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Caution:Temporary Suspension of Breastfeeding

MO-08-0057 BFP

If it is necessary to instruct a mother to stop breastfeeding temporarily, it is the responsibility of her Health Care Provider to assure that the mother has also received instructions on how to maintain her milk production so that, if she wishes, she can resume breastfeeding when it is deemed safe to do so. The protocol should include:

  • Assist her in accessing a good-quality hospital grade electric breast pump. These pumps are usually rented. Some health insurance companies may include this in their coverage. If the mother is on MediCal, there are resources for her (Link).
  • Instructions on how to use the breast pump, how often to pump, what to do with the milk (some may need to discard her milk, but at times the milk may be stored and given to the baby when he/she is older and less fragile, etc.)
  • How long she must continue discarding the milk, and when can she resume breastfeeding.
  • Resources to assist her in resuming breastfeeding her infant.
  • How to access the donor milk bank if she wishes to have her baby continue to receive human milk.

If she chooses to discard the milk, she may wish to contact Thomas Hale, PhD (link) as the milk may be useful in research about drugs and breastfeeding.

In addition, the mother should be referred to:

  • Her child’s pediatrician for information on how to access banked human milk or identify the appropriate formula to use for her infant/child
  • Community resources (i.e. WIC, Food Banks, Public Health Nursing) that provide information on how to acquire, prepare and store banked human milk or formula.
Last modified on: 6/1/2009 8:34 AM