Breastfeeding with Crohn's or Ulcer Colitis

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nikkipshot
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/14/2008 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I am curious if anyone breastfeed while they were on their meds.  If so, what meds did your doctor recommend and were there any adverse reactions to the baby.
 
I am currently taking Lialda and my Obyn had asked me to check with my Pediatrician and he said it isn't a good idea, that Lialda could harm the baby while breastfeeding.
 
Does anyone have any suggestions?

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23549
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I breastfed my daughter while on Asacol. The only question I have now is that her teeth are decalcified. When her dentist first mentioned it to me and asked if I was on a lot of antibiotics while pregnant with her or that she was on a lot of antibiotics, the answer was no. The only other med I was on was Asacol so I don't know if that contributed to that or not. But before I had her, I had talked to my GI, my OB and a nurse at the makers of Asacol - all of which assured me that it wouldn't harm her.

I believe that Asacol and Lialda are pretty much the same, but it's best to call the manufacturer and talk to a nurse there. Or just not risk it and bottle feed the baby.
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expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/14/2008 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
I am currently pregnant (35 weeks) and have taken Asacol and Rowasa throughout the entire pregnancy. I also had a four week taper of Prednisone for a flare during the first trimester. I was hoping to breastfeed and did A TON of research on it. I did my own independent research and also consulted my GI, OB, and three Pediatricians. Every single one of them said it was not a good idea to breastfeed on Asacol or Rowasa. The mesalamine is secreted through the breastmilk, and it is ingested by the baby. They all advised against it.

Dr. Hale's book, Medications and Mother's Milk, is a great resource. I was able to get it from my public library, so hopefully, you can do that, too. Dr. Hale has researched many, many medications, and mesalamine is one of them. His research showed that mesalamine is secreted through breastmilk, and there were some babies who had adverse reactions.

All of that being said, I will tell you that there are a ton of different opinions on this topic! There are many women who have breastfed on mesalamine medications, and their babies are perfectly healthy. There are many women who have breastfed on other medications, such as Remicade, and their babies are healthy. Then there are women who breastfed and their babies had problems. And, of course, there are the women who chose not to breastfeed while on their medications.

In my opinion, the best thing to do is to conduct your own research and consider everyone's opinions and all of the possibilities. Once you digest all of that, you have to make a decision that you and the father are most comfortable with. For us, we decided not to risk it, so I will not be breastfeeding. That may not be the best decision for you and your baby. Unfortunately, there is not a clear, black and white answer on this issue.

Good luck to you!
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)


princesscolon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 1/14/2008 1:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I tool Asacol and breastfed for one year. My son is healthy and now 3 and 1/2. I was told Asacol mostly goes straight to the colon and it was ok to breasfeed while taking it. With my other son, I stopped breastfeeding to start Prednisone. :(
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle, etc...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with almost rectovaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks (had reaction, will start Humira Jan 29) Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil as needed, Darvocet, Tylenol pm


*Jen*
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/14/2008 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on Rowasa enemas and BF for an entire year. My 20 month old has no problems. My BFing actually kept me in remission and I didn't even take the enemas every night(I think I was down to twice a week) and only had a flare once I stopped BFing, so that is something to keep in mind. Everyone reacts differently to the hormones(when I was pregnant I had my WORST flare at 6 weeks, got that under control rather quickly, and didn't flare again until I weaned her at 12 months). So..listen to your body and work with your doc to see if you can find a combo of drugs that will also let you BF. Glad this topic came up! I am hoping to try to conceive again next month(assuming my coloncopy goes ok) and want to ask about Asacol which is what I am currently on. Is it ok to get pregnant on it??
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/14/2008 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Asacol is 100% safe during pregnancy. I have been on it the entire time.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/14/2008 5:28 PM (GMT -7)   
So Asacol goes into your milk but not your bloodstream? Just confused why you could be pregnant on it but not BF on it. I always think of more from your body going to your baby while you are pregnant vs. BFing.
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


**NiCoLe**
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 1/14/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm currently in the middle of a bad flare, but I'm also trying to get pregnant.  My husband and I really want to have our 2nd child, but I'm wondering if it's irresponsible of me to keep trying while I'm sick.  It just seems like I'm never in remission long enough to conceive while I'm healthy.  In what state were all of you in when you got pregnant?  I had a flare during my first pregnancy, but didn't know it was UC because I hadn't been diagnosed yet.  Any info would be appreciated.

Diagnosed w/ UC in Jan 2007
Asacol - 1600mg 4x's a day
Prednisone - 40mg for the last 7 days (and counting)


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/15/2008 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
*Jen* - I agree... why would Asacol be safe during pregnancy and not safe for breastfeeding? I asked this question, too, and was told that the reason is that Asacol does not cross the placenta. Some drugs may get into your system but are not able to cross the placenta, so they do not reach the baby. My GI, OB and Pediatrician gave me the same explanation.

**NiCoLe** - My GI strongly discouraged getting pregnant during a flare. He said that most women who conceive during a flare tend to stay in the flare throughout the entire pregnancy. Flaring while you are pregnancy can be dangerous to the baby. I took his advice and conceived while in remission.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)


nikkipshot
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/15/2008 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Nicole-I used to take Asacol 4 pills, 3 times per day and it worked for a little bit and then I would still get flare ups. My doctor put me on Lialda instead 2 pills once a day and I haven't had a flare up while on this medication. Maybe you can discuss with your doctor if Lialda would be better for you.

*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/15/2008 2:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Careful, it isn't that "most stay in remission if they conceive in remission"...33% get better, 33% flare as they would if they weren't pregnant(if you normally flare you will flare, if not, you won't, and 33% get worse. I got worse. I was in remission and had the worst flare at 6 weeks pregnant.
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


expecting226
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/16/2008 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Actually, Jen, I understand the statistics to be different.

(1) If you conceive in remission, most stay in remission. If you conceive during a flare, most stay in the flare. These stats are for DURING pregnancy.

(2) The stats on 1/3, 1/3 and 1/3 are for AFTER you deliver the baby... not during the pregnancy.

That is my understanding, at least.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)


*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/16/2008 9:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Well I have mild UC(had only had 2 flares before getting pregnant), was in 100% remission for months, conceived and 6 weeks later was in the most horrible flare of my life. Guess I am not "most". = )
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


EmmyT
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I think you are both right. It is better to get pregnant while in remission, as your chances to flare are less. While you have a higher chance of flaring your whole pregnancy if you get pregnant while flaring. Also, 1/3 of patients get better; 1/3 stay the same, and 1/3 get worse both during and after pregnany according to the cleveland clinic gastro team and high risk ob team. However, also every person and every pregnancy differs.

*Jen*
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 514
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup, I'm the 1/3 that got worse! But then, once second trimester hit I got better and stayed better until after I weaned my daughter. I totally agree though, getting pregnant is hard enough on your body. I can't imagine doing it while in a flare, but how hard to plan when it seems you are never NOT in a flare...I would say talk to your doc about that one and figure out how to get your symptoms under control better so you can have a happy conception and pregnancy!
Diagnosed: 
Officially Diagnosed with UC in June 2003.  Have had stomach issues since 1989.  Unknown if they are related or not.  Have mild/moderate UC.  Have had 4 flares, the last one caused by hormones from stopping breastfeeding.  Currently back in remission!  Only taking 6 Asacol a day.   Will take Rowasa enemas as needed. Colozal did not work for me.  Luckily my UC is relatively minor and responds well to meds, but man do those flares hurt!
 
 


Mamas Boys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1460
   Posted 1/16/2008 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Definitely better to conceive while in remission.  Better for you and the baby. 

KTM

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