Avoiding risk at what cost? Putting use of medicines for breastfeeding women into perspective Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Breastfeeding women often need to take medicines, and therefore health professionals need to consider the effects of medication on lactation and the breastfed infant, and any associated risks. This commentary discusses the tragic case of a young woman with a history of mental illness who committed suicide in the postpartum period. She was determined to be a 'good mother' and breastfeed, and to avoid any potential adverse effects of medication on her breastfed infant. The final outcome was fatal for both mother and child. We argue that if women require medication during lactation, all risks need to be considered - the risk of not treating the maternal medical condition may greatly outweigh the potential risk to the breastfed infant.

publication date

  • December 2012