According to a study published in JAMA Neurology, and according to the press release presenting it, mothers taking anticonvulsant drugs for epilepsy can support breastfeeding for children.
This study comes at a time in history when there is in fact no single consensus within the medical community regarding the positivity of breastfeeding while taking antiepileptic drugs by the mother.
However, as the press release presenting this study specifies, previous studies had measured only the concentrations of antiepileptic drugs in breast milk and not how much of these drugs were actually metabolized by the baby.
In this new research, scientists from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota did just that: they analyzed blood samples from breastfed babies between 5 and 20 weeks after birth and blood samples from mothers as well.
Angela Birnbaum, one of the authors of the study, explains the results: “We measured drug concentrations directly in infants that reflected the overall exposure of the drugs to the baby through breast milk. Our study supports breastfeeding for mothers with epilepsy who are taking anticonvulsant drugs. This means that primary care providers can have more informed conversations with recent and expectant mothers about the possibilities of breastfeeding their baby.”