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Prescribing medication for breastfeeding women can be complex, and often there are no studies to show whether drugs are safe for lactating women. Yet mothers often need medication: whether short term use of painkillers, mental health drugs, or drugs to treat chronic conditions

Wendy Jones gives mothers and those treating them the information they need to make decisions about medication, while allaying fears that many have about adverse effects on babies of drugs passing through breastmilk as well as explaining the cautions on patient information leaflets in all medication boxes. Why Mothers’ Medication Matters is a practical, reassuring book that aims to put mothers and babies at the heart of their own care.

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2017 | paperback | 170pp | 172x111mm
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Really enjoyable and informative book

Anonymous author on 27th Feb 2018

This is the first book that I have read from the Why It matters series and I really enjoyed the format. It was a compact book to hold, easy to carry around and keep nearby, yet somehow it still felt like it contained plenty of information. More than I might have guessed, for its size. I am very much looking forward to reading more books in the series. The book itself covers various scenarios and examples of when breastfeeding and medication may overlap. It sometimes felt that it jumped from topic to topic, without always being in a logical order, however each new topic was interesting, so this didn’t impact my enjoyment. The book seems to be mainly aimed at mothers themselves, though certain sections felt very technical and perhaps aimed more at health care professionals. Having previously read parts of Thomas Hale’s book, this book felt much more aimed at parents and much easier to approach. I read it from cover to cover and particularly enjoyed the case studies. Whilst the book is referenced and contains a long list of references at the back, I would have liked to have had even more references within the book. Several times I came across an interesting statistic or comment and wanted to read more but discovered that it was not referenced, so I was unable to take it any further. Knowing quite a bit on the subject, I didn’t doubt the accuracy of these statements, I just wanted to be able to read the original sources, particularly in order to share them with others. All in all, a very interesting and enjoyable read. For those with an interest in medication in mothers or who want to get an introductory view into the complexities of this topic, I can highly recommend this book. The general overriding message seemed to be that most medications are compatible with breastfeeding but that in certain situations, they are not, so it is really very important that health care professionals, prescribers and families have access to accurate information. Given the risks of stopping breastfeeding, in most cases, it it not sensible to suggest a break or an end to breastfeeding – this can be risky for the baby and often is not what the mother wants.