Originally Posted by mamapigeon
Thanks for the resource! I had no idea something like that existed. I imagine quite a few women wonder if a medication they need to take is safe during breastfeeding.
I'm not comfortable with nursing during chemotherapy. The drugs have a lot of serious side effects, including unknown long-term effects. I really don't want to expose my baby to that.
Anyone able to answer my questions?
I'm so sorry you're going through this.
I also, would not feel comfortable nursing between chemo sessions, (I'm a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and am medically trained and feel the same way you do about most chemo drugs.) Without knowing what drugs they are going to use for your chemo, I can't offer a time line on how long it will stay in your system. A LOT of chemo drugs stay in the system a very long time and as they are targeting and killing rapidly growing cells and babies are made of rapidly growing cells nursing during or between chemo sessions is something that is rarely recommended.
I can't tell you what to do, of course. I've had a few clients who were going to pump and dump during chemo and all of them gave it up due to the fatigue, exhaustion and other side effects of chemo. These moms all said they wanted to use what limited energy and good days they had during the chemo to spend with their children, not with the pump. A lot of them also got discouraged seeing the milk every day and having to dump it down the drain. It's a psychologically difficult thing to do.
If I were diagnosed with a chemo necessary disease during lactation with a toddler, I know I would gently wean and then see where we were once the we were past the danger point after chemo, how I felt and even IF the child had any desire to nurse after that time.
One of my children forgot how to nurse after only a week off the breast in toddlerhood. She had not nursed for about a week, heard me telling someone on the phone "I think she may be weaned" and immediately tried to nurse. She did some weird things with her mouth, tried again, tried again, tried again, and then said, "Mama, I can't do it. Nummies don't' work anymore." She walked away humming. And she was fine what that.
See how you feel during the treatment, if you want to pump and dump, go ahead, but you may not have the energy or want to spend your good hours with your child instead. See where your child is after the chemo and the wait time after (how long you have to wait depends on the agent used, I can look it up if you want to PM me.)
Good luck to you. Sending healing thoughts for your quick recovery.