When breastfeeding is really contraindicated

Following are the only valid scenarios of Absolute contraindications of a breastfeeding

  • Maternal Drugs Cytotoxic drugs Cyclophosphamide, Methotrexate
  • Infant Galactosemia or Phenyl Ketonuria
  • Mother is using an illicit street drug (Substance Abuse)
  • Maternal Ebola Virus Disease- suspect or confirmed
  • Mother is infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or type II.
  • Mother is infected with HIV and not on ART (Details to follow in subsequent posts)

Mothers should temporarily NOT breastfeed or use Expressed breastmilk-

  • Maternal Use of Radioactive compounds in last 48 hrs, like Gallium 67 (67Ga), Indium 111 (111 In), Iodine 131 (131I), Technetium99m (99mTc).
  • Untreated brucellosis
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV) lesions present on the breast (can feed directly or use  expressed milk from the unaffected breast)
  • Certain Drugs (details to follow in subsequent post)

Mothers should temporarily NOT breastfeed, but CAN feed expressed breast milk in following scenarios

  • Active tuberculosis – may resume breastfeeding when no longer contagious after initial 4-6 weeks of ATT
  • Active varicella infection and  lesions on breasts (5 days prior to delivery to the 2 days following delivery). Can direct breastfeed once lesions start crusting.

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