Is it safe for a breastfeeding mom to take prescription medicine?

Is it safe for a breastfeeding mom to take prescription medicine?

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More often than not, it is safe for a breastfeeding mother to take her prescription medication. You should never avoid a medication that's necessary for your health just because you're breastfeeding.

Whether a medication can affect your baby depends on how much enters your breast milk and whether it can be absorbed into your baby's bloodstream from his stomach. A lot of drugs wind up in your breast milk but at a low concentration, or they're broken down by your baby's stomach acid. So if you measure the level of the medication in your baby's bloodstream, it's very low. And that's what counts.

Generally speaking, if a medication is working for you and you need to take it, there will be a way to do so safely while breastfeeding. Your child's pediatrician is the person to ask whether the medications you need are compatible with breastfeeding. Our understanding of this is constantly being refined, so ask your pediatrician to consult the most recent research available.

Also, don't be alarmed by what the package insert on your prescriptions may say. The warnings printed there are usually based on the information that was available when the drug was first released. Often, the drugs weren't studied in breastfeeding women, so drug companies aren't allowed to say a medicine is safe for breastfeeding. Your pediatrician is the best person to answer your questions.

Learn more about the safety of commonly used medications during breastfeeding.


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