Breastfeeding and post-partum relapses in multiple sclerosis patients

Emilio Portaccio, Maria Pia Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


While it is acknowledged that exclusive breastfeeding has well-established benefits for both infant/child and mother health, evidence on the relationships between breastfeeding and disease course in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) is still controversial. On one hand, in the post-partum period, a disease worsening is possible, particularly in women with more active MS. On the other hand, the use of disease modifying drugs is currently contraindicated during lactation. In this topical review, we describe available evidence on the relationship between breastfeeding and disease activity in MS. In some studies, a possible protective role for exclusive breastfeeding against the risk of post-partum relapse has been suggested, while, in others, its impact was neutral. Waiting for definitive evidence on this topic, we propose a pragmatic approach to breastfeeding choice, on a case-by-case basis, considering the disease characteristics before and during pregnancy and the patient therapeutic history.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2019



  • breastfeeding
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • post-partum relapse
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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