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epilepsy, diabetes and breastfeeding

(8 Posts)
fallingandlaughing Thu 30-Dec-10 21:52:02

I am pregnant and have epilepsy and diabetes.

I would like to breastfeed. Obviously I have concerns that I may need formula top ups in the first day or two to maintain my baby's blood sugar but am hoping we'll be able to get round this with tight blood sugar control leading up to birth.

I am more concerned about my epilepsy medication (tegretol). I hate taking it while pregnant because of the risks to my baby. I know it goes into breadtmilk but breastfeeding isn't universally recommended against - it is a case by case basis I will talk to my neurologist and my obstetrician about it. I was wondering if anyone else has experience of making breastfeeding decisions relating to medication (Tegretol or anything else). I feel really torn. I don't want to harm my baby, but I don't want to give up on breastfeeding if I don't need to. Is there anywhere I can get more information? There doesn't seem to be much research on this.

Sidge Thu 30-Dec-10 21:54:54

I'm sorry I can't help much as I haven't had to make that sort of decision, but I found this and wondered if it might be helpful? If you scroll down there's a bit on breastfeeding

TruthSweet Thu 30-Dec-10 22:27:01

I have epilepsy and have/am bfing all of my 3 DDs. I take Lamictal/lamotrigine 400mg a day (plus other meds).

I was encouraged to bf my youngest by my latest neuro as they didn't want her going cold turkey off my meds and thought that bfing would be the best way to deal with it. I have yet to notice any side effects in my 3 and DD1 bf to 3.6y/o, DD2 is bfing at 3.1y/o and DD3 is bfing at 14m/o.

I got given the advice with my first to let DH do all the night feeds (great way to stop bfing!) and to only bf sitting on the floor surrounded by pillows/cushions. Lets just say that didn't happenhmm.

I even co-sleep - lack of sleep and stress can trigger a seizure for me and getting up umpteen times a night and listening to a crying baby qualify as stressful to me so we co-sleep for the first few months (baby in cot next to bed and sometimes in bed next to me but moved back to cot asap) then move to baby in cot in same room then baby in own room by about 1y/o. I can't recommend co-sleeping though as I don't know your seizure history/triggers etc, just saying it may be possible but you need to think it through carefully and weigh up the risks/benefits.

I haven't had a seizure feeding any of my babies but had one when DD1 was about 5 days old and had the seizure after checking she was ok (she was in bilibed for jaundice at the time). Have had others as well but that was the closest to baby seizure (wasn't even bfing then either due to the jaundice)!

I have had a look at Tegretol/carbemazapine and I found this and this board has some threads on bfing & carbemazapine/tegretol.

You could contact Wendy at the Breastfeeding Network who is a Breastfeeding Supporter and a Pharmacist here. She has helped me in the past with other meds and is very good.

You could also ask if your specialist can get hold of Medications and Mother's Milk by Tom Hale (the Dr behind the 2nd link) which is the textbook for judging whether a med is safe to bf on.

This article is a bit sciencey but does explain that drug-milk transfer is not as simple as mum takes med = baby takes med via mum's milk.

Congratulations on your pg and good luck with everything. Sorry for the epic post. PM me if you'd like to chat about anything.

CarGirl Thu 30-Dec-10 22:28:54

There is another poster

Obmolov who bf her dc and is diabetic so may be able to help with personal experiences.

CarGirl Thu 30-Dec-10 22:30:08

Got her name wrong blush


thisisyesterday Thu 30-Dec-10 22:31:06

damn i came on here to tell you to look out for truthsweet.

but she got here already

so i;'ll just go now! <grabs coat>

TruthSweet Thu 30-Dec-10 22:35:57

Oi TIY you left your scarf!

Am I getting a rep? Or am I just verbose prolific in need of gagging?

Answers on a postcard please...

fallingandlaughing Fri 31-Dec-10 09:49:45

Oh thanks everyone. This is what is so great about Mumsnet. I am only 11 weeks so have plenty time to try and follow up your suggestions. TruthSweet thanks for the offer, will PM you later.

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