in the months after giving birth, manifesting as heart failure secondary to left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Clinical progression varies considerably, with both end-stage heart failure occurring within days and spontaneous recovery seen. Treatment pathways for heart failure are well established, but the evidence about the safety of medicines passed to infants during breastfeeding is scarce and mainly poor; this often leads to an incorrect decision that a mother should not breastfeed. Given its benefits to both mother and infant, breastfeeding should not routinely be ruled out if the mother is taking heart failure medication but the consequences for the infant need to be considered. An informed risk assessment to minimise potential harm to the infant can be carried out using the evidence that is available along with a consideration of drug properties, adverse effects, paediatric use and pharmacokinetics. In most cases, risks can be managed and infants can be monitored for potential problems. Breastfeeding can be encouraged in women with cardiac dysfunction with PPCM although treatment for the mother takes priority with breastfeeding compatibility being the secondary consideration. International research is continuing to establish efficacy and safety of pharmacotherapy in PPCM.
Having had to support a mum with a fracture this week told that she could have adequate analgesia or breastfeed but not both I have decided to cut this out if the anaesthesia document so that it stands alone. I continue to be frustrated by the lack of understanding of professionals about normal breastfeeding let alone term or extended breastfeeding even where this is below the 2 years recommended by WHO. I’m going to keep on supporting mothers to challenge poor information using the hashtag #usetheevidence. In 2008 NICE issued a recommendation about using specialist sources on the safety of drugs in breastmilk and not relying on the licensing of drugs whereby virtually no medicine can be prescribed to a lactating mother. Buy a specialist text Breastfeeding and Medication!
Who is the target population?
Hospital doctors, GPs, obstetricians, pharmacists, specialist nurses, dentists and PCT medicine management teams.post op analgesia
Who should take action?
What action should they take?
- Ensure health professionals and pharmacists who prescribe or dispense drugs to a breastfeeding mother consult supplementary sources (for example, the Drugs and Lactation Database [LactMed] or seek guidance from the Specialist Pharmacy Service.
- Health professionals should discuss the benefits and risks associated with the prescribed medication and encourage the mother to continue breastfeeding, if reasonable to do so. In most cases, it should be possible to identify a suitable medication which is safe to take during breastfeeding by analysing pharmokinetic and study data. Appendix 5 of the ‘British national formulary’ should only be used as a guide as it does not contain quantitative data on which to base individual decisions.
- Health professionals should recognise that there may be adverse health consequences for both mother and baby if the mother does not breastfeed. They should also recognise that it may not be easy for the mother to stop breastfeeding abruptly – and that it is difficult to reverse.
Continuing to work down the list of frequently asked questions and adding information from Breastfeeding and Medication 2018
If you are a professional or a volunteer frequently encountering questions from mothers or other members of the family maybe you would like to treat yourself to a copy!
The ear drops I am asked about most frequently asked about are OTOMIZE and LOCORTEN VIOFORM but this fact sheet contains many others. Hope it puts everyone’s mind at rest. I remember a consultant many years ago telling a mother she couldn’t breastfeed for 2 weeks after using anti inflammatory ear drops. Unless she was going to drip excess out of the ear canal onto her nipples I could see no logic for this. I hope things have moved on but the patient information leaflet still causes concern.
I’m feeling over awed by the fact that the amazing MP Alison Thewliss put down an early day motion about my Points of Light award https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1307 …
I’m emotional and inspired Thank you @alisonthewliss from the bottom of my heart
I’m trying to build fact sheets on the drugs I am most frequently asked about. One that comes up frequently is propranolol to prevent migraines, to relieve anxiety and to remove symptoms of over active thyroid. Propranoolol can be used by breastfeeding mothers so long as they are not asthmatic.
Lots of people seem to be interested in using CBD oil for chronic pain and/ or for anxiety. Sadly there is no research on the amount that passes through into breastmilk so I am unable to say whether it is safe for a breastfeeding mother to take or not at this time
The development of anaesthetic data was prompted at least in part by the questions from mothers are diagnosis, treatment and surgery for gallstones whilst pregnant. Women are more likely than men to have gallstones and they are more common after the birth of several children so unsurprisingly this frequently covers breastfeeding mothers.
So here are my thoughts and a fact sheet on the topic