Medications and Breastfeeding

Postnatal, Your questions

Article updated on April 2024.

In a previous article, we talked about over the counter medications permitted during pregnancy. Many readers liked the content and felt better able to treat pregnant mothers. That said, many mothers wondered what was allowed during breastfeeding.

Here is a brief, practical summary. But it doesn’t replace medical consultations when necessary.  In the postnatal period, if you have an infection and are breast-feeding, it’s advisable to continue doing so, because while you’re breast-feeding, you’re giving your baby antibodies via your milk, which will serve to protect him or her. Ideally, you should wear a mask while breast-feeding if you have a fever.

Most medications that are permitted during pregnancy can also be used during breastfeeding. These include Myoflex, Balminil DM and Benylin DM, Tylenol, Otrivin or Dristan as needed. This also applies to Canesten, Monistat or Gynecure to treat vaginitis (fungal infection), over the counter, safe and ideally a one-week treatment. Concerning seasonal allergies, Claritin, Aerius, Reactine or Allegra can help relieve symptoms, even when breastfeeding. For constipation, start with a proper diet and hydration, then if needed you can use Metamucil, Prodiem, Benefiber, Colace or Surfak, which should work after a couple of days. Glycerine suppositories can be useful if you are very discomforted and have not passed stool for at least three days. If you have hemorrhoids, Tucks (witch hazel and glycerine compresses) or Anusol cream can be solutions.

Finally, if you have nausea symptoms associated with gastroenteritis, Gravol will likely work. If you have acid reflux, Dioval, Gaviscon, Maalox or Mylanta can be effective if taken one hour before meals. The effect lasts for about two hours.

A drug is considered safe for a mother who is breastfeeding her baby when it passes into breast milk at less than 10% of the mother dose received. In addition, it is safe to say that a nursing woman can take medication that a baby can take at any time, but not the other way around.

If you take medications due to a specific condition, you should check with a pharmacist to see if taking another product may impact the desired effect (overmedicalization).

Please watch these videos for more information:

I hope this article has helped!

Talk soon,

Marie
The Baby Expert 

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