Last update May 21, 2021
Very High Risk
The use of legal or illegal drugs is a serious health problem for nursing mothers and their children.
The simultaneous use of several drugs, in addition to tobacco and alcohol, is common (ABM 2017).
Adulterants with which drugs are mixed or cut are substances with potential health risks for mothers and babies.
Drug users are at increased risk for infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and psychiatric problems.
Mothers with drug addiction problems have very low breastfeeding rates (MacVicar 2018, Cook 2019).
Most drugs are fat-soluble and/or have a high acid-base dissociation constant (pKa), of the base type, which is why they are excreted in breast milk and reach a higher concentration in breast milk than in the mother’s plasma (D’Apolito 2013, Rowe 2013) and present a risk for the neurological and somatic development of infants (ABM 2017, Sachs 2013).
Mothers who breastfeed and use drugs must be enrolled and involved in cessation programs so that they and their children can benefit from the myriad benefits of breastfeeding (Cook 2019, ABM 2017). Health policies must replace punitive legal actions to address this problem (Jessup 2019).
Psychotropic drugs of abuse disable the mother from being able to care for her child, endangering the lives and health of both (Cook 2019, Eslami 2015, Joya 2011, Moretti 2000).
Bed-sharing with the baby is not recommended if drugs are used due to increased risk of suffocation or sudden infant death (UNICEF 2018, 2017, 2014 and 2013, Landa 2012, ABM 2008, UNICEF 2006).
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana of Spain
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM