Safety Considerations: Breastfeeding After Transplant
Organ transplant is an effective treatment for end-stage organ failure. For women, restoration of organ function can restore fertility and the ability to successfully carry a pregnancy. Posttransplant pregnancies have been reported among recipients of all types of solid organ transplants via case and center reports plus registry data. Stable graft function is dependent on prevention of rejection, currently accomplished by using maintenance immunosuppressant medications, to which the fetus is exposed in utero. Common among neonatal outcomes in transplant recipients are preterm and low-birth-weight infants. Emotional, nutritional, and immunologic benefits of breastfeeding have been well-documented and could be valuable for these newborns. Concern must be directed at the effects of the child's exposure to immunosuppressive agents excreted into the breast milk. Breastfeeding could be considered in transplant recipients if it can be shown that the level of exposure does not result in risks to the newborn, immediately and throughout childhood. Despite concerns of health care professionals, some recipients have chosen to breastfeed. Breastfeeding after transplant must be approached with consideration of many issues, and the potential risks require further study. This review focuses on benefits of breastfeeding, common immunosuppressive agents used in organ transplant recipients, a summary of the reports of women who have breastfed their infants while on immunosuppressive therapy and the published studies on breastfeeding and immunosuppressive agents. Recommendations are provided to guide health care professionals to help mothers receiving immunosuppressive agents to make informed choices about breastfeeding their infants.
Published In/Presented At
Thiagarajan, K., Arakali, S., Mealey, K., Cardonick, E., Gaughan, W., Davison, J., & ... Armenti, V. (2013). Safety considerations: breastfeeding after transplant. Progress In Transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.), 23(2), 137-146. doi:10.7182/pit2013803
Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Medical Specialties | Surgery
Department of Surgery, Department of Surgery Faculty