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My Doctor Says I Must Wean For Medical Reasons. What Should I Do?

If your doctor has determined you need to take a drug for a medical condition, make sure that your doctor knows 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. You can also contact your local La Leche League Leader for current information on the medications suggested and share this information with your doctor.

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

If you must wean suddenly, it helps to express some milk from your breasts, to 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 milk supply by using a hospital quality breast pump at the times your baby would normally nurse.

Resources for Additional Information

Available from the LLLI Online Store:

Medications and Mothers' Milk, 12th Edition, 2006 by Thomas Hale, Ph.D. Revised and updated every year, this popular reference is complete, easy to read, portable, and affordable. In addition to drugs that have been updated, the 10th edition contains almost 50 new drugs. Also new is The Theoretic Infant Dose, the Lactation Risk Category, and information on average adult doses. Softcover, 816 pages.

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