Not So Shocking Findings

September 22, 2009 at 10:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Coming from a home birth background, the findings in this article about how pain relief drugs impact on breastfeeding rates, I kind of want to say, duh.

But something  tells me not to start the natural birth rant here.

Tempting as it is.

Suffice it to say that it makes sense to me that disrupting the natural flow of chemicals the body produces in labour must have a knock on effect on how well breastfeeding flows.

And, in breastfeeding class, I learned that the amount of fluid you take in if you have an epidural causes your breasts to be more engorged, and in turn this tends to delay the milk coming in. This can shake people’s confidence, babies can feed a lot, the lure of the top up bottle comes into play, and all that can follow from that.

However, I do know plenty of people who had epidurals and breastfeed happily, who had sections and still their babies latched on like pros. So it’s not a given.

I do think, though, that what is vital is that doctors and midwives become aware of the possible impact of the use of these drugs on breastfeeding. They must be prepared for the possible difficulties mothers  might encounter, and know how to counter and compensate for them. And women should be appraised of any possible effects the drugs may have on breastfeeding so they know what they’re dealing with.

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1 Comment »

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  1. true, and more medical staff need to be aware of the large probablity of the mother contracting thrush if she is given anti-b’s in labour.
    Its incredible how many women confuse thrush pain with painful feeding. Has happened to me twice!


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