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Thread: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

  1. #1

    Unhappy Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    On Thursday I was admitted to the hospital due to gallstones and had to have a procedure done to remove them from my bile duct (ERCP). I was then put on an antibiotic and a whole lot of pain meds etc. I was pretty sick the first part of last week but breastfed straight through until I was admitted to the hospital. After this was all done my Dr. told me I could not breastfeed until 2 days after my last anitbiotic was taken, which means I will not be able to breastfeed until Friday. While in the hospital my baby was put on formula basically because I was so sick I wasn't making very much milk and I had to stay overnight and had not stored any milk. I am a SAHM and never thought I would need it.

    Now I am freaking out, my baby is on formula and it is making me so sad. He is doing well on it considering the shock I am sure he went through those first couple of days. He is smelly and gassy but other than that he seems happy.

    I am pumping and dumping, the first day after I got out of the hospital I pumped and dumped 22 oz, the 2nd day I pumped 20 and today so far I have pumped 16 with one more session to go probably tonight.

    Do any of you have any tips on pumping and dumping? Will it be miserable for him to go back to the breast?

    I have read several websites that say dr's are quick to say you can't breastfeed while using almost any drug and that most drugs are safe, etc. I am not comfortable going against my Dr.s orders but it really makes me feel angry that they may just be telling me I can't to protect themselves against a lawsuit or they don't want to look up info to see if it would be safe for me to breastfeed.

    My family all feel like it is just great that Leo is drinking from a bottle and can handle formula and they do not see the big deal, but I am so afraid he won't want to go back. While I am grateful my son had no adverse reaction to formula or was a miserable baby while I was in the hospital, I am still not thrilled to be giving him formula now, while I am dumping my milk down the drain! I breastfed my first son for 22 months and want to provide the same for this one!

    I am rambling now but so thankful a board like this is available for me to vent to people that get it!
    Thank you so much!
    Angie ( a sad mommy)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Can you tell us the name of what you are on? There are places to look up information about medications and if there has been any research done.

    I hope you are recovering ok. We'll help you get your LO back to the breast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Sorry you're going through this. A friend of mine was told to pump and dump unecessarily for a full week. She did get her baby back on the breast, but it wasn't easy.

    Kellymom has info on the safety of various antibiotics. Its up to your doctor to put you on one that's compatible with breastfeeding. Print off the info and take it to the office with you.


    The book Medication and Mother's Milk has a more comprehensive list.

    Honestly, the sooner you get on a breastfeeding-compatible antibiotic and get your little one back on the breast, the better. A week's a long time. I know the doctor and your family are not worried, but its more out of ignorance than anything. As you are more informed, its up to you to educate them and advocate for your baby.

    Keep us posted and keep your chin up, mom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Sorry to hear you've had to stop breastfeeding. Hopefully you'll be able to get your lo back on the breast no problems!

    For future reference (or if you want to look up your medicine now) Lactmed (click me) is a great source for checking out medicines compatible with breastfeeding and possible risks/effects.

    When I had mastitis recently I had to take an antibiotic that normally says not to use if breastfeeding - I'm allergic to loads of antibiotics and it's the only thing I could take. I was prescribed it by a BF friendly doctor though and also checked it out on this Lactmed site, which stated it's not "ideal" but suitable for short term use. It's all about your own comfort level though.
    Mama of two precious girls
    DD1 born 23 July 2008 and
    DD2 born 14 January 2010

  5. #5

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Thanks everyone! I am taking levaquin until tomorrow, the dr. told me not to breastfeed until 48 hrs after my last dose, so that is what I am going to do I guess. I am still pumping 20-25 oz a day so hopefully I will be able to get the little guy back to normal soon. He is doing okay, but is only pooping every other day and has to really work to get it out!! I feel bad for him as he has never had trouble before this ordeal. Anything I can do to ease constipation or is this how formula fed infants go?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Here's what lactmed says about Levaquin (levofloxacin)
    Summary of Use during Lactation:
    Fluoroquinolones such as levofloxacin have traditionally not been used in infants because of concern about adverse effects on the infants' developing joints. However, recent studies indicate little risk.[1][2] The calcium in milk might prevent absorption of the small amounts of fluoroquinolones in milk,[3] but insufficient data exist to prove or disprove this assertion. Short-term use of levofloxacin is acceptable in nursing mothers. Avoiding breastfeeding between 4 to 6 hours after a dose should decrease the exposure of the infant to levofloxacin in breastmilk. Maternal use of an eye drop that contains levofloxacin presents negligible risk for the nursing infant.
    Again though, it's of course up to you to decide what you're comfortable with.

    With the pooping - how old is your lo? I think I've read that sometimes babies that are on formula only need a little bit of extra water to help things move along as normal. (Like an ounce, not a whole bottle!) Anyone else know?
    Mama of two precious girls
    DD1 born 23 July 2008 and
    DD2 born 14 January 2010

  7. #7

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Thanks all!
    I broke down and called the pharmacist yesterday and she said it would be okay to start nursing so I did! I was getting clogged ducts and it was such a relief to have him nurse. The little man was so excited too, he was smiling and kicking his feet, a pretty special moment. We have been doing okay, I might have to supplement a bottle tonight as I don't feel like there is too much milk.

    Thanks for all the help and encouragement! I have to have my gallbladder out the 8th so I am going to start pumping now just in case the dr's tell me I can't nurse.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Temporary cessation of breastfeeding due to illness..need help!

    Oh, what a relief!

    Any time you have a question about a specific medication, you can contact an LLL Leader near you. Either they or one of their support Leaders will have the latest copy of Medications and Mother's Milk, which is the definitive reference for medication and breastfeeding questions.

    If you tell your LLL Leader what medication you need to take, she can have the information from the book photocopied and sent to you so you can show it to your doctor (it's better to get the hard copy than have it read or summarized over the phone -- the terminology is very technical).

    Best of luck with your surgery. I hope it goes smoothly!
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