Can mothers breastfeed after a medical termination of pregnancy?

· Trent Medicines Information Service

This updated Medicines Q&A evaluates the available evidence for the safety of mifepristone, misoprostol and gemeprost in breast feeding.

Summary

  • There are no data on the effect of mifepristone, misoprostol or gemeprost on the lactation process or on a breastfed infant.
  • Various combinations of these drugs can be given, however they are usually only given as one-off doses. Therefore any risk of accumulation in the infant, from exposure via the breast milk, is limited.
  • Limited data suggests that the levels of mifepristone in milk are low, especially when using the 200 mg dose, and that breastfeeding can be safely continued in an uninterrupted manner during medical abortion
  • Oral misoprostol is excreted into human breast milk in small amounts which are rapidly eliminated. No interruption of breastfeeding is necessary when misoprostol is given by any route.
  • There is no published data on the use of gemeprost during breastfeeding. However, small amounts would be expected to pass into breast milk. Due to low bioavailability and one-off dosing, breastfeeding can continue in an uninterrupted manner
  • Infants exposed to mifepristone, misoprostol or gemeprost should be monitored for nausea, vomiting and poor feeding.
Family planningGemeprostMifepristoneMisoprostolObstetrics and gynaecologyPaediatric and neonatal medicineQ&ASafety in Lactation

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