I am 13 weeks pregnant, and I am continuing to receive Remicade (Infliximab) treatments for my Crohn's disease. I tried to come off the treatment when I originally found out I was pregnant, but after two weeks I was very ill and had to go back on my infusion treatment.
I see that it says you specialize in Crohn's - my question is what do you know about breastfeeding and continuing Crohn's treatments, specifically Remicade? The major study that my physician's base their decision on - which is to not breastfeed - is from 2001. I recently found a few studies that find that Remicade does not pass through and is not something that will harm the baby. Also, in Dr. Hale's latest Mother's Milk text, Remicade/Infliximab is listed as L2 risk, and also states that it is not something that passes regularly, nor is it absorbed by the baby.
Overall, I'm just trying to have an idea of all of the information that is out there. I would really like to be able to breastfeed, but I want to make sure that the decision is made with as much information as possible.
Sorry for butting in.
I am on remicade too. I was told by my GI that the remicade molecule is too big to get into breastmilk. Also even if it did, it would be digested like any other protein. This is why you cant take remicade in pill form and it must be infused by IV. Should I ever become pregnant again, I will take it while breastfeeding. I also plan to take it through pregnancy. Breastfeeding helps reduce the chances of the baby developing inflammatory bowel disease later on in life so I feel that its benefits outweigh the risks.
I have talked to a few moms who had remicade babies, and went on to breastfeed them. All of the ones I have found so far went on to have healthy babies, that stayed healthy while being breastfed.
Lydia's reply answers well. Yes, there's a reason why this drug needs to be infused. It shouldn't be problematic if found in your milk. Breastfeeding your baby will provide her the best possible protection from developing Crohn's herself. Have you tried elimination diets? I'm sure you are avoiding any foods you know you need to. Cow's milk (any foreign milk) is so strongly linked to Crohn's that I would avoid all milk products, whey, casein, cheese, etc. while breastfeeding. You may wish to avoid milk products during the last trimester of pregnancy as well, though evidence for that measure is weak. If for some reason you find you need to resort to formula supplements, use highly hydrolyzed or amino acid formula.
Linda F. Palmer, DC
"The Baby Bond"