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Medications while breastfeeding: Know what you can take

You and your baby can be safe if you know what is safe to take.
You and your baby can be safe if you know what is safe to take.

It happens to the all of us. You wake up one morning with the groggy feeling of an oncoming head cold. But while your breastfeeding, you can't just grab the closest cold medicine out of the cabinet. Know what you can take before your cold or headache comes on so that you can ensure you and your baby are safe.
There is a common misconception when it comes to breastfeeding and taking medications. Many mothers believe that any medications that you consume are excreted into your breast milk. In fact, there are some that never make its way into your milk flow. Below is a list of common over the counter medications that are safe to take while breastfeeding your little one.

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Antacids (Maalox, Mylanta)
  • Decongestant nasal sprays (Afrin)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Penicillin (Amoxicillin, Dynapen)

Some medications like Benadryl and Sudafed can cause your baby to be drowsy or even reduce your milk supply and therefore should be avoided.  If there is no way to avoid a medication that could cause issues with your milk then you may be asked to pump and dump (pumping your breast and discarding the milk) for anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to insure that any medication is out of your milk flow. It is best to make sure you have pumped milk on hand in case situations like that arise.
If you ever have questions on what you can take and what to avoid, ask your pharmacist or doctor. Another way to avoid any complications when it comes to prescriptions is to always make sure your physician knows that you are currently breastfeeding so that they may prescribe the proper medicines for the situation. Taking medicine while breastfeeding can be safe as long as you know what you can take and ensure you take the correct dose. Doing so will create a healthy mother and in turn a healthy baby.

Websites that can give you information on what's safe to take while nursing


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