Asthmatic Mothers Encouraged to Breastfeed

Mothers who suffer from asthma should be encouraged to breastfeed according to new research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine,  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/03/us-breastfeeding-lungs-idUSTRE8120EF20120203.  This article from Reuters claims that in the past evidence was inconclusive regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for asthmatic mothers, but I beg to differ.  Breastfeeding is the preferred feeding method for infants especially those with family histories of allergies (asthma is an allergy).  In fact this was one of my many reasons for choosing to breastfeed my own children.  I suffered horribly from asthma my whole life; it was only in my 30s after having my children that my asthma improved (do to healthy living choices I made and improved medical treatment).  I did not want the same experience for my little ones–breastfeeding reduces the risk of asthma and allergies and that was important to me.

Here is a quote from the article:

“I think the evidence is that breastfeeding increases lung volume, independent of if the mother is asthmatic or not,” said Dr. Wilfried Karmaus, who studies asthma at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and wasn’t involved in the new work.

“If the lung volume is increased, then you are less susceptible to get asthma,” he told Reuters Health. “It’s important even to tell asthmatic mothers to breastfeed their children.”

2 Replies to “Asthmatic Mothers Encouraged to Breastfeed”

  1. I am literally in tears. I am mother to a two month old baby girl and I am scared to feed my baby any more because of my asthma. My condition has worsened after my delivery and I find it hard to breathe even after taking salbutamol inhaler and duolin nebulizer. Will these medicines or my condition harm my baby? I really don’t want he’d to suffer the way I am doing now. I need help,should I stop feeding my baby after the 3rd month?

    1. Teena,

      I know you are worried about how your medication will affect breastfeeding but I encourage you to speak with your health care providers for reassurance that your condition and medication should not be a contraindication to breastfeeding. Salbutamol/Albuterol and Duolin Inhalation solution Salbutamol 2.5mg/500mcg Ipratopium are both considered L 1 medications by Dr. Thomas Hale, Medications and Mothers’ Milk, 2010 (drugs for lactation/breastfeeding are rated from L1 safest to L 5 contraindicated based on the research and information available). Many nursing mothers use these medications to manage their asthma symptoms while breastfeeding.

      I wish you continued success with your nursing experience.

      Sincerely,

      The Lactation Lady

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