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Lyme & Breastfeeding

Hi All,
I am 38 weeks pregnant and have been treated my entire pregnancy with azithromycin for Lyme disease. My lyme literate doctor only keeps his patients on 1 antibiotic through pregnancy. I was treated with bactrim for 3 months prior to becoming pregnant and I don't know when I contracted lymes. My issue is whether or not to breastfeed. My LL Dr. says NO. I have been in touch with infant risk and they rate lymes on a scale of 4 out of 5, with 5 being not recommended to breast feed. I have been leaning towards the no side based on the information I have found. But...then my midwife today brought it up again after she had a conversation with the head of the perinatal division and he says its okay. I keep getting a lot of mixed answers and I want to know if anyone has any experience breastfeeding with lymes and if they have seen the lymes pass to their baby. It's such a tough decision because breastfeeding is the natural choice.
Thanks for any help with this.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I'd say better safe than sorry ... mother's milk is good for babies, but in my uneducated view, the benefits of mother's milk are far outweighed by the risks of Lyme.  

"my midwife today brought it up again after she had a conversation with the head of the perinatal division and he says its okay."  You are assuming that doc understands Lyme and knows how bad it can be for babies (and other living things), but there are many docs who don't think Lyme is a big deal.

In your situation, I would skip the breast milk.  There are lots of non-cows-milk things for babies that have all the goodies that milk can bring, so look into those if you're not keen on cow's milk.  (Lactose intolerance runs in my family, so it's something I keep an eye on.)

Lyme bacteria would love a sweet, tasty baby to mess with, but in my nonmedical opinion, what a baby would gain from mother's milk is not worth the terrible things Lyme bacteria could do to a defenseless baby.  

If you are really keen on breast milk, then find a nursing mother, get her and her milk tested, and buy it from her, perhaps.  There could be other things that come along with the milk (other infections, whatever, I don't know) that outweigh the 'natural' aspects of mother's milk.  Lots of babies only drink formula and do fine, so don't be too hard on yourself, okay?

Keep your Lyme doc in the loop on this decision, in case your OB isn't clued in about Lyme.  ...   and don't forget to enjoy your baby -- anxiety is something I think babies are aware of, so keep good thoughts flowing, for the sake of all of you.  Best wishes!
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for your reply! I wish there were more people out there that understood Lymes better. I live in such a hot spot for it, its confusing to me all the ignorance that is out there regarding lymes.
Avatar universal
I hear you.  And the Lyme 'hot spots' are more all the time -- that's how a new infection propagates itself.  

Eventually the medical profession as a whole will get its act together, but till then, do the best you can -- which I would bet will be pretty darn good.  You go!  

Let us know how we can help.  Best to you and yours --
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