WEANING FOR MEDICAL REASONS

If your doctor decides you need to take a drug (medicine) for a medical condition, make sure that they know how important it is for you to continue breastfeeding and check to see if a breastfeeding compatible drug can be used. You may not need to wean permanently, or at all. Do your own research, or get a second opinion from another doctor/hospital, if necessary.

There are very few medications that don’t work with breastfeeding. The main exceptions are certain radioactive drugs, chemotherapy, and a very few long-lasting drugs. A great resource to find out specific information about a particular drug is Medications and Mothers’ Milk by Dr. Thomas Hale, updated every two years. Your LLL Leader may have a copy, or at least access to the information. Also view our page on Medications.

Depending on the age of your breastfeeding child, and the frequency with which they breastfeed, certain drugs may have little or no effect on him.

If you must wean suddenly, it helps to express some milk from your breasts, for comfort, until you begin to produce less.

If you must be separated from your baby while undergoing treatment, but do not wish or need to wean, you can maintain your supply by expressing your milk.

 

*Parts of the contents of this page was generously supplied by La Leche League International