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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Should we preemptively give our baby antibiotics?

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Author Topic: Should we preemptively give our baby antibiotics?
buddhaflow
Junior Member
Member # 24321

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Hi everyone,

My wife was bitten by a tick last summer, in her early second trimester of pregnancy. She got sick at the time, but thought it was just morning sickness.

Now, we have had our beautiful little girl, and she is nine weeks old. Just last week, my wife's knees really started hurting, she started feeling tired, and a rash appeared on her rear. An ELISA test was positive for Lyme.

So, we are probably going to do the full course of antibiotics, as well as some alternative treatments as well (herbs, mega-dose of C, silver, etc.)

Here's the question we have:

We are worried that my wife may have passed the Lyme to our baby. Our baby was small at birth, at is slightly jaundiced. However, we are unsure about the efficacy of the testing methods, especially because she has no symptoms.

Should we push for a preventative regiment of anti-biotics to give to her, even without a positive diagnosis? Do you think that the chance of preventing significant harm later outweighs the risks of giving such a small baby (11 lbs) such strong drugs?

Also, if my wife takes antibiotics (she hasn't had any treatment yet, she was just diagnosed five days ago), we are worried that it would pass in the breastmilk..but not strong enough to kill an infection, but rather to make it more immune to antibiotics.

We're in a bit of a pickle, and your help and advice is really appreciated.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this, and I thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Sasha Shepherd


P.S. One side note is that we live in Korea, where Lyme disease doesn't exist and most doctors don't speak English. So an additional factor is that we don't have good access to a Lyme specialist, except over phone/email.

Posts: 2 | From Korea | Registered: Feb 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sixgoofykids
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Welcome to the board.

Wow, your wife got lucky her ELISA is positive! That is a test known for its false negatives. I know a positive test doesn't sound lucky, but it sure beats getting a false negative and not knowing what is wrong.

My LLMD treats symptomatically, so he would not treat a child with no symptoms.

However, it's difficult to say whether a newborn has symptoms or not. Hopefully, someone else will have answers.

We "don't have Lyme" where I live, either. It's untrue, Lyme is everywhere!

I recommend checkout out www.ilads.org .... especially look over the treatment guidelines so you are familiar with them. Lyme is notoriously under-treated.

I wish you all well throughout the treatment.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

Posts: 13449 | From Ohio | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hoosiers51
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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Preventing harm later on is more important than risking giving a baby antibiotics.

You might want to order the special edition of "Lyme Times" magazine, the Children's edition, (blue cover, yellow lettering) which can be purchased at www.lymedisease.org.

It has much scientific information about children with Lyme...what symptoms to look for, etc.

My LLMD believes that you need to treat children early. (how early in each specific case, can't say for sure because I do not have children) But I do know that he likes children to have been treated by age 4 if they have it.

If your daughter was born with jaundice, perhaps there is a chance she was exposed. That could be a warning sign (not sure, but that publication above would probably tell you) I would err on the side of caution and treat.

It is usually completely curable in children. They bounce back well.

I would see Dr. J in CT if you can (private message me if you need the name and number). It's best just to find someone off the bat that knows what they are doing, knows what tests to run, etc. His waiting list will be long, just warning you.


I have run across doctors that say as long as the mother is on adequate doses of antibiotics that penetrate into breast milk, and is taking them religiously, she can breastfeed. Other Lyme experts say not to, so it boils down to a personal decision. I believe Dr. J says the benefits outweigh the risks. Many women in the chronic Lyme community do breastfeed with the protection of antibiotics.

Without antibiotics, I would not breastfeed, personally.

If you don't see Dr. J, be sure to also get her tested for coinfections through a good Lyme lab. I don't know off-hand what labs Dr. J uses (as you'll notice, he's the only pediatrician in the country that treats children based on ILADS standards). Well, I do know he uses Clongen, but I'm not sure exactly on the details or if he uses other labs too.

There are many other studies on Lyme and babies that you could perhaps find by googling (typing in "Lyme pregnancy" will probably produce results). Just be aware that some of them may scare you. Some babies are born with heart abnormalities and even die, tragically. I am not saying this will happen to you. But if it's happened, you can bet there's a doctor that's reported it.

Just saw the side note about Korea....Dr. J should consult with your local pediatrician by phone (hopefully your local doc speaks English), though I'm not sure. He did that for me when I was pregnant (I miscarried). I would do some testing, and get your baby on some antibiotics though.

Good luck! The good news is, it is treatable. And better safe than sorry.

I know this is daunting, but you are doing the right thing.

Posts: 4590 | From Midwest | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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I would not breastfeed and not put the baby on antibiotics if it were "me." ( and it's not )

I would wait until symptoms show and/or a test is positive on the baby.

See link below:

http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/90702

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

Posts: 95327 | From Texas | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Carol in PA
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My first baby was only 5 lb. 7 oz. when born, although he was full term.
The obstetrician said the placenta was much smaller than usual.

I breast fed, and he grew steadily, although he remained small, just under the growth curve on the chart in the office.

I believe that breast feeding helped him to remain healthy and contributed to brain development.
He had no ear infections as a baby, although he did have colic and spit up alot, until he was six months.

I would continue to breast feed...I think the benefits far outweigh the possible problems.
If the baby does have Lyme, he needs a fully functioning immune system to keep it in check.

Carol

Posts: 6942 | From Lancaster, PA | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pinelady
Frequent Contributor (5K+ posts)
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Here is Dr, Burrascano insights into maternal Lyme and treatment.

http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:tqyOgknYpq8J:www.ilads.org/files/burrascano_0905.pdf+rupture+of+cyst+revealed+spirochete+load&hl=en&gl=us

As you can see voices have opinions. I would do

all the research you can find and find a

pediatric LLMD whom you trust to provide you with

the best advice for the best outcome.

--------------------
Suspected Lyme 07 Test neg One band migrating in IgG region
unable to identify.Igenex Jan.09IFA titer 1:40 IND
IgM neg pos
31 +++ 34 IND 39 IND 41 IND 83-93 +
DX:Neuroborreliosis

Posts: 5850 | From Kentucky | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hoosiers51
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
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I would normally agree with Lymetoo about waiting to see if the baby shows symptoms, but in your case, I think there's a greater likelihood the child could have been exposed because: one, the bite occurred DURING pregnancy (as opposed to a woman who had ongoing Lyme problems before getting pregnant), and two, your wife had active Lyme symptoms after the bite, and after giving birth.

I am NOT a doctor. Keep that in mind.

But from talking to women and doing my own research, it seems that the situation of a bite during pregnancy is worse than what most people hear of, which is a woman with ongoing Lyme who gets pregnant. Because in the second case, the mother's immune system had already had some time to adjust to the infection.

That is just my interpretation based on talking to people who've been through this. There is no scientific basis behind what I say.

But typically you do wait until the baby shows symptoms (since bloodwork isn't always accurate) or until bloodwork comes back positive to determine IF the baby has Lyme. However, like I said, your case is a little more unusual.

Honestly, you should consult with a Lyme pediatrician instead of listening to our advice. Because we will have differing opinions, and only an experienced doctor can really give you the great advice you need.

There are some doctors who believe Lyme is very rarely passed, so beware of those doctors. Most of them are Infectious Disease specialists.

Posts: 4590 | From Midwest | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sixgoofykids
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Jaundice is common for a newborn. I did not pass on Lyme to my children (the one who had Lyme got bitten) yet all my kids got jaundiced. I breastfed and it takes a few days for the milk to come in .... once it did, the kids were fine.

I laid two of them out in the sun for a little while naked, not long enough to burn .... it was warm out at the time. Lights are the treatment for jaundice .... something to remember with all the detox with need for Lyme treatment.

--------------------
sixgoofykids.blogspot.com

Posts: 13449 | From Ohio | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
randibear
Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
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there is nothing sadder than a baby with health problems.

i wish i knew what to tell you, but please know that i am thinking of you and wishing you well.

--------------------
do not look back when the only course is forward

Posts: 12262 | From texas | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Janice70
LymeNet Contributor
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I believe most people and most mothers have Lyme. Even so, breastfeeding babies do better than formula fed babies.

Knowing that Lyme is NOT rare, and that actually, most people have it, I would not deny my baby breastmilk.

Personally, after experience with 2 kids, I would wait until there are obvious symptoms before giving antibiotics to the child, such as fatigue, speech delay, etc.

Your wife needs treatment now, and should not delay. Make sure she doesn't take doxycycline during breastfeeding, and research any other antibiotic to make sure they're safe.

Posts: 311 | From CA | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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