Maternal medication and breastfeeding: Current recommendations.

  • A Horn Division of Neonatal Medicine UCT


The benefits of breastfeeding for infants in the first year of life in developing countries1 and developed countries2 are well established. In addition, maternal benefits such as earlier return to pre-pregnant weight,3 increased child spacing,4 improved bone re-mineralization postpartum,5 reduction in hip fractures in the postmenopausal period,6 reduced risk of ovarian cancer7 and pre-menopausal breast cancer,8 are well described. Thus a decision to deny the infant and mother the potential benefits of breast feeding must be carefully considered, and based on the best available evidence. The average transfer of most medications into human milk is exceedingly low9 and there are very few instances when breast feeding is absolutely contraindicated. However, there are a number of medications where the available advice in national formularies is limited to manufacturer's cautionary statements to meet the minimum requirement of the licensing authority. Fortunately is research available to inform decisions regarding the use of these medications.

For full text, click here:SA Fam Pract 2005;47(9):42-47

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-6204
print ISSN: 2078-6190