As an early elementary teacher, I am exposed to every germ, virus, and bacteria under the sun. While my son is protected by all of the wonderful antibodies in my breastmilk, I am not so lucky and find myself coming down with a bug at least once a month.
Being the big baby that I am, I have always reached for the medicine cabinet at the first sign of a cold and have struggled with the limited amount of medications that are suitable to take while breastfeeding. These limitations have helped me to look towards natural remedies (oregano and pepper tea for long lasting colds, anyone?), but I still find myself checking the labels as I walk through CVS to see if anything can offer some safe relief.
With cold and flu season right around the corner, here are a few tips for medications while breastfeeding. As always, check with your doctor before taking any medications (even over-the-counter!) while pregnant or breastfeeding!
- Avoid antihistamines like Sudafed while lactating. The point of these medications are to ‘dry up’ your sinuses, which can in turn ‘dry up’ your milk supply.
Even if a medication is not recommended for breastfeeding women, there is usually an alternative available. Weaning (even temporarily) for a medication should be a last resort. Just think about both you and your baby being sick at the same time if he isn’t protected by those wonderful antibodies in your milk!
- Always remind your doctor that you are breastfeeding and double check with your pharmacist and baby’s pediatrician that what you are prescribed is safe to take while breastfeeding. Physicians often base
their decisions on medications off of the “Physician’s Desk Reference” which is put out by the pharmaceutical companies and not always backed by studies.
- “Medications and Mother’s Milk” by Thomas Hale is updated every two years and is the go-to source for deciding if a medication is safe for a nursing mother. You can find both new and used copies for less than $10 on Amazon!
- The InfantRisk Center (1-806-352-2519) and the online LactMed Database are two other great resources for finding safe medications for breastfeeding women.
*To inquire on whether a medication is safe while breastfeeding, please speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or read here for more information.
We’d love to hear from you! Have you taken medications while breastfeeding? Did you see any difference in your milk supply?
Be sure to join us in our social media accounts to be up to date with the progress of our project!
And… Don’t forget to share your brelfies using our HT #BreastfeedingWorld
Latest posts by Amber Castro (see all)
- When Your Baby Doesn’t Suck - November 19, 2015
- Medications while Breastfeeding - October 22, 2015
- One of the biggest reasons for babywearing: Convenience! - October 7, 2015