Books to buy

Do you want to buy a copy of one of my books? They are all available on Amazon which is probably easiest. Or direct from the publishers Routledge, Pinter and Martin, or Praeclarus Press. I’m not going to available as much in the future to answer questions so maybe now is the time to buy the books so you have answers 24/7 365 days a year.

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Anaesthesia and breastfeeding

I have been working with a small team of anaesthetists for some time to develop guidelines so that breastfeeding mothers can have surgery, pain relief etc and continue to breastfeed as normal. The guideline also recommends support for the mother in terms of pumps, information and her baby nearby – not necessarily in that order.

As we begin World Breastfeeding Week 2020 I am proud to share this guideline and infographic

Guideline on anaesthesia and sedation in breastfeeding women 2020

Infographic guideline on anaesthesia and sedation in breastfeeding women

My Story

this is the background to why I am so passionate about breastfeeding and drugs in breastmilk

Who am I and how did I come to set up this website?

Recently whilst writing the planned book (hopefully coming soon) I decided to update the section on the website about “Who Am I?” It is about how I came to have this passion and to write my books and the inspiration and support of my husband, my girls and my grandchildren.

I hope it explains a little more about what drives me to do this 18 hours a day 365 days a year.

Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements during breastfeeding

Again I wonder if this is a consequence of the Lockdown but more breastfeeding mums seem to have taken up running again or for the first time. We have all needed to take exercise in this strange world the past few months.

This is the information on glucosamine and chondroitin during breastfeeding – enjoy your running. Yes it is safe in breastfeeding : https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/mom-exercise/

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is either derived from shellfish or synthetically produced. The shellfish derived product should be avoided by anyone with a shellfish allergy.

It is most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis and joint pain or to prevent joint damage. A glucosamine derivative, N-acetylglucosamine, is a normal component of human breastmilk. Glucosamine occasionally causes stomach discomfort in adults  but is generally well tolerated. There are no studies on levels in breastmilk but it is poorly absorbed and metabolised in the liver so levels absorbed by the breastfed baby are likely to be very low.

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is a  mixture of large glycosaminoglycans and disaccharide polymers, usually derived from shark or bovine cartilage. It is most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis because it acts as a flexible connecting material between the protein filaments in cartilage.

Chondroitin is poorly absorbed orally with a bioavailability of about 10%. Its molecular weight averages 50,000 Daltons so is unlikely to be absorbed by breastfed babies at all.

 It is well tolerated in mothers with occasional gastrointestinal upset reported. Although no studies exist on the use of chondroitin sulphate supplements during breastfeeding, small amounts occur naturally in breastmilk. Mothers of preterm infants excrete greater amounts of chondroitin into breastmilk than mothers of fullterm infants.The use of chondroitin by a nursing mother is unlikely to adversely affect the breastfed infant.

References

Coppa GV, Gabrielli O, Zampini L et al. Glycosaminoglycan content in term and preterm milk during the first month of lactation. Neonatology. 2011;101:74-76. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21934331/

Hale TW Medications and Mothers Milk

LactMed https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501922/

Apple Cider Vinegar and Breastfeeding

Apple cider vinegar seems the “in” thing for weight loss at the moment, sipped in water and sometimes sweetened with honey. As the pandemic loosens it’s hold it seems that more breastfeeding mothers than usual are looking for an answer to weight loss.

There is no research data on whether it is safe in breastfeeding. It certainly isn’t something I would advocate: not least because there is no evidence, that I found, that it’s effective for weight loss although culinary use is unlikely to be an issue. Back to less in, more out – healthy eating and exercise – sigh!

I would NOT advocate this for any breastfeeding mother – or anyone else for that matter

I found this link interesting https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/apple-cider-vinegar-diet-does-it-really-work-2018042513703?fbclid=IwAR037-joCZ_XbvfuIv48c3cGekHN6e35U1kP618RLh5tnJ5A-42Q_A5ZL7c from Robert H. Shmerling, MD
Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing. His words not mine:

What is the apple cider vinegar diet?

Apple cider vinegar comes from apples that have been crushed, distilled, and then fermented. It can be consumed in small quantities or taken as a supplement. Its high levels of acetic acid, or perhaps other compounds, may be responsible for its supposed health benefits. Although recommendations for “dosing” vary, most are on the order of 1 to 2 teaspoons before or with meals.

What can the apple cider vinegar diet do for you?

For thousands of years, compounds containing vinegar have been used for their presumed healing properties. It was used to improve strength, for “detoxification,” as an antibiotic, and even as a treatment for scurvy. While no one is using apple cider vinegar as an antibiotic anymore (at least, no one should be), it has been touted more recently for weight loss. What’s the evidence?

Studies in obese rats and mice suggest that acetic acid can prevent fat deposition and improve their metabolism. The most widely quoted study of humans is a 2009 trial of 175 people who consumed a drink containing 0, 1, or 2 tablespoons of vinegar each day. After three months, those who consumed vinegar had modest weight loss (2 to 4 pounds) and lower triglyceride levels than those who drank no vinegar. Another small study found that vinegar consumption promoted feeling fuller after eating, but that it did so by causing nausea. Neither of these studies (and none I could find in a medical literature search) specifically studied apple cider vinegar.  A more recent study randomly assigned 39 study subjects to follow a restricted calorie diet with apple cider vinegar or a restricted calorie diet without apple cider vinegar for 12 weeks.  While both groups lost weight, the apple cider vinegar group lost more.  As with many prior studies, this one was quite small and short-term.

In all, the scientific evidence that vinegar consumption (whether of the apple cider variety or not) is a reliable, long-term means of losing excess weight is not compelling. (On the other hand, a number of studies suggest that vinegar might prevent spikes in blood sugar in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by blocking starch absorption — perhaps that’s a topic for another day.)

Is there a downside to the apple cider vinegar diet?

For many natural remedies, there seems to be little risk, so a common approach is “why not try it?” However, for diets with high vinegar content, a few warnings are in order:

  • Vinegar should be diluted. Its high acidity can damage tooth enamel when sipped “straight” — consuming it as a component of vinaigrette salad dressing is a better way.
  • It has been reported to cause or worsen low potassium levels. That’s particularly important for people taking medications that can lower potassium (such as common diuretics taken to treat high blood pressure).
  • Vinegar can alter insulin levels. People with diabetes should be particularly cautious about a high vinegar diet.

So what?

If you are trying to lose weight, adding apple cider vinegar to your diet probably won’t do the trick. Of course, you’d never suspect that was the case by the way it’s been trending on Google health searches. But the popularity of diets frequently has little to do with actual evidence. If you read about a new diet (or other remedy) that sounds too good to be true, a healthy dose of skepticism is usually in order.

Stillbirth and Milk Supply

Following on from the information on miscarriage I decided I needed to carry on talking about the hardest topics for mothers and think about the unthinkable – stillbirth, a baby born sleeping, and how to deal with the subsequent milk supply. I could fervently wish this never needed to be read but I hope that it provides information for mothers, families and professionals in this awful situation.

stillbirth and milk supply factsheet

Multiple Sclerosis and Breastfeeding

This is one of the chapters of the new book I am just finishing and about breastfeeding with a chronic condition. So many people told not to breastfeed or to stop for medication. Hope this changes some of those concepts. Any queries please feel free to email wendy@breastfeeding-and-medication.co.uk

multiple sclerosis and breastfeeding

Miscarriage and Breastfeeding

I’ve realised that the information I wrote long ago now, on loss of a pregnancy and breastfeeding is not very detailed so today I have written a more detailed factsheet. My heart goes out to everyone who has to go through the loss of a baby through miscarriage. We dont talk about it openly often enough considering how common it is .

Sending hopeful rainbows for the future

miscarriage and breastfeeding factsheet

Lack of stools / constipation in a breastfed baby

Constipation in the neonate is a topic apparently rarely discussed in medical sources and may be seen as the domain of the health visitor or midwife. However, many “constipated” babies may be seen by their GP and be the cause of concern for their parents.

This factsheet is designed to provide information for parents and their professionals on what is normal with regard to baby poo and where interventions are required be that referral to breastfeeding expert or medical treatment.

lack of stool/constipation in breastfed babies