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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
xposted in Breastfeeding<br><br>
hi, i tested positive for arsenic in my urine (twice) and the doc said i have to immediately stop breastfeeding.<br><br>
how on earth do i do this cold turkey? DS is 16 months and eats a lot of food but still BF regularly esp for comfort and falling asleep. He is going to have SERIOUS withdrawal and problems with this.<br><br>
ANY tips welcomed.
 

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Um, this may sound so asinine, but, did they check your breast milk for arsenic? How long has he been drinking "tainted" milk? Is HE testing positive as well?<br><br>
I have been told many times to stop bfing under "doctors orders" for everything from mastisis to being on a plain IV drip. I understand this is arsenic, but, if he's been drinking it already, I wouldn't stop unless I <i>saw</i> the test results of where it was in my milk.<br><br>
Not exactly what you wanted to hear, I know, and you may completely disreguard this, but doctors are usually not supportive of bfing beyond a year (in my experience) and will tell you to stop bfing for every reason. (Oh, you are dehydrated, you need to wean, etc)<br><br>
For sleeping- did he ever fall asleep in a sling?<br>
It's okay to tell him what is going on-- there may be something in the boobies making the milk bad, or you know, whatever you think he can understand at this point. The milk is yucky right now.<br><br>
But I would definately get the milk tested/ get him tested/ possibly get a second opinion before the end of the business day today... Most docs and hospitals won't do anything on the weekends.<br>
I know I sound really militant today, but I'm so sick of doctors "misrepresenting" facts to their patients.<br><br>
ETA- my DD very much likes to nurse to sleep. But if I leave the room, DH can pat her back and she will go right out. I've had to pump and dump a few nights, but she has always eventually gone to sleep... usually faster if I'm not in the room and she gets a big sippy cup of chocolate milk!<br><br>
And, even if it IS in your bm, you could set yourself up for severe engorgement/infection if you don't express. If you continue to express, though, you will be able to resume bfing once the arsenic has left your body.
 

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Yah I agree to try to explain to him why he can't nurse. I just be gentle and firm and maybe you can have dh try to put him down for a few nights in the sling - like for a walk outside, so that you kind of aren't available for him to 'need' you?
 

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Would you be willing to offer a pacifier? Maybe your partner can take over the duties during normal nursing times? I would get lots of distractions, snacks and fun drinks with fun straws, etc.
 

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I agree with getting the milk tested to make sure he's actually getting it.<br>
Other than that, I'd recommend having your partner (if possible) put baby to bed and taking over the times that he mostly comfort nurses. Have another beverage nearby in case he's really thirsty. There will definitely be tears but he'll get used to it. Just make sure that it is really necessary to begin with.
 

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I agree that you should pump, both to prevent engorgement/mastitis and to keep up you supply if this turns out to be a temporary problem.<br><br>
My DS is OK with not BF for much long time periods if I'm not around. Keeping busy helps too. Maybe his Daddy care of him this weekend or he could do an over night with his grandparents, while you figure out if your milk is actually tainted and find out how long it would take to clear your system.<br><br><br>
ETA: Do you know how you got exposed? I would also be concerned that if the arsenic is getting into you through a source that would become a subtitute for your BM (water supply, the milk you drink) that when you ween him he will end up getting a higher dose than he is now from your BM.
 

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I posted this in Breastfeeding, but haven't seen an update from the OP, so thought I'd post it here in case she doesn't check the other forum.<br><br>
My first thought is how are you being exposed to arsenic? In most cases, it would be through the water supply, which would mean that your LO is also being exposed and weaning won't necessarily help that. My second thought is has your milk been tested for arsenic content? The one article abstract that I found addressing this situation (arsenic exposure via water source) suggests that arsenic is not excreted in significant quantities in breastmilk. I found another article abstract that indicates supplementation with Folic Acid can help reduce blood arsenic levels. Those articles were found with a 1 second Google search. Surely your doctor can find more using MedScape or another medical search engine. Cold-turkey weaning is almost never a good idea for mother OR baby.<br><br>
I would highly recommend a second opinion on this subject, especially if you can find someone who is more breastfeeding-friendly. Any lactation consultants in your area?<br><br>
If you *do* decide to wean, you can cold-turkey baby and find another source of comfort for him, hard as that may be. For you, please don't cold-turkey yourself. Express to the point of comfort (but not to empty), drink mint tea, and wear cabbage leaves in your bra to help decrease milk supply.<br><br>
(see post in Breastfeeding for clickable links to the article abstracts)
 

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interested to know what ur arsnic level was and why u tested in the first place?
 

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Also, for some additional resources, you could call Motherisk: <a href="http://www.motherisk.org" target="_blank">www.motherisk.org</a>.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE<br><br>
Thank you all for the info and support! I even got a few PMs of well wishes<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
MDC really does rock!<br><br>
So I ended up calling a LLL leader who was fantastic. I really needed the support and advice and she came through. She suggested the easiest way would be if I went away for the weekend but since that wasn't possible, she suggested I sleep in another room for the weekend and have Dad put DS to sleep and co-sleep with him.<br><br>
DS was not happy about any of this but it's been 1.5 weeks and he seems adjusted and no longer asking for Mama Milk either. But the first 2 days after the cold turkey weaning he was very melancholy which made me so sad. Fortunately, we were working on night weaning for a few weeks so it wasn't a complete surprise.<br><br>
As for me - the cabbage leaves in the bra helped tremendously and so did pumping little. Still have a wee bit of pain but no engorgement. phew.<br><br>
The LLL leader helped a few people in the pass for cold turkey weaning - the moms were going through cancer treatments and on anti-seizure meds. Heavy metals is a first for her.<br><br>
SOOOO what a lot of you folks asked about - what? arsenic? why? huh?<br>
My GI doctor had me tested for heavy metals because she said sometimes HM toxicity can be the cause of intestinal issues. She said it is rare but if anything maybe it would be lead. now that it has come back twice with elevated arsenic levels she is confused what to do.<br><br>
I had my water tested by the water company and it's fine. DH was tested and he is negative. So now still trying to figure out what's going on with me. Doc keeps thinking it's seafood related but I was off seafood for a week for each test and the second one came back higher. Will test again after several weeks of no seafood and we'll see.<br><br>
btw, poison control verified that arsenic does get transmitted through breastmilk so yes, good thing I stopped.<br>
BUT they said DS doesn't need to get tested because my according to my test results is coming from an organic source not inorganic so something like water or seafood not rat poisoning. And my numbers were slightly elevated according to them so they didn't feel DS was in danger.<br>
hmmm.<br><br>
Will give another update when I find out more.
 

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just a thought are you taking any herbal preparations or suppluments or any remedies that may have a component come from a country other then the US/Canada/EU. I was just reading that there are many supplments that can be contaminated with heavy metals (lead, asenic and cadnium where the main ones) but supplements are not tested or regulated by the USDA or DEA (for better or for worse)
 
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