Section 3 Puerperium and after

149 DRUGS AND BREASTFEEDING

Mothers often ask their anaesthetist for information about breastfeeding after anaesthetic and surgical interventions. The majority of drugs administered to the mother enter her breast milk but many are present in pharmacologically insignificant amounts and do not therefore pose a risk to the baby. The amount of drug that a breastfed baby receives is dependent on the concentration of drug in the milk and the volume of milk taken by the baby. In the first few days following delivery, the baby receives colostrum and then very small volumes of milk, so that any drug exposure is likely to be minimal. It is, however, common sense to administer drugs to the breastfeeding mother only if they are considered essential.

The British National Formulary (BNF) contains a comprehensive list of drugs that are known to be present in breast milk following maternal administration, but also points out that in many cases there are insufficient data to enable accurate information to be provided.

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

New Mothers Guide to Breast Feeding

For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.

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