Thursday, 23 February 2012

The prize for...

... the thing I'm missing most this week is taking Cold and Flu tablets. I'm fighting a cold which Chubs brought home from the petri dish which is daycare. Since I'm breastfeeding, I can't take decongestants like pseudoephedrine. The concern isn't that they will go though my milk (because that's not generally an issue with decongestants,) but that they will reduce my milk supply. So sadly, I battle on. I think being able to take psuedoephedrine is what I miss most with pregnancy/ breastfeeding - even more than drinking alcohol without planning it, wearing dresses or anything else.

Incidentally, there are very few medications which are totally incompatible with breastfeeding. Many health professionals are quick to say that medications can't be taken while breastfeeding and the mother either needs to do without the meds she needs, or wean. However, on closer inspection, for most medications it is actually possible to meet the mother's needs without weaning. Depending on the medication, dose, age of baby and frequency of feeding then it may be very safe to continue to feed the baby while the mother takes the medication. For example, some medications can be taken soon after a feed and will have mostly passed through the mother's body before the next feed. Sometimes the amount passing into the milk and then being absorbed by the child is negligible. The effects of the baby receiving some medication also needs to be weighed against the risks of not breastfeeding. If the medication needs to be take for a short time only, then 'pump and dump' or even relactation can be considered.

Obviously, the details of every situation are different and you should seek actual professional advice, not the musings of someone who went to a few undergraduate pharmacy lectures and likes pontificating on her blog. I do urge you to see the advice of a pharmacist who specialises in drugs and lactation. It is an underrepresented field which is very important. Many doctors and pharmacists will give advice about breastfeeding without actually being aware of the specifics of the particular situation. If you have this dilemma, then I urge you to seek the advice that you, your child and your breastfeeding relationship deserve.

For me and my blocked nose, it's a no brainer. Putting up with a few snotty days vs early weaning - of course I can suck it up (or sniff it up, actually. Sorry for that visual.) However, if it was a chronic and/ or serious condition which I needed to treat, I would certainly seek more advice. Although, I'm almost looking forward to my first post-weaning cold when I can take some Cold and Flu tabs without a second thought.  I know, I'm strange...

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