Cocaine in breastmilk?

  1. 0
    I've looked this up in two dependable resources, and both are somewhat inconclusive. If a mother is taking cocaine on a regular basis, should she be allowed/encouraged to breastfeed her infant? I'm wondering about transmissable cocaine levels...how does this affect baby? I know that cocaine in utero can lead to behavioral or developmental delays, but what about consistant exposure to it via breastmilk? My first resource says the effects are unknown, and the second says that chronic users should be discouraged from breastfeeding but otherwise should go ahead and give the milk without pumping/dumping. Any thoughts on this? Thanks! ;>)
  2. 24 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I have no clues about cocaine. My only experience is with THC and encountered directly conflicting policies 30 miles apart:

    THC was the ONLY drug on UA, Mom admitted using before the test was done: County hospital said the mother absolutely could not breast feed and had to pump & dump until negative UA X2. Baby was born sick, transferred across state line to a major university medical center...Mom was told NOT to pump and dump, that the amount of THC present in breast mild from moderate use was metabolized and of no significance/impact to the baby.
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    Our policy was if + for anything other that THC, the mother wasn't getting the baby, so it wasn't an issue. It gets more nebulous if mom is +, baby -, only THC, etc., then it got referred to CPS, and they decided about whether the baby was even going home w/mom, forget the breastfeeding stuff.
    RN BSN 2009 likes this.
  5. 0
    I checked the Academy of Pediatrics and this is what they listed for possible problems secondary to cocaine in the breastmilk:

    Cocaine intoxication: irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, tremulousness, seizures

    We had a doctor last night encourage this mother to continue breastfeeding despite frequent cocaine use. This didn't sound right to me, and we argued with her a bit, but she insisted that she was correct. Now I'm thinking what on Earth was she THINKING, because to me, these seem like serious complications to suffer just to get a little breastmilk, especially the seizures. Thanks for your responses; just wanted to post the official word in case anyone else was curious. ;>)
  6. 0
    our unit has sent the breastmilk itself for testing prior to allowing moms to put baby to breast.
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    Postive tox=no breastfeeding in our unit.
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    I refuse to feed breast milk to an infant of a mom who is + for anything more than THC. A personal decision on my part.
    If that doc wants that kid to get the breast milk and it was my pt she better come and feed it herself.
    mom to a PRINCESS likes this.
  9. 0
    Hi all,
    I'm doing some research about this, specifically about cases in which mothers have been arrested for harming their babies when they breast-fed after using drugs or alcohol. Do you know of any cases like this? If so, any info you can post would be much appreciated! Or you can send me a private message.
    Thanks,
    Josie
  10. 0
    positive tox means no BFing in our unit...
  11. 0
    Same here, pos drug screen means no breastmilk until mom provides proof of neg screen post birth.


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