Friday, July 15

Medications & Breastfeeding

I am getting prepared for our upcoming pediatrician interviews. Our main criteria for a pediatrician was one that limits use of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary (for obvious reasons if you're informed about over-use of antibiotics and the consequences in this generation). We also want a ped that is supportive of our decision to breastfeed. Yep, "our decision;" Hubs is adamant that we breastfeed BG. The benefits of it can't be denied (especially with all the auto-immune junk in my genes), and he's supporting me any way he can. I'm thankful for that! Last week I read that spousal support for breastfeeding makes the difference in whether you'll succeed.

Anyway, today I'm gathering and printing out the little literature on breastfeeding while also taking the medications I am on (tacrolimus and mesalamine), to bring to the interviews and show the peds that it is in fact not determined to be harmful. One of my OB nurses recommended we do this. We hope that by presenting this info to the doctors first off, they will be more likely to fully support our decision to breastfeed BG.

This is a great little article on Breastfeeding and Tacrolimus, which I'm on for life so I don't reject my transplanted liver. I'm going to highlight it like crazy and hand it over to the ped: Tacrolimus use while Breastfeeding. It basically says that the absorption is so low, hardly any Tacro gets passed on to the little one, and when they've done studies on development and immune systems of babies who've had breastmilk from a woman taking Tacro, there weren't any contraindications. {Hurray!!!}

This is an article that focuses more on Tacrolimus' effects on a fetus during pregnancy: Tacrolimus Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings I have to say, I think the worst case scenarios are probably in the pregnancies where they are taking the highest listed 64 mg of Tacro a day - yikes!
I've been on just 5 mg per day for over a year, and they raised it to 6 mg per day in my second trimester. Every growth scan and measurement we've had of BG has shown her to be healthy, growing, gaining weight, and developing perfectly, including and especially her incredible strong little heart! We are blessed and thankful for this, and believe she'll just continue to NOT fit in the box that the medical community would try to put her in because of my health history and the meds I have to take.

I'm very encouraged that in each case of breastfeeding that these two articles mention, things turned out positively; there was not a significant amount of Tacro detected in the babies' bodies, and the children are developing well!

Here is one more article I'm printing out because I also have Ulcerative Colitis, and for that I take Apriso, a mesalamine formulation - it's just like Asacol, a more common med which I used to take, but with Apriso I only take four capsules a day instead of sixteen. Mesalamine use while Breastfeeding. This one is much more "accepted" by the medical community for pregnancy and breastfeeding. I can't say that taking it has helped much during the pregnancy, as I've had active disease the whole time, and increasingly bad flares for the past few weeks :( But, I would never consider stopping it, because that could cause a situation even worse and more difficult to get under control.

Well, we're one step closer to our upcoming journey into parenthood! Next step: Pediatrician interviews :)