what you need to know about breastfeeding and medications for your baby

3 min


You want to breastfeed your baby but you wonder what are the drugs compatible with breastfeeding? Between the small affections of the everyday life and the big glitches of health, take stock on what it is possible or not to do during your breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding and medicines: the 5 basic rules

Do ingested medications get into mom’s milk? Do they have harmful impacts on the baby’s health? To reconcile treatment and breastfeeding, Ina May Gaskin, author of the Guide to natural breastfeeding (published by Mama editions) returns in her book, on the great precepts to be followed by the sick mothers.

– Rest assured! It is rare that the drugs are absorbed by the child who sucks. Although all drugs pass into the milk, most of them are at a level too low to affect in any way the health of the child. In addition, the risk/benefit balance is often in favor of breastfeeding when the mother is pursuing medical treatment. Only very serious cases require stopping the breastfeeding of the child.


– Scan the records! If in the leaflet, a drug is considered not compatible with breastfeeding, it is always possible to find another in agreement with his GP. It is important to discuss it with him.

– Stay alert! It is better not to take too recent drugs on the market because their effects are poorly known. Identically, it is better to consume drugs called “half-lives” short (time put by a substance to lose half of its concentration) than long.

– Do not underestimate the effect of so-called natural remedies! Herbal or herbal treatments may, in some cases, be harmful to baby’s health because of the presence of chemicals. They must therefore be used with care.

– Delay the catch! It is best to take the medicine right after feeding, in order to minimize the risk of drug absorption by the small breastfeeding.

The point by type of drugs

In this regard, it is best to consult your health care professional or a lactation consultant. The age of the child, the duration of treatment, the medical needs are factors that must be taken into account for a safe breastfeeding. However, some general indications about the use of certain drugs can be followed:

– Antibiotics: According to specialist Ina May Gaskin, frequently used antibiotics are largely compatible with breastfeeding. Again, small amounts go into the milk and allergies are rare. Refer to your health specialist.

– Antidepressants and sedatives: it is with an extreme vigilance that these products should be used by lactating mothers. The side effects of these drugs are not to be neglected and can induce in some children drowsiness …

– A cough or cold medication: Over-the-counter (over-the-counter), these medications are often taken without medical recommendations and at approximate dosages. As a result, taking them can have side effects on babies, such as drowsiness or irritability. To be preferred during breastfeeding: nasal sprays, generally less dangerous than those delivered orally. Anyway, it is better to talk to the pharmacist or the specialist doctor.

– Painkillers: Paracetamol is one of the safest pain relievers used by lactating moms. Aspirins are to be used with great caution, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

– Diuretics: Most of the time, these drugs – which increase blood pressure and stimulate the kidneys – are not recommended during pregnancy or during breastfeeding.

– Antiallergics: in most cases, women allergic to bee stings or wasp stings can return their baby to the breast after an injection of adrenaline. Note, however: in some cases, these antiallergics can promote drought.

– Cancer treatments: because of their chemical substance, the treatments used in case of chemotherapy are not recommended.

Breastfeeding and medications: did you know?

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At the very beginning of breastfeeding, and especially the first 4 days postpartum, the assets of the drugs pass more strongly in the milk of the mother. However, it is not necessary to worry because the infant does not absorb a large volume of milk during his first feedings. The quantity it ingests is then too small for it to be significant.

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