Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Breast Feeding

It just dawned on me that maybe the reason David's immune system is strong is because I still breast feed him. He is not a very good eater of regular food. He prefers the breast above everything else I offer him. Way back in 1984 there was a journal article written that showed a strong correlation between engraftment and breast feeding. What strikes me as odd is that when I asked the Bone Marrow Coordinator at Stanford if I could breast feed during a BMT, he did not know the answer.

Update (Oct 29, 2008): I'm sorry that I did not cite the article. I will keep looking for it. Here is the blog of the first BMT breastfeeding mom that I have had the pleasure to correspond with: I hope more moms will continue breastfeeding their children before, during, and after transplant.

Here is an article that supports breastfeeding and the positive effects breastfeeding has on rotovirus and adneovirus, which are very common virus' in BMT patients:


Anonymous said...

Hello Amy, My name is Mrs Mjulela Nettles and my now 18mth old son Gyasi, is now 14mnths post BMT for WAS. My oldest daughter was his 6/6 HLA match. God has blessed my family and I in countless ways througout Gyasi's ordeal and is still giving us His grace today. We are expecting our 4th child this September. I chose to respond this post because I literally lived with Gyasi for the month and a half he was in Childrens Hosp of Atlanta, where his BMT took place. He was 7 months old when he received his transplant and nursed the entire time he was hospitalized. He stopped nursing for all of 2 days because of throat irritation and even then I forced fed him teaspons of breastmilk with a dropper every hour. When I posed the question of whether I could/should continue to nurse him to the BMT team, I was greeted with a resounding "YES, Please DO!!" I see that you are quite aware of the benefits of nursing and natural healing so go with you first thought and nurse your son during BMT. My son did not lose any weight while in the hospital nor did he receive the TPN nutrition. The doctors were amazed with him as was his nutritionist.
Just a tid bit of info from someone who has been in your shoes.
I am praying for Gods plan to be understood and endured well and with out hardship for you and your family.
Peace to you and yours
Mrs Mjulela Nettles

ZENMama said...

What is the 1984 article that you talk about in this post? I am a mother of a baby that will be having a bone marrow transplant and am trying to figure out the skinny on breast feeding during BMT. I am hearing conflicting opinions about this.

ZENMama said...

Hi Aimee--

Thanks for all your great work with this blog.

Actually--I am the second BMT nursing mom you've heard from--Mrs. Nettles of the first comment to this post is the first!

I wrote her via the email address she left at the bottom of her comment to get contact info for the team she worked with in Atlanta.

I had the pleasure of speaking this morning with the BMT nurse on the team there, who confirmed that their policy is to encourage nursing babies to continue to nurse during their BMT's.

This was encouraging, as our oncologist is so far sticking with his assertion that it would pose a danger to the process.


Am eagerly awaiting the posting of that article--if or when you find it. :-)