Many mothers are concerned if having
dental work (i.e. fillings, root canals, etc) will affect breastfeeding.
Sometimes they are told they must temporarily
suspend nursing in order to take
pain medications or antibiotics, or they need to wait until
the anesthesia clears from their system. This, however, is not always
necessary; in fact, it's almost never necessary. These guidelines
are for mothers who are nursing healthy, full term babies. Babies
with health problems need special considerations.
Numbing agents such as lidocaine, nor any of its
derivatives commonly used as local anesthetics for dental procedures,
do not affect mother's milk. Bupivacaine lasts longer than carbocaine
or lidocaine, but its milk levels are still "nil" according
to Dr. Thomas Hale, author of Medications & Mother's Milk.
If given Valium or demeral, as soon as mom is awake
and non-sedated she can safely resume nursing. There is rarely ever
a need to pump and dump. According to Dr. Hale, the amount in mom's
milk after one dose would be minimal.
Antiseptic mouthwashes, such as Periogard should
not pose a problem for the breastfeeding infant, as its absorption
is virtually nil.
Any x-rays that need to be done can be done, there
is no effect to breastmilk, and mother can breastfeed immediately
after any x-ray.
As for whitening teeth, the substance used for that
is a peroxide compound. Peroxides are absorbed into the tissues
but then are instantly destroyed, so none ever reach mother's milk.
and Mother's Milk, 1999, Thomas Hale, Ph.D., Eigth Edition
X-rays, ultrasound, mammograms, and fine-needle
aspirations. These particular diagnostic tests do not affect mother's
milk, so breastfeeding can continue.
Reference: The Breastfeeding Answer Book,
If mother needs to take medications, there are resources
to help determine if she can safely continue to nurse, if she might
need to temporarily suspend breastfeeding (rare), or if it's necessary
that she wean (even more rare!). A partial list of AAP approved
medications can be found here.
For additional information on medications, you can
ask for a "meds lookup" on the breastfeeding board at
Parentsplace.com, where someone will check Dr Hale's book, Medications
& Mother's Milk for the medication. You can also purchase Dr.
Hale's book at most local bookstores or on the internet through
Amazon or Barnes & Noble, etc.
If a mother who wants to continue nursing
is told that she must stop breastfeeding due to a health concern,
but there seem to be no hard or specific medical reasons to do so,
she should ask for references that support the doctors suggestion
that she wean. She might also want to consider getting a second,
or even a third, opinion.
If surgery is needed, in most cases breastfeeding
can continue. Generally speaking all that is needed is a little
preparation and support. More information on surgery and/or hospitalization
can be found here: http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/surgery.html
According to the US Centers for Disease Control
"Neither killed nor live vaccines affect the
safety of breast-feeding for mothers or infants. Breast-feeding
does not adversely affect immunization and is not a contraindication
for any vaccine.
Inactivated or killed vaccines do not multiply within
the body. Therefore they should pose no special risk for mothers
who are breast-feeding or for their infants. Although live vaccines
do multiply within the mother's body, most have not been demonstrated
to be excreted in breast milk."
"Influenza vaccine does not affect the safety
of mothers who are breast-feeding or their infants. Breast-feeding
does not adversely affect immune response and is not a contraindication
(updated for 1999-2000 influenza season)
The following vaccines are compatible with breastfeeding:
Cholera, diptheria, influenza, measles, oral polio,
pertussis (whooping cough), rabies, rubella (German Measles), small
pox, tetanus, typhoid, typhus, yellow fever, and hepatitis vaccines.