Breastfeeding While Taking Immune Suppresants

Prednisone, Side Effects Prednisone, ITP and Prednisone, breastfeeding with ITP - Itp and pregnancy, pregnancy complications, pregnancy information

Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant while taking the immune suppressant steroid Prednisone? There is so much you need to be thinking about right now, wondering if you will able to breastfeed after the baby is born is just another consideration that needs to be investigated.

Question

Is it safe to breastfeed my baby while I am taking Prednisone?

1. The Quick Answer – Yes.

2. The Real Answer – There is a very big difference between a drug being ‘SAFE’ and and drug being ‘GOOD’ for you and your baby.  Just because a drug is classified as safe, should I still take it?  There is a very big difference between something being proven to be good for you and scientists not being able to prove it’s bad for you.

Just because it is ‘safe’ should I do it? – 

Though many drugs are quite safe for a mother to take while nursing her child there are several agents for which ‘safety’ during breast-feeding is not well-defined and may be a risk to the infant.  What is safe for one person may not be safe for another.  Prednisone, according to every medical doctor I have talked to, is safe to consume while pregnant and breast feeding.  There is evidence that a small amount of the drug can pass through the breast milk and into the blood stream of the feeding child, an amount small enough for doctors to consider the drug safe.  However, I found the contributions of MotherRisk.org quite relevant to this discussion.  ‘Even if only a small amount of the drug were to be excreted into the milk, the inherently toxic nature of these medications warrants caution with their use.’

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ITP Awareness Day Cup Cakes

ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp, ITP Awareness Day

As you already know, tomorrow is International ITP Awareness Day!

Yay for the 26th of September.

Earlier today (While I was searching for a spleen shaped pinata on Pinterest – Which I will have to make myself, as it does not exist) I found this amazing idea from the International Red Cross Website.  Inspired by the cup cakes that were made for blood donors, I decided to put an ITP spin on them by adding a few small white platelets to the decorations.

The actual cup cakes here are irrelevant.  You can use any kind of cup cake recipe or flavour that you like – really these are all about the decorations on top.  I used a vanilla cake with vanilla icing so that I could colour it red easily.

ITP Awareness Day, ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itpThe Red Blood Cells

1. Roll Out the Soft Icing – If you can’t buy ready-mixed red icing from the supermarket or grocery store, you can still use white icing, just be aware that you will be mixing white with red and the icing tends to go pink – not the nice dark red you hoped for.  Mine are a bit pinker than I wanted but I ran out of red food dye.

2. Cut Small Circles – Keep your red blood cells nice and small.  If you don’t have a icing tool small enough, try the lid of a small bottle or the smaller opening of a funnel. Continue reading

ITP Awareness Day – The Decorations

ITPAwarenessDay, itp, itp bruises, bruising easily, hide a bruise, Bruises, Bruise, itp, low platelet count,

In the lead up to this years ITP Awareness Day, September 26th (Yes , yes we know it is technically the official day for America not Australia – Don’t be a party pooper!  Australia doesn’t have a day yet ) we are getting a little excited.  ITP and Me have been doing a little bit of party planning and want to share a few helpful tips to make sure you have the best ITP Awareness day EVER!

There are lots of people out there hosting run’s and walks and all sorts of things – Me I prefer parties.

Decorations

Decorating that house is so important for any party, for it changes the space and sets a fun new tone for the party.   Continue reading

Breastfeeding on Prednisone

itp, itp bruises, bruising easily, hide a bruise, Bruises, Bruise, itp, low platelet count,

Below is a collection of Information I have gathered from Blog posts, person comments and Medical articles from online.  While there seems to be no definitive Yes or No answer, as with many things to do with ITP, I did think this offered a great platform to begin your own research and make up your own mind about what is right for you and your baby. Continue reading

Brushing Your Teeth with ITP

ITP, low platelet count, low Platelets, ITP disease, immune system disease, living with itp, ITP and brushing teeth, bleeding gums,

Feature Image from DORISFERRES

A little while ago I posted a comment about how much I disliked brushing my teeth when my platelets were low.  A few people replied that they also had problems with brushing their teeth and bleeding gums.  The problem with this is that you might actually get Gum Disease as a consequence Below is a more detailed post regarding what low-platelet-oral-hygiene options there are.

Did you know that dentists are often the ones to diagnose ITP in their patients?  Dentists are known to recommend their patients to seek a consultation with their GP if they notice any abnormal bleeding without the presence of gum disease.  In this way, as many people can ignore bleeding gums, they might be the first ones to notice anything abnormal.

There are a number of reasons why your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth.  You might have ITP or you may have the beginnings of gum disease.  Your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush your teeth.  For someone with a bleeding disorder, often the first place to bleed is the mouth and gums.  I know that the first place I notice a really low count is in the bathroom sink at about 10.30 pm.

The problem with this scenario is that I can’t always assume that my gums are bleeding because I have ITP – I might very well have gum disease as well.  This is were the confusion comes in.  People with ITP can still get gum disease and it is important to not just assume that a bit of blood in your spit as you brush your teeth is from a low platelet count.  Am I making any sense?

When I have a low platelet count, I notice my gums bleed more.  I dislike the taste of blood.  I think it tastes like metal or electricity in my mouth.  For me it is one of the worst sensations.  Therefore, I will usually avoid brushing my teeth so I don’t have to taste it.  This is a problem because I am now more likely to get another gum related, gross hygiene issue in my mouth. …and the bleeding goes on.

So what can you do to make sure your gums are always healthy and treated properly? Continue reading

Azaria

Azaria-Smallimage

 

Autoimmune Low-Blood-Platelet Disorder

A Mother’s Perspective

Diagnosis

In early 2013, we noticed our two year old, Azaria, had a lot of bruises on her legs and arms.  She also had bruising on her spine and had a black bruise on her cheek, which she didn’t remember getting.  She was tired and falling over a lot. We took her to the doctor and asked for a complete blood count. Her platelets were very low at 19,000 per ml.

That was the start of her journey through the hospital system, including many blood tests (up to four times per week initially), x-rays, CT scans, emergency trips in an ambulance and a bone marrow biopsy until finally she was diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopenia.

What Caused This?

ITP is not genetic and not contagious; it is likely that a virus caused her disorder (although we cannot know the cause for certain). ITP occurs when, due to a defect in the immune system, antibodies attach to platelets because parts of the platelets look like a virus or bacteria the body is fighting1. Where ITP occurs in children, 50% recover in 3-4 weeks, 75% in 6 months and 90% within 12 months. Chronic ITP is arbitrarily defined as thrombocytopenia that persists for 6 months or more2. Azaria’s ITP is considered chronic, as it is over 18 months since the diagnosis, and may continue into adulthood. Azaria’s blood platelets fluctuate but are often under 20,000 per ml of blood.

Sleep / Fatigue

Azaria gets tired and fatigued and sometimes falls asleep at the dinner table with her head in her food. She has had light sensitivity and pain all over her body for over 18 months, and – when the symptoms are at their worst – even stroking her hair hurts her.  We don’t know if the pain in her body and light sensitivity is caused by ITP or not, so doctors are continuing to do tests to see if they can find the cause of her pain. Sometimes Azaria has a sore mouth and doesn’t want to eat or drink; she also says she’s too tired to eat and says eating makes her tired.  She also has issues with her bowel.  Although she doesn’t always look sick, it doesn’t mean she isn’t. Continue reading