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Health & Fit “Can I Breastfeed After Being Teargassed?”: Medical Advice for the Protesting Mom

14:24  04 august  2020
14:24  04 august  2020 Source:   slate.com

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If mom has food poisoning, breastfeeding should continue. As long as the symptoms are confined to the gastrointestinal tract (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps), breastfeeding should continue without interruption as there is no risk to the baby. This is the case with most occurences of food poisoning.

As a lactation professional, I am often asked about the compatibility of breastfeeding with certain medications . I refer to both my experience and knowledge of the drug in question as well as what the medical literature has to say about the safety of the drug for both mother and baby.

A few short weeks ago, unidentified federal agents descended onto Portland, Oregon, attacking and kidnapping young Black Lives Matter protestors in clear violation of their constitutional rights. I’d like to say I couldn’t believe something like that could happen in my supposedly liberal, albeit whitewashed, American city. But after just seven months of the year 2020, I don’t think much really surprises me anymore.

a group of people holding a sign posing for the camera: Some Portland moms line up outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on July 29. Alisha Jucevic/AFP via Getty Images © Alisha Jucevic/AFP via Getty Images Some Portland moms line up outside the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on July 29. Alisha Jucevic/AFP via Getty Images

Although what I call my “constant citizen’s outrage scale” shot way up when I first saw the coverage, I was afraid to go down to the volatile late-night protests because I have two young kids to care for. But if you’ve seen any of the emotionally rousing footage of the now-infamous “Wall of Moms” using their privilege to stand between BIPOC kids and their federal attackers, you won’t be surprised that my excuses quickly turned to vapor. If they could handle it, so could I. But wait, my mom brain raced, if I was about to get tear-gassed or shot with pepper rounds (and yes, it turns out, I was), what was I supposed to do about things like breastfeeding? How would I decontaminate before touching my kids?

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  A couple lives in a 180-square-foot bus year-round with their daughter and dog Will and Kristin have been living in a 180-square-foot bus for over a year. The couple told Insider their daughter loves the tiny home.

Although many medications are compatible with breastfeeding , it’s always a good idea to minimize Most experts believe that homeopathic remedies are unlikely to pose a problem for the nursing baby Evening primrose oil is generally considered safe for nursing moms . It is reported useful for nursing

Many moms wonder whether their babies will be protected from any illness that mom has been immunized against as long as breastfeeding continues. Breastfeeding will enhance baby’s response to immunizations that he receives, however, breastfeeding will not act as a substitute for immunization.

a group of people holding a sign posing for the camera © Provided by Slate

Although Black and brown women on the frontlines of civil rights protests have been dealing, unflappably, with mom-specific protest hazards for generations without fanfare, these questions were new and alarming to me. Although I’m an experienced researcher, my initial Google searches turned up mixed messages from mostly dubious sources. And that includes a sweetly earnest but medically iffy info sheet shared via the moms’ Facebook group.

Moms protesting on the frontlines—whether as part of Moms United for Black Lives or any protest—could use some certainty and clarity. So, over several days of protesting, I gathered some questions from them. I then spoke with multiple doctors, two lactation consultants, and waded through what little hard data there is to collect these answers.

Health benefits of breastfeeding over formula

  Health benefits of breastfeeding over formula Breastfeeding can help protect the baby from infection and illness and help the mother lose pregnancy weight as well as prevent ovulation.Not every mom will choose to breastfeed her infant, and that's okay. However, there are many benefits for both you and your child if you choose to breastfeed.

Most breast problems after breastfeeding are cosmetic changes, not real medical concerns. But it's wise to stay up to date on your regular breast screening tests to ensure your breast health. Breast self-exams are a simple way to keep tabs on your breast health and changes.

Protesters in Portland receive medical attention after being teargassed by police. The city, the biggest in the US state of Oregon, has seen nightly demonstrations against racism and police brutality for nearly two months, initially sparked by the death in Minneapolis of unarmed African American

Can I breastfeed after being hit by teargas? Do I need to wait? Should I “pump and dump?”

Blessedly, I can give you a short answer: Yes, you can go ahead and breastfeed after a teargas attack, with no pumping and dumping required, as long as you’ve left the contaminated area and have showered.

I have a ravenous 5-month-old at home, so this was the first question I found myself frantically Googling on my way downtown to the Wall of Moms that first night. I couldn’t find a clear answer as I grabbed my bike helmet, snorkel goggles, and a ventilator mask I bought when I thought we might have bed bugs and needed to spray the living hell out of the guest room.

Now, after speaking with Dr. Matthew Riddle, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist, I know that “when your skin has been thoroughly cleaned and feels completely normal, you should be good to go… Tear gas stays on exposed surfaces where it causes irritation and doesn’t get absorbed into the body,” he told me. “So it shouldn’t end up in breast milk. No need to “pump and dump.”

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Gentle breast compressions and massage during the nursing session can reduce engorgement. After nursing for a few minutes to soften the breast , it may be possible to obtain a better latch by removing baby from Lawrence R and Lawrence R. Breastfeeding : A Guide for the Medical Profession, 6th ed.

Two types are available: one that’s copper and another that contains the hormone progestin. Either one is fine for nursing moms . This form of birth control has estrogen and progestin. Because you’re breastfeeding , your doctor may not want you to use it for the first 6 weeks after you have your baby.

If you are of the extra-cautious persuasion, you may want to follow this 2019 advice from La Leche League, an international community education and support group for breastfeeding mother. They say moms who have been teargassed could choose to wait one hour after decontaminating to breastfeed. However, both sources agree that the main risk to your baby comes from skin-to-skin transfer, with minimal risk from the milk itself.

How do I decontaminate before touching my kids? Will I harm them by coming back into the house after being gassed or hit by pepper rounds?

Riddle recommends removing contaminated clothes and shoes before entering your living space and keeping them inside a plastic bag until they can be washed. Then, a simple shower (no baths) with soap and cold water will do the trick. There’s also some evidence, according to Riddle, that using vegetable oil will soothe skin and help remove capsaicin, which is a main ingredient in pepper ball rounds, pepper spray, and a few teargas varieties. For the other, more common ingredient in tear gasses, o-chlorobenzylidene malononitrile (CS for short), Riddle and the CDC recommend simple soap and cold water.

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  The best $129 I ever spent: Baby formula After months of trying to breastfeed my son, I finally decided it wasn’t working for anyone.For the first part of the three-hour, $45 class, I diligently took notes as the nurse talked about the importance of skin-to-skin contact and breast milk antibodies and bonding with your child. After her feel-good lecture, it was time to use a raggedy doll provided by the hospital to practice the “football hold” and the “rugby hold” and the “cross cradle,” to name just a few of the breastfeeding positions that I would later struggle to master.

Cancer that is being treated with radiation. It's possible to breastfeed after your radiation treatment is completed, but you may find it challenging, depending on how the treatment has affected you. 2015. Medication safety tips for the breastfeeding mom .

Most breastfeeding moms can eat whatever they like without it affecting their babies. Foods that make you gassy won't make your baby gassier than usual. (Babies are gassy to start with!)

After being engulfed by tear gas several times now, I’ve taken to following the same basic routine my husband, a hospital physician who sometimes treats COVID-19 patients, follows when coming home. I enter through the basement, strip and put all garments directly into the washing machine, then slink up the stairs without waking or attracting attention from the kids or touching anything until after I disinfect in the shower for at least 10 minutes. Basically, you might not want to hang out in my basement right now.

What if I’m detained by police or agents and need to pump?

This question may sound like a deep dive into the pool of “what ifs.” But if you’ve ever gone too long between pumping or feeding, you get it.

When lactating breasts go too long without being emptied, more than just discomfort is at stake. A build-up of milk can result in blocked ducts and even mastitis, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, can cause serious local and systemic health issues in the mother. Bad news, American moms. There are currently no laws supporting breastfeeding moms who need to pump while they are being detained by police or federal agents. There is a sort of “best practices guide” by the National Commission for Correctional Healthcare about lactating moms who are incarcerated long-term, but still: No law, so no real protection.

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Can I participate in the Wall of Moms if I’m pregnant?

There have been reports floating around for years that tear gas exposure may cause birth defects and even miscarriage. And here is the unsatisfying answer: This may or may not be the case. There’s simply not enough hard evidence to really know. Many people would advise an abundance of caution in the case of pregnancy and protest. But it’s a very thorny, very personal issue.

As with many potential hazards to the safety of a pregnancy, there’s simply no ethical way to conduct adequate testing. The FDA is not about to approve a study testing tear gas on pregnant moms. That means the only information scientists can draw on is from field data or anecdotal evidence.

A paper from the Physicians for Human Rights group documented some pregnancy loss following mass civilian teargassing in Bahrain in 2012. Other field documentation by University of California researchers has noted high incidents of miscarriage in Palestinian refugee camps that were repeatedly exposed to tear gas in 2017. But none of these data sets comes from randomized, double-blind, placebo-control trials, which are the gold standard in developing a scientific consensus.

On the other hand, Riddle says that in what little testing there is, he’s seen results that showed no significant increase in birth defects in humans and animals after exposure to CS. He also points to “a report looking at CS exposure in pregnant women [that] found no major increases in miscarriages, stillbirths, or birth defects.” Still, he laments that we have limited data in this instance. We can hope that the potential risks are enough to curb tear gas use in a more hopeful future.

How can I protect or treat myself from tear gas exposure if I’m pregnant, nursing, or recently postpartum?

Riddle, as well as a San Diego pediatrician I consulted, said that the treatment for tear-gas exposure is the same for pretty much anybody. You can fight the gas best by protecting yourself in the first place by wearing long sleeves and pants and protective eyes, nose, and mouth gear.

Then, the best way to clean out affected eyes is to use clean, cool water or medical grade saline. So no, those homemade tear gas wipes soaked in sugar, citric acid, water, and baby shampoo that a well-meaning mom passed me the first time I got gassed might not have been a good idea, according to the docs (they were horrified I’d put them near my eyes actually). Finally, once you’ve been exposed, you’ll want to decontaminate. But first, try to get away from the gas. Moving to higher ground can work. Or, if you’re in downtown Portland, all you need to do is wait for the Dads with Leafblowers.

Breastfeeding While Black During COVID-19 .
The COVID-19 pandemic has created yet another barrier for Black women and breastfeeding but does that mean breastfeeding is impossible? Not at all. Get connected to lactation consultants, don’t be afraid to reach out for support from partners and family and continue to advocate for yourself. Breastfeeding Resources WIC Breastfeeding SupportLa Leche LeagueKellyMomYour state’s Breastfeeding Coalition *Feature image: Twins tandem breastfeeding. Jerelle Cox helped them latch onto their mom latch properly.

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This is interesting!