Have a question about taking a medication while breastfeeding or pregnant? The Infant Risk Center is now open.
Since I had my baby in June, I've had a couple of questions about medications and their effect on breastfeeding. Fortunately I have a copy of Medications and Mothers' Milk, the best resource out there for information on medications and breastfeeding.
But few mothers have this book, and far too few physicians and pharmacists have it. In fact, one recent study of two large retail pharmacy chains found that "for 75 percent of drugs that are considered unequivocally safe for breastfeeding, pharmacies were inappropriately advising mothers to stop nursing."
There is a online database, LactMed, which can be helpful, but I've found that Medications and Mothers' Milk has more detailed information on a wider range of drugs.
So here's the great news: Now anyone can have access to this gold mine of information. The author of Medications and Mothers' Milk, Dr. Thomas Hale, has opened the Infant Risk Center. The Center, which is associated with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo and the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health, is now open for calls on medication use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The goal of the center is to "provide accurate information regarding the risks of exposure to mothers and babies," which will "reduce the number of birth defects as well as create healthy breastfeeding relationships."
The center is now open for calls from Monday through Friday, 8-5 pm Central Time. The number to call is (806) 352-2519.
And if you've always wondered why some medications transfer easily into milk while others don't, here's a great primer on medications and breastfeeding from Dr. Hale.