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 is 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 interrupting 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 professional responsibility and last but not least involving the mother in making an informed decision