Last year I asked on my facebook page for experience of using contraception whilst breastfeeding using a googledoc survey. I had just under 80 responses in 24 hours and here I have tried to analyse the results. Five mothers reported that their supply was affected by the use of contraception. Many more were unhappy with the information that was given before prescription of the contraceptive. Food for thought
for information on the contraceptives and
on emergency hormonal contraception which I wrote for BfN.
I asked for feedback on this question 12 months ago about pain during breastfeeding and finally time to write it up. Reading it again makes me sad. The pain of breastfeeding for some people cannot be ignored. I hope that this facilitates a discussion amongst professionals who see breastfeeding women. It’s important for mothers, for partners and for babies and time we stopped ignoring it.
This is the data that I extracted
Some links that may help everyonehttps://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/if-breastfeeding-hurts-05-may-2015/embed/#?secret=xbxHk33i2Fhttps://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/thrush-detailed/embed/#?secret=PiSWCix58w
The next and most personal blog about what what mothers want their professionals to know. Thank you to the members of the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/BreastfeedingIBD for their views.
See also: https://tinyurl.com/33emh32m facebook live video
This is a blog which I wrote for the new Human milk page Tailor made for Tiny Humans http://human-milk.com/
Wendy Jones Blog – Breastfeeding for Dads and Grandmas
I’ve just spent the Christmas holidays with my daughters, their partners and 3 grandchildren, two of whom are still being breastfed (21 months and 6 months). Having just had a new book published called Breastfeeding for Dads and Grandmas it made me think how different our holidays were in a very pro breastfeeding family than they might be in other families?
The son in law who has yet to have children, is totally comfortable with sitting next to his sisters in law as they breastfeed and has been immeasurably supportive to his own sister. She was going to “give breastfeeding a go” but is now as committed as our family and doesn’t understand why anyone would feed in any other way.
However, the number of emails and Facebook messages from mothers suffering from anxiety since Christmas has reached unbelievable levels – on average 3 a day every day. Why might that be I wondered?
I suspect that for many other mothers spending longer than usual in close proximity to the extended family can be stressful. The emotions seem to run at fever pitch in the Festive Season – everyone wants it to be perfect. Most of us spend too much, eat too much, drink too much, don’t exercise as much and generally suffer from “liverishness” as my Grandma used to term it (usually with an added “everyone could do with a good dose of syrup of figs!”).
Nevertheless in this hot pot of emotion, parents try to manage their babies needs for quiet to feed or sleep, not to be cuddled by Great Aunt Ethel when they want Mum, don’t want to eat the rich offerings of solids suitable for babies (really?).
Inevitably the subject of infant feeding gets raised at some point during the visit. In our very pro-breastfeeding house the mums were supported. But what if you are with mother-in-law who formula fed your partner and makes no secret of her distaste of breastfeeding? How does your partner feel? How do you feel/ Desperate to keep the peace he might seem to agree with his mother. Neither of you wants to get into an argument but you are both secure in your decision to breastfeed. It is difficult isn’t it? If the baby cries you hear the comment “is he hungry again? Your milk can’t be good enough”. You are feeding quietly “what again? Surely you can’t have enough milk”. Feeding late at night/overnight/co-sleeping “When my children were babies they were in bed by 6pm and we didn’t hear from them again till 8am”. And Heaven forfend that you should dare to continue breastfeeding into toddlerhood!
It is no surprise that come January these new mums are anxious and more than a little depressed. Being a mum isn’t easy, these babies don’t read the books and don’t abide by any rules. Each baby is an individual and will reach his/her milestones in their own sweet time. Cherish every milky moment, every snuggle, every smile as all too soon they will grow up. When you feel that someone is criticising you smile sweetly, acknowledge the comment but then LET IT GO. This is your baby, you make the decisions. The advice on timing of feeds, weaning, sleeping has all changed dramatically in the fast 35 years (I know because I have been a mum in this time and gone on to support lots of others). It’s ok to breastfeed for comfort as well as nutrition, there is no such thing as using the nipple as a dummy, it is ok to co sleep if you want, it’s equally ok not to if you choose, it is also ok to ignore the advice of your mother, mother in law or Great Aunt Ethel!
Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby. Babies don’t keep.
Song for a Fifth Child (Babies Don’t Keep)
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Although we now try very hard to avoid prescribing antibiotics unless essentail ( because of the risk that in the future we wont have antibiotics which are as affective against all infections), sometimes they are necessary. The use of antibiotics during breastfeeding often causes disquiet because most of them cause the baby to have loose bowel motions, sometimes tummy cramps, and sometimes vomiting. Is continuing to breastfeed actually causing harm and should feeding be interupted? Do we need pre biotics and probiotics to redress the balance in the baby’s gut?
It is hard to watch a baby in distress but it is important to remember that when we breastfeed during an infection we are also passing antibodies to that infection in breastmilk to protect the baby. Breastmilk contains all the factors to redress the balance and return the baby’s gut to its normal state far better than any probiotics derived from other sources.
But the ultimate choice is that of the breastfeeding mother.
I hope that the information in this factsheet helps make that decision. Please email me if you want to discuss anything : firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was working as an independent pharmacist prescriber my main role was to look at primary prevention of cardio vascular disease – identifying factors which raised the risk of people to have a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. I used an online calculator using various data like BMI, smoking status, blood pressure and cholesterol ( https://qrisk.org/three/). I didnt see many breastfeeding patients and we concentrated on the over 50s. But in the process I learned a lot about managing weight and encouraging a healthy diet and portion size, smoking cessation and control of cholesterol. In many cases we managed to reduce the risk with lifetyle changes.
It seems that mothers may now have their cholesterol measure and advised that it is too high. I had 20 -30 minute appoitments to encourage lifestyle change. This isnt possible for GPs with pressures on appointments so often the mothers are offered medication to reduce cholesterol. Until recently the only drug compatible with breastfeeding was cholestryamine. This is fine if there isnt a history of familial hypercholesterolaemia and a much higher risk of a cardio vascular event.
A colleague pointed me to some data on elactancia which had a very different list of references and information on cholesterol in standard artificial formula. Thus began a journey to this factsheet over the past couple of months. It isnt a recommendation, as there are currently no studies on the use of statins during breastfeeding nor the effect on the baby . However, it looks at an evidence base which can prompt discussion with clinicians. I hope it helps.
My thanks to Sam Morris and Amanda Da Costa for their knowledge and support as pharmacists and breastfeeding helpers on the BfN Drugs in Breastmilk Information Service
Because I am immunocompromised myself, I am all too well aware of the information on protection from COVID 19 including the recommendations launched in December 2021 by the government on sotrovimab (Xevudy) and molnupiravir (Lagevrio) . This may affect some breastfeeding mothers e.g. those with IBD or on biologicals for other reasons . There are no simple answers but this is the information I have been able to find in one place.
Many women are aware of the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis – an unusual vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell, particularly after sex. However, treatment can cause more confusion. I hope this factsheet clarifies the symptoms, self help and treatment during breastfeeding.
Although it is rare for a young woman to experience a heart attack, transient ischaemic attack or stroke, it does happen. They are usually prescribed anti-platelet drugs and until recently we found difficulty in providing information. However, this is the most up to date information which I have sourced and hope it helps anyone in this most difficult position.
17 November 2021 World Prematurity Day. Sharing the chapter on premature birth and breastfeeding from Breastfeeding and Chronic Medical Conditions. I know there is so much more to add still and I will be writing more over the next few months