Breast Feeding Safe?

Is It Safe To Breast Feed If You Have Lyme Disease?

Comments from Lyme treating doctors...

1.) "Many years ago, I followed four women who contracted Lyme during pregnancy (all had EM and all tested positive for Lyme). They were not treated during pregnancy, and after delivery, all four had their milk tested by Alan MacDonald. Two were tested by PCR and two were tested by culture. In every case, Bb was demonstrated in breast milk. Thus my recommendation not to breast feed if Lyme is present.

Yes, these patients were untreated and therefore probably had a higher spirochete load, but consider that Bb can survive treatment, be present during treatment, and that Bb has a preference for skin and skin structures, which breast tissue actually is. Even if the risk is very low, who would be willing to risk their newborn's health? Finally, Willi Burgdorfer flatly states that Bb may enter through mucous membranes and even through intact skin."

2.) "Many years ago, while I was working with MacDonald, there were four cases in which a pregnant woman presented with an EM rash. In all four cases the milk was tested- two by his culture, and two by his PCR. The result? All four were positive."

3.) "I believe it can transferred in breast milk. I commonly use amoxicillin in pregnancy and so far have not seen problems in newborns whose mothers were treated the ENTIRE time from diagnosis through delivery. I discourage breast feeding due to the Lyme and prefer to change antibiotics once they deliver. But.. most of my patients insist on breastfeeding anyway and I continue them on amox as long as breastfeeding. I watch the babies for any failure to gain weight or developmental delays."

4.) "Many years ago I studied four pregnant patients who developed the em rash while pregnant. These four each refused antibiotic treatment. After delivery I had MacDonald test the breast milk. Two were tested by PCR and two by culture. All four samples were positive! Whether infected milk will infect the infant is an open question."