Is it Safe for Breast Cancer Patients to Breastfeed Babies?

Breast cancer patients are reluctant to breastfeed their babies for fear of transmitting the disease. However, is it actually safe?

Anxious if you are a mother who has just given birth, but also a patient with breast cancer. The reason is, you do not know, is it safe if breast cancer sufferers who are being treated for breastfeeding their babies.

If it’s still in treatment, you shouldn’t
When a person has breast cancer, abnormal cells grow in her breast tissue. If it is not treated intensively, the cancer can spread to the bones and lungs.

Unfortunately, when the mother is taking drugs to stop cancer cells, there is a risk that the cancer drug will be taken by the baby through breast milk.

There are also several types of breast cancer drugs that can affect breast milk, including tamoxifen, palbociclib and ribociclib (the chemicals last up to three weeks in the body), and everolimus (last up to two weeks in the body).

Therefore, breast cancer patients who are receiving intensive treatment should not breastfeed their babies first. The aim is to prevent poisoning in infants.

Moreover, cancer treatment, especially radiation, will usually affect the productivity of breast milk. That is, less milk will be issued and the nipples will also decrease.

If you have recovered, consult your doctor first
Then, what about mothers whose breast cancer has been treated with surgery or removal? Can you still not breastfeed?

According to Dr. Dyah Novita Anggraini, breast cancer is basically not a contagious disease. If the baby is in direct contact with the mother, in this case through breast milk, the baby will not be infected.

Nevertheless, the physical condition of the mother after surgery to remove cancer cells is different. It would be better if consulted first with a doctor who has previously treated you.

In addition, there are fears that the operation has damaged the breast milk channel, so ASI might not come out.

An alternative for mothers who cannot breastfeed
Do not immediately feel sad if you can not breastfeed your child, because the adequacy of nutrition can still be met temporarily through special baby formula.

Although formula milk does not contain antibodies for the baby’s immunity, as well as several types of enzymes and hormones, but that does not mean the milk has no benefits.

In addition, do not immediately feel that the bond between mother and child will not be established just because you do not give it ASI. According to Dr. Resthie Rachmanta Putri, M.Epid, the quality of bonding between mother and child will not be affected by breastfeeding or formula milk, but rather for the moment that exists.

“Similar to nursing mothers, mothers who give formula milk to their babies can also have strong bonding if they spend a lot of quality time with their babies. When giving him formula milk, mothers can tell stories, ask them to talk, hum, joke, or smile, “explained Dr. Resthie

While providing alternative breast milk, mothers can also make various efforts so that the recovery process of breast cancer can take place more quickly. One way is to change your diet.

Types of foods that can reduce the risk of breast cancer and their recurrence are foods that contain phenolic acid and chlorogenic acid.

For example, you can increase your intake of grains, blueberries, oranges, wheat, grapes, and coffee. A number of healthy foods can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 65 percent.

In conclusion, even though breast cancer is not contagious, patients who are receiving intensive treatment should not breastfeed first. It is feared that the cancer drug will also be taken by the baby and cause poisoning. If you’ve recovered, before you decide to breastfeed, first check the condition of your breasts and breast milk to the doctor.