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Thread: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advise

  1. #1

    Default After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advise

    Please help, I am totally heartbroken today. I went to my dentist with a sore tooth (already amalgam filled) and he took out the old filling and put in a new composite/white filling. Before he began I told him I was breastfeeding and he said it was fine to be treated. For some reason, I wasn't overly worried. When I came home I wondered if I should pump and dump for a few feeds (and looked on,one for info). Found lots of reputable articles advising not to have amalgam filling removals when breastfeeding due to mercury vapours being released and possible side affects due to mercury in breastmilk. Called my doctor, who is excellent-she did a bit of background research and advised me to stop b/f for a month or min 2 weeks. I was stunned and felt so utterly stupid. My beautiful 11 week old baby had been feeding beautifully after a very rocky start (sick pregnancy, emergency c sect, neonatal ICU and my mastitis). I have fought so hard to bf her and she is now screaming at me as I try to offer formula to her today - she is hysterical, red eyed and I am so upset for stopping suddenly. I worry she wont feed as she has never taken a bottle, I worry that it will effect the bond and that I wont be able to get her back to the breast after 2 weeks on formula/bottles. I can't stop crying, I would give anything to be able to feed her and feel robbed of this beautiful experience with my daughter and am devastated for her and me.

    Anyone have any advise? Please..... I'd like to know if other moms have got babies back to bf after a break like this? Also how should I pump to keep supply? Advise greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by @llli*janeclaire; July 10th, 2013 at 04:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    I trust this website a lot http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf...icals/mercury/

    and there does not appear to be much evidence here to support what your doctor is saying. It seems pretty weird she would think you could easily stop bfing for two weeks or a month" especially when your baby is so young!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    I am so sorry for your distress.

    I think the kellymom site is excellent source of advice. Also if you are in the US ring INfantrisk hotline http://www.infantrisk.com/ so many on this forum have mentioned how helpful they are. As I don't live int he US I have not used it but many here trust them.

    There was also this thread recently where someone gives extensive info on this issue. Pesonally I have no experience on this but the second posting in this thread by karrieperry might help you make a decision


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    i agree with calling infantrisk - they are the most up-to-date on med safety, and if you call they can give individualized advice. you also might call your dentist, since he's the one who said there was no problem originally? usually general docs (including dentists) have little training on breastfeeding, and they err on the side of telling you to quit. so it might put your mind at ease to speak with him about why he thinks it's safe.

    for what it's worth, i personally would not interrupt nursing at all for this reason.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    Mercury poisoning is a very serious thing. The question is, can enough mercury get into your breastmilk from this dental work that is dangerous to baby? And, if so, how long would it be present in your body? I do not have the answer for that.

    The article garsmum links has the same info I found in Medications and Mothers Milk by Thomas Hale. He rates mercury as L5, which means, contraindicated. But he then goes into detail about mercury and dental work. Carefully read the section in the kellymom article about mercury in fillings and the removal of amalgums. Did your dentist take these precautions, or are you not sure? If you are not comfortable nursing your baby due to your doctors advice, I suggest pump and dump for the night (if you don’t have a pump, hand express-of course, you could also pump and NOT dump pending a discussion with infantrisk) and call www.infantrisk.com in the morning. They are closed now but they open at 8 am central time. Then check back with your baby's pediatrician.

  6. #6

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    Thanks for the support and help. It seems according to my docs research in medical journals that post dental work where amalgam is removed that it peaks in thr body after 48hrs and takes a full month for levels to return to normal. Instinctively I want to pick up my baby nd continue feeding her especially given her distress at taking a bottle of formula. However I can't get over this medical advice- having amalgam doesn't worry me as much as the effects of having it worked on/drilled that releases vapours.
    There seem to be protocols to make this safer whic my dentist did not implement. I'm really annoyed that he didn't seem to follow the conservative line and offer me a temporary solution for a few months. I will call him again today- feel like I'm in a no win situation and my little babys distress has my husband and in floods of tears. Will call infant risk too- not in the us but hope they can help......can anyone tell me if I will be able to get baby back to breast after a 2 week break? I'd give anything to continue feeding her....

  7. #7

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    please call infant risk if you can. There are risks to not breastfeeding as well, which must be balanced with the risks of nursing in this situation. At this point it is unknown if you even have elevated mercury levels in your blood, right?

    Even in a worst case scenario, yes you probably can get a baby back to the breast after two weeks of not nursing. Maintain your milk production by pumping at least 8 times a day or as close to that as possible. (Do you have a good, double sided electric pump? adding hand expression in as well help some moms.) And feed baby with a breastfeeding supportive feeding technique, which means, small feedings, frequently, on cue, so feedings are more like breastfeeding. Consider a bottle alternative like a cup or syringe, or give bottles using this technique. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Re: After dental work- Doctor advises to quit BF-please advi

    So so sorry you have to deal with this! I would be upset too. I'm curious to know what Infant Risk says, because I have a lot of old amalgam fillings (bad teeth) and probably will not be able to avoid having some work on them done at some point during my breastfeeding journey. So I'll be in the same boat you are.

    Sorry if this is a bit of a hijack--but regarding the precautions recommended by Hale quoted on the Kellymom link above, is it advising putting an oxygen mask over the nose when it talked about an alternate source of air? I'm a bit confused by the wording there.
    Last edited by @llli*reading.mom; July 11th, 2013 at 02:54 PM.

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