Breastfeeding & Taking Antibotics Due to Severe Breast Infection

Updated on June 12, 2009
T.A. asks from Hollister, CA
17 answers

I had a breast infection last week and the doctor put me on Dynapen antibotics it said that it goes into the milk. I have tried to limit nursing my baby as much and given her milk I froze before. The doctor knows Im nursing and says she wil just get a small amount. the pharcists said to pump and throw milk out. I have also lots a lot of my milk. She only figured out the nursing at 6 weeks. Has anyone else gone through this and is it really ok to nurse your baby while on these meds even though the paper work says talk to a doctor if nursing and will pass in milk. I got diarrhea for a few days as a side affect and so did my baby.

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T.J.

answers from San Francisco on

kellymom.com has the list of drugs that are safe to take with breastfeeding. Depending on where the one you are taking is, maybe it's possible to change the antibiotic?

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L.P.

answers from San Francisco on

I continued to nurse when I took antibiotics for a breast infection. My daughter was 1 month old at the time and now she is a super healthy almost 3 year old.

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J.K.

answers from Fresno on

My Daughter in law just had this Mastitis and was told it is common. Too painfuil to nurse so she pumps several times a day and bottle feeds it to the baby. There have not been any side effects to the baby. I had her sit in the hot tub and gently massage her infected breast and the next morning it was gone. They typically wont give you something that will harm your baby.

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I had severe breast infections when my littlest was about 6 months old. It started out as thrush, went to breast infections, then clogged ducts. It was painful to breast feed so I tried to pump as much as I could. I even bought a $200 pump. No matter, my supply quickly dwindled into nothing, and I had to switch to formula. I tried to pump my supply back in for three months, but only ever got an ounce or two a day. If I had it to do over again, I would continue to breast feed at all expense. If they say the milk has some antibiotics but it wont hurt the baby, breast feed !!!!

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D.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Looking up Dynapen in Thomas Hale's "Medications and Mother's Milk" (the same book your dr prob used, and sort of expert on all med and breastfeeding research) this is rated in the safest risk category (L1). Yes a small amount passes to the breastmilk. So just watch for diarrhea and diaper rash and treat those. Breastmilk is one of the best things with diarrhea because it replaces fluid loss quickly.

DON'T throw out your pumped milk. There are folks with alot of outdated breatfeeding info out there. Some folks still advice this after drinking and it isn't true. The meds don't stay in your breastmilk and at 3 mths your body is producing for demand. If you just pump your supply may decrease and at 3 mths your kid may have increased demand with a growth spurt. They have to put the broad warning on any med that passes into breatmilk (this is penicillin based drug so they have to watch for allergic reactions).

You don't want severe mastitis so take the drug and keep nursing. If you want you can ask the pharmacist for a powder called Florastor which is a probiotic powder you could add to pumped milk in a bottle to help with the diarrhea for your kiddo.

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V.K.

answers from Sacramento on

I had Mastitis several times while nursing my LO when she was younger and nursed through it without dumping the milk. It healed fairly quickly that way. The antibiotics helped it stay gone for a while ... until I got the next one and had to re-do the whole thing again. Make sure you take the whole prescrption. Maybe that will prevent you from getting it again.

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R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

There is a doctor in Canada named Jack Newman, you can find him online. He has a breastfeeding clinic and I have referred people to him in the past. You can call them with the medication name and they will give you the scientific research on that specific med while nursing (i.e. the meds half-life, how its absorbed in the body, etc) A local La Leche group may be able to offer the same support.

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J.S.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi T.,

I am a Lactation Consultant and deal with stuff like this all the time. :) KEEP NURSING. :) The Dyna[en is also known as Dicloxicillan which happens to be standard treatment for mastitis.

At any rate - on the safety category (per Medications and Mothers' Milk - Tom Hale) Dynapen is very safe listed as an L1 (the safest). It has a very high molecular weight of 470 which means very little actually gets into the breastmilk (molecular weights under 250 pass very easily into breastmilk - higher than 250 and it gets tougher...the higher the number the tougher it is to get into the milk). Pumping and dumping is not necessary and is typically a direction given when someone doesn't know and needs to cover their butt. :)

So - Breastfeed that baby! No pumping and dumping! Don't worry about the diarrhea - it will pass. Just feed the kid. :)

Feel free to call me if you have other questions...

Warmly,
J. Simpson, IBCLC, CIIM
Breastfeeding Network
www.breastfeedingnetwork.net
###-###-####

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S.F.

answers from Chico on

The best thing you can do for a breast infection is nurse, nurse, nurse. Make sure you are nursing from the infected breast this will help to unplug the duct that caused the infection. You doctor should have given you an antibiotic that was completable with nursing. I your pharmacist could not be more off. There is never a need to "pump and dumb" breast milk always being recycled by your body. For accurate info on breast feeding and breast infections check out kellymom.org or La Leche Leauge [email protected]____.com Luck and good job nursing your baby.
S.

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E.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, T.--
Even "a small amount" of the antibiotic should not get into the baby's system. I could not believe that a doctor would say that. Antibiotic kills even the good bacteria in the intestine and will cause a health problem for the baby. I would listen to what the drug manufacturer said and not breastfeed at all until you are all well and your system is clear of the toxin. Please do not pass it on to the baby.
E. C

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L.W.

answers from Sacramento on

I'd say trust your intuition.

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M.S.

answers from Sacramento on

I think you're smart for thinking this through. I would do what it seems your instinct is - pump and toss. While antibiotics are good to fight off the bad bacteria when infection is present, they also strip your body of good bacteria and make your immune system weak in the long run. So, it sounds like you know that your baby will be better off with the frozen milk, and after a week or so, get her back on the breast.

Good for you for thinking it through!

M. S

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A.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Trisha,
I don't have any qualified advice on whether or not you should keep nursing the baby while you're on these antibiotics (seems like you've had lots of good advice on this topic so far) but I would alert you to the possibility of future allergies to this family of antibiotics in your child.
Since you baby has been exposed to this antibiotic (not necessarily a bad thing or something to panic about) just be sure to mention this to the pediatrician the next time your baby is prescribed antibiotics. And he will be in the next 2 years, I guarantee it. The reaction won't occur after the first exposure, but if there's an allergy it will show up after the 2nd or subsequent exposure.
When my daughter was about 14 months old she took amoxicillin for an ear infection. She was prescribed the same antibiotic this last winter for a different infection and had a pretty severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic.
Just a red flag to be aware of. You may never face this problem, but be on the alert.
A.

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W.M.

answers from Sacramento on

T.,
I had to take antibiotics when I was nursing for the same
reason. I still continued to nurse. Consult your gynecologist and see what they say, then ask you primary care doctor. I would go off of both their opinions.
W. m

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I.Y.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi there,
I am a pharmacist and, based on what I know, penicillins overall are considered safe in pregnancy and lactation. Dynapen is a penicillin so it should not harm your infant. Having said that, however, this is a generalization with all penicillins and there is not as much data available about dynapen in particular as compared to other penicillins. Chances are that, even if it does pass through to the milk, your baby would receive a very small amount of the medication. This could alter his gastrointestinal flora (by killing some of the good bacteria that live in the intestines) and possibly lead to diarrhea. If you want to avoid this posible side effect, then you can pump and dump. This is definitely a personal decision. If it was ME...knowing that I already had some supply issues, I would probably continue nursing, but I would try to time it so that I would nurse right before my next dose is due (to limit the amount of medication that the baby would get). Again, I would do this because my milk supply was always on the low side and I know that pumping alone would not have been sufficient to adequately mantain it. Hope that helps (?)

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C.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi T. -

I had mastitis (breast infection) and was prescribed antibiotics. However, I was told to continue nursing as it does not harm the infant. My 'infant' is now 2 years old and is very healthy. I would check with your gynocologist or ask for a different type of antibiotics to make sure it is safe for the nursing infant.

good luck!

G.K.

answers from San Francisco on

I did a little internet research on Dynapen, and most everything I've read says that it WILL pass into the breastmilk and MAY harm a baby. In situations like this, it's hard to know who to listen to: your doctor and the pharmacist! Have you called your doctor to discuss the pharmacist's "pump and dump?" I had a doctor who KNEW I was breastfeeding prescribe me a medication for a cough that was NOT compatible with breastfeeding, so.... Maybe you could go on a different antibiotic???? I also agree that you should take a probiotic to help balance out your system. Also be aware that sometimes antibiotics will cause yeast infections, which goes for baby, too!

If you have questions, etc, you can always call the Nursing Mothers Counsel hotline at (650)327-MILK! We provide free peer counseling to ALL breastfeeding moms at ALL stages.

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