Breastfeeding and chemo? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 11-13-2012, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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A friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer at 8 months pregnant. She's been told that long-term breastfeeding is certainly out, as she'll be undergoing chemo and possibly radiation, but she is wondering about being able to give the baby colostrum after the birth which would be in-between treatments. She's also wondering about pumping and dumping to keep up supply, although that is probably out too as the hormones of breastfeeding are not good for her cancer. Anyway, can anyone point me to some resources I can send her on breastfeeding and cancer treatment? She's being really tough and sensible about the whole thing, and knows that her health must come first, but she would love to do what she can as far as nursing her baby.

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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#2 of 3 Old 11-16-2012, 07:52 PM
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Chemotherapy is awful stuff. There are several different drugs and dosages, and methods of delivery, depending on the type and grade of cancer and other factors. Each with it's own risks, all extremely toxic. Chemo drugs also tend to stick around in the body, so even off cycle there will be problems.
I don't have any good links with info about Chemo and breastfeeding. I've just done quite a bit of research on cancer and Chemo over the years when I had access to pubmed, as my dear friend died if leiomyosarcoma, undergoing Chemo and radiation several times.
I would say at most your friend could BF until her first treatment, but it all depends on her unique case. This sounds like a situation that can't be helped. I'm really sorry you and your friend are dealing with this.
Has your friend considered the possibility of donor milk? That would be the next best thing.
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#3 of 3 Old 11-16-2012, 08:21 PM
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Try kellymom, she has some info on radiation on there.

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