Last update Aug. 30, 2018

Maternal Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

In immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) there are autoantibodies of the IgG class against platelets that cross the placenta during pregnancy, attacking the fetal platelets and causing the newborn to develop transient ITP until the antibodies received from the mother are eliminated in the first 4-6 weeks of life.

These newborns should be monitored clinically and analytically during these first weeks of life. They may present a more or less severe clinical condition requiring or not treatment with transfusion of platelets, immunoglobulin or corticoids.

Publications on antiplatelet antibodies in breastmilk are rare and under-documented (Hauschner 2015, Kelemen 1978) and cases of infants whose platelet count was not normalized until breastfeeding stopped are anecdotal and not well proven (Hauschner 2015, Martin 1984, Macpherson 1975).

There have been reports of newborns with ITP where breastfeeding did not affect the platelet count at all (Meschengieser 1986).
Nor has it been possible to prove intestinal absorption of these antibodies by the infant (Lawrence 2016 p594).

Breastfeeding would be facilitated in cases where the mother has been treated with early splenectomy (Rezk 2018).

Several experts and expert consensus consider that breastfeeding should not be contraindicated in the case of maternal ITP (Rezk 2018, Meschengieser 1986), not even when receiving treatment with corticosteroids (Miyazawa 2015).

See below the information of these related products:

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.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

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Maternal Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura belongs to this group or family:


  1. Rezk M, Masood A, Dawood R, Emara M, El-Sayed H. Improved pregnancy outcome following earlier splenectomy in women with immune thrombocytopenia: a 5-year observational study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Abstract
  2. Miyakawa Y. [Consensus report on the management of immune thrombocytopenia in pregnancy]. Rinsho Ketsueki. 2015 Abstract
  3. Hauschner H, Rosenberg N, Seligsohn U, Mendelsohn R, Simmonds A, Shiff Y, Schachter Y, Aviner S, Sharon N. Persistent neonatal thrombocytopenia can be caused by IgA antiplatelet antibodies in breast milk of immune thrombocytopenic mothers. Blood. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Meschengieser S, Lazzari MA. Breast-feeding in thrombocytopenic neonates secondary to maternal autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1986 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Martin JN Jr, Morrison JC, Files JC. Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura: current concepts and recommended practices. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1984 Abstract
  6. Kelemen E, Szalay F, Péterfy M. Autoimmune (idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura in pregnancy and the newborn. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1978 Abstract
  7. Macpherson AI, Richmond J. Planned splenectomy in treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Br Med J. 1975 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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