Need help knowing what drugs and medications you can take while nursing? That is a good question many breastfeeding mothers face. Unfortunately, many doctors don’t even want to give you an answer.
My primary doctor refuses to prescribe anything during pregnancy and breastfeeding (for me, that means half my life I rely only on my OB!)
Why? For legal reasons alone, many physicians advise patients to discontinue breastfeeding while they take various medications. They just don’t want the risk!
In addition, some doctors advise nursing mothers to "pump and dump" while taking any antibiotic, even if it is one that is shown not to bother infants!
While it is true that all medications enter breast milk, most are so low in concentration that they have really no effect! Most drugs and medications can be safely used by nursing mothers. So the decision about whether to take the drug and continue to breastfeed is really up to you, the mother!
What is Drug is Given the Most?
Birth control pills!
Some women think that starting birth control pills right after birth will not cause any problems, but they might.
Click here for a guide to the effects of birth control pills on breastfeeding.
Determine which birth control method is right for you!
Thrush Symptoms and Treatment OptionsAnother common need for medications is for thrush treatment in both breastfeeding moms and their babies.
FDA Safe Drugs for BreastfeedingThe FDA and The American Academy of Pediatrics have published an extensive list of drugs acceptable for use by breastfeeding mothers. Unfortunately, most physicians are not even aware of this. So it may be your job to (ever so politely) bring this to their attention!
Drugs to Increase Breast Milk SupplyAlthough some doctors prefer that you use an herb like fenugreek to increase milk supply, there are also medications that increase it as well.
Drugs and Medications to Avoid when BreastfeedingNot all medications are compatible with breastfeeding. There are some drugs and medications that are unsafe for your child when breastfeeding.
Some of these drugs can be still be taken by a nursing mother if she stops breastfeeding for a few days or weeks. If you decide to do this, you will need to pump your milk and discard it during this time to keep a good milk supply.
Click here for more information about which drugs are not safe for your baby.
Did You know That You Can Reduce the Amount of Alcohol or Drugs in Breastmilk?If you must take medications, you can still reduce your baby's exposure to the drug.
Click here to learn ways to reduce the amount of alcohol or drugs in your breastmilk.
More about Breastfeeding and AlcoholSee how alcohol affects breastfeeding.
What about Smoking, Nicotine Patches and Marijuana?Click here for complete information about smoking and breastfeeding.
To learn the effects of using marijuana while breastfeeding, click here.
Still Unsure if A Drug is Safe?If you are still unsure you can check the American Academy of Pediatrics' list of Maternal Medication Usually Compatible with Breastfeeding or click on any of the common medication names below to find out if they are safe for nursing mothers:
Imitrex, Librax, Mucinex, Nyquil, Oxytrol, Prozac, Reglan, Vicodin, Wellbutrin, Zoloft