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Mothers & medications

posted Mar 26, 2015, 4:49 AM by Melissa Bugeja   [ updated Apr 10, 2015, 2:59 AM ]
Sears wrote: What goes into your body also goes into your milk.  That is the complete truth but fortunately for us most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding.  

There are of course those few that are not and if the inevitable happens and there are no alternatives to take, quiz yourself and your doctor before deciding on taking the medication.
  • How sick are you?
  • Do you really need this drug or can you use a natural alternative?
  • Will it effect the baby and/or lactation?
It is also important to weigh the potential risk temporary weaning can cause:
  • The risk of the baby refusing to go back to the breast
  • The risk of damaging your milk supply
And so, it is of the utmost importance to inform your doctor that not only you are breastfeeding, but you are ready to explore alternative treatment rather than weaning.  Many a time, doctors suggest weaning because they do not have enough information about a particular medication.  They would consult the package insert from pharmaceutical manufacturers, which almost always across the board say that the medication is not suitable for pregnant or lactating mothers.  The warning statements are designed to protect themselves from lawsuit because in general manufacturers have done no studies on breastfeeding women( even if studies have been done by others this is not listed).

It is good to search for a second opinion and also consult with your baby's paediatrician who would be more aware of what effects certain medications will have on babies and young children.  You can also ask help to a Breastfeeding Counsellor or Lactating Consultant should you not be able to find the information you are looking for.  You can also urge your doctor to find more information about the medication.  

Other Resources:

Breastfeeding Network - UK online information network and helpline
The Breastfeeding Book - Martha Sears R.N & William Sears M.D
Medications & Mothers' Milk - Thomas Hale PhD