Dr. Wants Me to Pump ,Y Milk While on Antibiotics but I Don't Get the Concept.

Updated on May 09, 2011
S.2. asks from Bakersfield, CA
30 answers

I got diagnosed with MRSA a type of staph infection. I'm in tremendous pain because of this boil i have.
And I really wanna start this Bactrim medication. The doctor (who I spoke to over a call center ) said that its like all other medications its unknown if its safe or unsafe but its mostly safe. Whatever that means...She said since my daughter was only 4 days old maybe t i should express my milk.
I don't understand though because once its in my system its in there right?
So, what was she talking about me doing?
Im supposed to take the medicine 2x daily so when could I express the milk and it not be in my system.

I know your thinking why didn't you ask the doctor. Well, at the time I just thought i'll pray and take it and keep breastfeeding as I've been doing anyways. But, then my BF decided to buy a pump anyways so he can help out with feedings.

So I am STUCK!

I really need this medicine but 4 days old and getting mommies antibiotics sounds so scary

Thanks you ladies

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answers from San Francisco on

Usually people pump and dump while on meds like that so that the baby is not getting bad milk, but you don't dry up while taking the meds.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

I would not be discussing pumping etc. You do know that MRSA can be
deadly. Take the antibiotics now and pump and dump. You are playing
with fire by waiting. You need to feed the baby formula. After you are 100% sure MRSA is cured and you are off antibiotics, you can go back to nursing.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think the doc probably meant pump and dump. So you wouldn't actually be giving the baby milk for the period of time that you are on the antibiotics, but you wouldn't need to ween because you could keep your supply up by pumping.

I am not a breastfeeding expert at all, so I have no idea if the meds are okay for the baby. But there is a book out there called something like "medicine and mothers milk" that should be able to tell you if it's okay. You could also try checking in with your local LaLecheLeague.

Whatever you decide about the breastfeeding, if you need the antibiotics, take them. No one will be better off if the infection gets worse and you get really sick.

Good luck.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Youngstown on

Denise P is 100% right and this is also a good way to see if your pediatrician is a good one that takes all your concerns seriously too. You could call your hospital lactation consultant and ask her about the meds and exactly what to do about pumping and dumping and how to go about feedings. Always call her when you are having trouble with nursing...call your pediatrican too though on this because of the meds.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think what you're not understanding is that she/he meant for you to pump and DISPOSE of that milk until you get the all clear with the infection and can continue with breastmilk. I'd assume formula for now. Talk to your ped about what to buy.

Call your doctor if you EVER have questions! Someone is on call & will talk to you at any time.

This is you/your child's help and while this forum is very helpful, you don't want other (possibly under-informed) opinions...you want FACTS right?

With a 4 day old, remember that about your pediatrician as well. NEVER hesitate to call when you have questions or concerns and are unclear about what to do!

Congrats, Happy Mothers Day, & all the best to you!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Bellingham on

I'm no doctor, but.....
Lact-med says,
"With healthy, full-term infants it appears acceptable to use sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim (bactrim) during breastfeeding after the newborn period. Until further data are accumulated, alternate agents should probably be used in jaundiced, ill, stressed or premature infants, because of the risk of bilirubin displacement and kernicterus. Sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim should be avoided while breastfeeding a G6PD-deficient infant."
So you should be fine taking your meds and continue breastfeeding as normal. If you are really concerned, go ahead and pump/dump, but I don't feel that's needed. I personally feel miniscule amounts of antibiotic in BMilk is better than formula. Also, like others have said, take probiotics!!


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

I went on antibiotics for a c-section infection when my son was one week old. I had to pump to maintain my milk supply - but my milk was toxic to him because of the medicine- so I had to dump and feed him formula for a little awhile.

It sucks, but, once I got my health back he went back to nursing without any problems.

Good Luck and God Bless

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

From Medications and Mother's Milk by Dr T Hale 2008 Edition:

Says it is an L3 for nursing Mothers and that is is secreted in very small amounts into breastmilk. Says no known pediatric concerns reported via breastmilk. L3 is considered moderately safe and Bactrim is the safest sulfa antibiotic.

Says to use caution with weakened immune systems of neonates, high level jaundiced babies and premature infants.

If you want your supply to be as it should - tell your boyfriend to not be expected to help with feedings, because if he does, you can easily sabotage your milk supply.

I also second taking probiotics and eating organic yogurts... many women get yeast infections after a course of antibiotics due to the drug killing both the good and bad bacterias.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

As everyone else has said, what you need to do is express your milk and then dump it...you will need to rent or buy a breast pump...they can be a bit pricey so if you don't think you are going to be using it again I would see if there is a way to rent one from a lactation clinic or something like that. You want to keep pumping in order to keep your milk supply coming...as a matter of fact...if your little one is just 4 days old...you milk supply is really just starting to establish itself. I would pump each time you feed your baby...don't worry about how much you manage to express...just pump what you can get.
I doubt that there is an antibiotic for MRSA that is safe to take while breastfeeding...I would think it has to be a pretty potent antibiotic to do the job.
Good luck and let us know how it all turns out.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She should have said "pump and dump" - but call a lactation consultant and ask them because doctors don't always know what medications are and are not an issue when breastfeeding.Check ASAP so you can figure out what you need to do and so it won't affect your supply. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Check with your doctor first ~ always.

However I had MRSA in the fall and took Bactrim and was able to continue bf my daughter (6 months at the time). I even took the pump to the hospital (I had to end up having emergency surgery) and pumped there. I did have to supplement with formula though, because I couldn't pump enough while in the hospital.

Good luck and right now you also need to be taking care of yourself. You are still recovering from birth and MRSA is no joke either.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If your baby is 4 days old - CONGRATULATIONS!! he probably wants you to pump to get your milk supply up and keep it up.

Talk with the pharmacist to find out how long the antibiotic stays ACTIVE...ask the pharmacist how much is actually transferred to the baby via breast milk - if it's a class C drug - then there have been no studies on it.

YOU NEED the antibiotic - PERIOD - you cannot let the infection run rampant in your body...HOWEVER you NEED To continue to pump/express your milk to get your milk supply up and continuous for the baby.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sherman on

janes right i think he ment pump and dump and give her formula briefly. but you will have to pump to keep ur supply up, and if u feel it slacking, take fenugreek, u can get it at most health food/drug stores.
also try to get some skin to skin time with baby during this time! keep that bond so u can go right back to BF.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

It is possible that the medicine is safe to take while breastfeeding. Many doctors will automatically say iyou have to pump and dump to cover themselves.
You can look up the medicine you are taking here http://www.infantrisk.com/ at Dr Hale's website. In a lot of cases very little if any of the medicine is actually gettining into your milk. You can also call your local La Leche League http://www.llli.org/ and they most likely have his book and can look it up for you. The lovely ladies at LLLI are wonderfully helpful and can help you if you do in fact need to pump and dump.
It sounds like your doctor wants you to pump and then throw out your milk while on the antibiotics so your milk doesn't dry up. Breastfeeding is supply and demand. If there is no demand (by baby nursing at the breast or a pump) then your body thinks it does not need to make milk and will stop. This will make it very difficult to breastfeed your baby after you stop the medication. Typically you are to give your baby formula while pumping and dumping. Or you could see if there is a milk bank you could get donated human milk from.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

Call and ask a pharmacist what he thinks.
Use formula for a few days, but pump your breasts to keep up your supply.
I would be leery about nursing while taking ANYthing, seriously.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Pump and dump the milk. Pump to upkeep your supply, but dump the milk and do not feed it to your baby so that she does NOT ingest the medication in case it's harmful to her. You're going to have to supplement her either with formula or breastmilk from a breastmilk bank (if you have one nearby) for the duration that you're taking the medication and for as long as the meds are in your system (which are usually a few days after you stop the meds).

I'm all about praying too, but if this medication is believed to be possibly harmful then I'm sorry but you really shouldn't risk it passing through your breastmilk to the baby and pray that she's going to be all right even if the odds are in your favor that she'll be fine. You have serious advice from a doctor here to pump and dump. I would take it seriously.

Although you could call the hospital's liaison with the La Leche League and get advice from them about this. They can give up updated information about the medication and let you know if there are nearby breastmilk banks.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Yes yes yes
Pump and dump. This is what they do in cattle (sorry if you don't like the comparison but it is true). If a cow is on a medicine that is not good for people they are still milked to keep the supply up but it is dumped to not allow it to get in the food supply. The reason that you can go back to nursing is after the antibiotics are no longer taken they really are not in the milk in any quantity. It is really important you do take the antibiotics and it is important the baby not get them as most types of antibiotics are not kind to their little developing systems

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You need to take the medicine. I don't know the severity of your MRSA, but my dad died from it, so take those meds. I am pretty sure your Dr. means for you to express your milk and dump it, so that you won't be in pain and engorged or dry up and will be able to return to nursing when your antibiotics and the MRSA is gone. For now, you will need to feed the baby formula.

You need to call your Dr. and find out exactly as soon as possible.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

If your doctor is giving you the order to pump and then dump, Have her write you a prescription for the breast pump.. you can then get your insurance to rent you a really good breast bump. Like the kind they have in the hospital so that it is more efficient.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm thinking, as the other ladies said, you are supposed to pump to help your body continue making milk. Then once you are off the antibiotics you can go back to nursing your baby.

In the mean time, you will have to supplement with formula. I suggest using a syringe for the feedings to prevent nipple confusion. If you choose to feed from a bottle, I recommend the Playex drop-ins as the nipples are wide and soft, very close to the breast. My son was able to go between breast and bottle in the same feeding using those bottles.

I recommend calling your OB or lactation consultant to get clarification from them about whether you really need to pump and dump. Also, they may be able to suggest other antibiotics that would be safe for breastfeeding. (my husband gets staph infections fairly often and there are various antibiotics he's been given)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

I'm pretty sure she meant to pump your milk and then dump it. Feed your daughter formula until you are off the antibiotic.

If you intend to continue breastfeeding afterwards, however, do NOT introduce a bottle. You can feed your infant out of a suckle cup...ask your doctor for one, or a lactation specialist, or order one online and have it overnighted to you. It's like a very soft silicone cup, about the size of a shot glass...you can put the formula in it, and just feed them a sip at a time. I fed my first daughter this way for the first entire month of her life.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

He meant for you to pump so you keep your supply, but not to feed it to your baby. Supplement with formula for the duration of your medication, and then resume breastfeeding when it is done. Pump really, really often because pumping does not keep your supply up as well as breastfeeding itself. Drink lots of fluids, keep your calories up, maybe get some fenugreek tea, and pump often and you should be able to get right back to breastfeeding when your medications are done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lancaster on

Hi S.,

I agree with the other momma's here. The Doctor likely meant to pump your milk and then dispose of it.

However, I am never a proponent of formula. The few times I had to stop breastfeeding my children (I have six), I fed them goats milk, instead. It's closer to mother's milk than cow or formula. It's more nutritious and doesn't have the issues with lactose, either.

See if you can get these bottles over-nighted to you: http://www.breastfeeding-magazine.com/breastfeeding-bottl...

They avoid nipple confusion, and it will be so much easier to get your baby back to the breast after the antibiotics are out of your system.

Good luck. My prayers are with you!



answers from San Francisco on

Best talk to the pediatrician. I'm sure they would advise you. The doctor may have meant to pump to keep your supply up, but not necessarily give to the baby. That way your supply will be good when you are ready to restart.

Maybe ask how long to wait after you come off the medication before breast feeding again, as it probably takes time to flush from your system.

Good luck and I hope this helps.



answers from San Francisco on

Happy Mother's Day!
I had my appendix out when my daughter was 9 days old and I had to pump and dump due to the anasthetic used during the surgery. Pumping will keep your supply up. I would call the pediatrician and ask them about the meds you need to take, they know a lot more about what's safe for a nursing infant. We had to use formula for the couple of days I had to pump and dump and it all worked out OK. When you are better and your child's a little older, you may want to pump extra milk so that you can build up a supply in the freezer in case something like this happens again. You may never need it, but better to have it and not need it.
Good luck and feel better,


answers from San Francisco on

You have to pump. If you don't pump your body will take this as a sign that you don't need to produce milk anymore and it will stop....you won't be able to nurse your baby anymore. Pump the milk and dispose of it. If your doctor said it's not safe for your baby then it is NOT SAFE FOR YOUR BABY.



answers from Sacramento on

You need to pump to keep your milk supply coming in. I would toss what you pump until you are done with the medication if it's unknown as to whether it's safe or not to take the medication and breastfeed. That way you can continue to nurse her after you are done with the medication. If you don't want to give her formula, there are places you can get donated milk from that you can use while you are taking the medications. There is a group on Facebook called Human Milk for Human babies that is one group that I know of (a friend of mine helps coordinate that group).



answers from Sacramento on

I would pump just to keep your milk supply up. You can dump the milk instead of giving it to the baby. But if you don't pump during this time, then your milk supply will decrease or even dry up and you will not be able to breastfeed your child later.



answers from San Francisco on

Here is a medical answer to your question. It is unknown if it is completely safe, but what is ever totally safe anyway? Your safest bet is to pump and dump and supplement with something else until you are done with the meds. and continue to pump and dump for about 3 days after your done taking them to get them out of your system. Good luck :)


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