I have a four week old EBF baby. I also have a chronic pain condition (fibromyalgia) that I usually control with a variety of methods including therapeutic massage, physical therapy, biofeedback, and medication. I had to stop taking my medication when I was pregnant, and ultimately found that most of my symptoms were in remission during pregnancy.
Now that I have a four week old, my pain issues have returned with a vengeance. The drug that I normally take that helps me function is a pregnancy category C, meaning that the benefits should outweigh the risks of taking it (most drugs fall into this category, unless they are known to cause birth defects). For breastfeeding, there have been no studies and no reported problems, but the drug is excreted in small levels in breastmilk. (No reports of infants being harmed by the excretion, but no formal studies either.)
I am the breadwinner for my (large) family. I have to function. My doctor said it's a personal choice about whether I feel comfortable taking this medication. She said that if she were in a position where she felt like she had to take it, she would continue to BF.
But my baby is so young... not even a month old. I hate to take anything that is excreted in my milk, especially when she's so small and wholly dependent on my milk for life. It would be different if she were 18 months old and got most of her nutrition elsewhere. Any other drug options are in the same (or worse) safety category.
I'm at a loss. Can I get some honest opinions here? What would you do?
The drug is Amitriptyline, if that makes any difference.
Mama to five babies. The newest one made her debut 7.10.12!
I have RA, and I went off pain medication during pregnancy too.
AND of course, once I wasn't pregnant anymore, all my symptoms came back with a vengeance within six weeks.
I went to a new doctor and he prescribed me Low Dose Naltrexone. I can't believe I hadn't heard of it before - safe to take while nursing, super cheap, and it works way, way better than anything else I tried.
My mother has fibro and I made her try it as well - she is 90% recovered, after dealing with fibro for almost 20 years. The woman couldn't even walk up the stairs when I was a teenager, and now she swims an hour a day. (!)
I tell anyone I can who has an auto-immune illness to google it and do some research. It seems to help many people and I am still amazed none of my so-called "specialists" ever mentioned this treatment to me.
If your doctor is unwilling to prescribe it, there is a yahoo group that you can join and they will give you references to drs. in your area.