Changes in bone metabolism occur in mothers during pregnancy or lactation that may decrease bone mass and result in fragility fractures after partum. However, use of drugs during pregnancy or lactation to counteract these effects is often prohibited or strongly discouraged. Therefore, approaches to protect mothers from fragility fractures have not been established. Here we show that bone mineral density was significantly lower in female mice after partum than in age-matched female mice without partum. We also show that temporary administration of the bisphosphonate alendronate, either just before or just after pregnancy, to female mice was protective against bone loss due to pregnancy or lactation and had no adverse effects on offspring, such as growth retardation. Furthermore, we show that alendronate administration to female mice during lactation was effective in increasing bone mass in mothers without promoting bone abnormalities or growth retardation in offspring. Calcium levels in milk from female mice administered alendronate during lactation were equivalent to those in milk from mothers not treated with alendronate. Overall, we propose that alendronate administration to mothers could prevent bone loss and fragility fractures during pregnancy and lactation.
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