Our Family

Our Family

Friday, June 3, 2011

Breastfeeding and Antibiotics

I have debated all week whether or not I was going to write a blog post about this. Mainly because I don't like to admit when I am not well (maybe it is the supermom complex) but I decided to go ahead for the purpose of hopefully being able to help or encourage someone in a similar situation.

I had an infection. I tried to deal with it on my own in hopes to avoid having to take medicine. Breastfeeding is a big responsibility. Everything that goes in your mouth goes in your baby's too and I want my babies to be as healthy as they can be. I didn't get any better and started getting worse so I decided to go to the doctor mostly because a sick mommy is no good to anybody. So I went. Our doctor by the way is a general practitioner. He decided yes in fact I needed to go on a strong antibiotic. I told him I was nursing (Emelia was there with me) and he said, "Well you are going to have to stop and put her on formula." Excuse me? What did you just say? I was stunned. Even breastfeeding women need medicine from time to time and I know there are antibiotics that are considered safe. I have been on them twice before for a UTI and Mastitis. So I just looked at him and said, "No. I can't do that." My babies never even drink out of a bottle. I take them everywhere with me until they are weaned. I said, "You need to find me another option." I couldn't believe that was my only choice and couldn't imagine having to stop breastfeeding if even only for a few days. I also couldn't imagine what that would do to Emelia. Breastfeeding is so much more than nutrition. It is a warmth, a comfort, a bonding like no other (I mean no disrespect to those women out there who could not/cannot breastfeed.) So, my doctor made a phone call to a pharmacist who recommended 3 different options for antibiotics. Then, the doctors office called a pharmacist at a Women and Children's Hospital to see which one they preferred. A medication was prescribed for me that would be safe for Emelia too with instructions on how to split up the dosage so that the least amount possible would pass through the breast milk.

As a new nursing mom I would have done what the doctor said, no questions asked simply because I didn't know any better. A few children and years later, I know enough to ask questions. I encourage you when faced with these kinds of situations to educate yourself, ask questions, and look at all of the options available. If there truly was no other way, I would have done what the doctor said in order to protect Emelia. Instead, I got the medicine I needed without having to traumatize my baby or myself (I am much better by the way.) A happy ending for all.
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