Can you take medication while breastfeeding? There are many medications that can be taken during breastfeeding…but there are medications that can cause side-effects in baby.
This page discusses the safe and unsafe medication while breastfeeding.
Other specific pages that might be useful to you on Breastfeeding and medicine…
- Taking galacagogues (herbal and non herbal) for increased milk supply.
- Article by Dr. Thomas Hale on factors that influence the entry of drugs into a mother's breast milk
- Most are safe for breastfeeding with no side-effects
- Others are safe during breastfeeding, but mom might have to keep an eye on baby for some side-effects (mentioned below)
- Some medication can be taken during breastfeeding only if there are no other alternative medications and baby should be monitored for side-effects.
- There are medications that should be avoided as they may decrease milk
supply (especially meds containing pseudo ephedrine, flu medication and contraceptives)
- Then there are medications that should never be taken while breastfeeding and these include:
1. Radioactive substances (mom will need to pump and dump while on these if she wishes to continue to breastfeed afterward)
2. Anticancer drugs (antimetabolites)
3. Immunosuppressive and Antineoplastic drugs
Things you can do to decrease the amount of any medication in your breast milk
- Take the medication straight after you have breastfed baby…this will give the meds a longer time to leave your system before you breastfeed again
- Try not taking any unnecessary medication
- Ask your doctor for safer alternative breast feeding medication
General drug info…
- Anaesthetics and breastfeeding ~ Mom can pump breastmilk in advance for during and after this procedure (It is safe to breastfeed 6 hours after taking anaesthetics). Local anesthetics are normally safe while breastfeeding.
- NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, analgesics and antipyretics) ~ Paracetamol and Ibuprofen have been found safe during breastfeeding
- Diuretics ~ May inhibit lactation and should be avoided while breastfeeding if possible
- Topical Dermatological creams ~ Safe while breastfeeding
- Mouth and nose sprays ~ Usually safe
- Eye drops are all safe
- Keep away from menthol lozenges as large amounts of these can cause your milk supply to drop.
Breastfeeding and medicine during colds
Safe cold medicine while breastfeeding
- All cough drops and throat lozenges are considered safe
- Medicine containing suphedrine (Sudafed) is considered safe during breastfeeding.
- Tylenol can be taken for pain as a breastfeeding cold medicine
- Advil/Motrin (Ibuprofen) is safe to use for pain
- Aleve Naproxen is safe to use as a pain med
- Codiene is the safest cough medicine followed by Dextromethorphan and then Guaifenesin
- Aspirin must be avoided completely
Natural alternatives for colds during breastfeeding
- Vapor rub, eucalyptus oil
- Saline nasal sprays
- Gargle with salt water
- Take a multivitamin and extra vitamin C
- Rest. Eat and drink well.
- Use a humidifier
- Echinacea is great for boosting your immune system and is safe for breastfeeding mothers.
- Garlic is a natural antibiotic
- Cayenne pepper and nutmeg can help for prevention and treatment of colds. Use on all foods.
- Fenugreek tea can help for head and chest congestion and even for a cough.
- Slippery elm bark comes in throat lozenges
Breastfeeding medication symptoms to look out for
- Baby is more unsettled and fussy than usual
- Baby has diarrhea
- Baby is not sleeping enough
- Your milk supply is starting to dry up
- Your milk supply increases (usually if the medication contains prolactin)
Always ask your doctor before taking any medications while breastfeeding.
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I have insomnia and need to find something that is safe to take while breast feeding. And that will not decrease my milk supply cause I'm having issues …
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its useful i was finding a anticough durg,that is here.thank you