Breastfeeding and Medications
Breastfeeding and medications can cause a lot of confusion! Many mothers are told they cannot breastfeed while taking certain medications but this is often not true.
We will discuss how medications can possibly get into breastmilk, a process called diffusion, FYI, and what families can do if they have questions or concerns about medication usage.
Most medication are safe for breastfeeding. Some things to consider are whether a baby could take it. Many medications are given to babies safely so this is something to look for. Also, how is the medication taken? If it is through an intramuscular injection, then it most likely doesn’t have much effect if orally consumed. Finally, can the medication even get into the breastmilk? If not, then the risk is greatly reduced. Please contact an IBCLC or your health care provider if you have any medication questions.
The great news is there is great information about breastfeeding and medications from some reliable resources.
First of all, Kellymom.com! Kelly is always a great source of information for families and professionals about breastfeeding and medication.
For another professional resource there is Lactmed.
You can type in the name of a medication in the box and see what pops up. For instance, if you enter “motrin” it will give you options to clarify what you want and then you are taken to a window with all kinds of information like Summary of Use in Lactation, Effects in Breastfeeding Infants, and Alternative Drugs to Consider.
In our office, we use Thomas Hale’s book, Medications and Mother’s Milk. This is an invaluable resource for us to be able to help our clients get the facts about the safety of breastfeeding and medications.
There is also the Infant Risk Center. This site has a lot of great information and you can call to ask specific questions.
Of course, don’t forget to contact your local IBCLC! Most have access to Medications and Mother’s Milk so they can look up a medication for you and read you what the recommendations are.