7 Medications You Didn’t Know You Could Breastfeed With

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There are many medications that you can take while breastfeeding, but there are also some that shouldn’t be combined with breastfeeding at all. So which ones can you use safely while breastfeeding? Read on to find out!

Antidepressants

It is a normal concern for many moms if medication and breastfeeding will be safe to do. In most cases, the medications are perfectly safe for both you and your baby. The trick is finding a medication that does not effect milk production or taste in any way. If it does, this can have negative impacts on bonding between mother and child which makes feeding uncomfortable. Examples of these medications are hormonal contraceptives, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) anti-depressants, thyroid hormone replacement therapy drugs and antimigraine drugs.

Antihistamines

While many women have successfully nursed while taking antihistamines, it is best to avoid breastfeeding when using antihistamines due to risk of drowsiness or irritability in the baby. In particular, if you are taking a first generation antihistamine (such as diphenhydramine) for allergies, colds, motion sickness, or sleep difficulties then your medication and breastfeeding should be monitored carefully. Other medications that pose the risk of drowsiness or irritability are clozapine and lithium. Certain antidepressants that do not cross the placenta (such as fluoxetine), also pose some risks but are often prescribed for women with moderate-to-severe depression during pregnancy due to their lower risk of harmful effects on the fetus.

Asthma Inhalers

It is currently unclear how well these inhalers are taken up into the body via the breast milk. However, it may be safest to discontinue use if you are planning on breastfeeding. Always check with your doctor first to be sure there won’t be any conflicts between medication and breastfeeding.

If your doctor decides to use a beta-2 agonist inhaler, which is commonly prescribed for asthma, you’ll want to wait two hours after each dose before breastfeeding again. These medications need to be taken up into your bloodstream and will temporarily slow milk production if you breastfeed right after taking them. There are also inhaled corticosteroids (such as triamcinolone) that are commonly used for severe cases of asthma. It is important to note that inhaled corticosteroids have not been shown to be safe during breastfeeding, so you should discontinue use if you are breastfeeding and need treatment with these medicines.

Blood Pressure Medication

It is generally safe to take blood pressure medication while breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor about the type of medication you take and how much you need for it to be safe for breastfeeding.
It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor before you take any new medications. If you start taking a new medication while breastfeeding, do not stop breastfeeding without talking to your doctor first. Your baby may need special monitoring or treatment if you change medications. He or she may need an adjustment period if you stop breastfeeding when changing from one medication to another.

Thyroid Replacement Hormone

The thyroid hormone levothyroxine is a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone thyroxyl produced naturally by your thyroid gland. Synthetic hormones are less taxing on your body than their natural counterparts, but there may be risks involved with these treatments for lactating mothers.
Medication and breastfeeding should be carefully considered if you’re breastfeeding because medications like Levothyroxine affect a mother’s milk supply and levels of other important nutrients in her milk to her infant. Your health care provider will prescribe any dose needed during lactation, just as they would during pregnancy, but the duration of treatment might be shorter or adjusted up or down according to your child’s weight at 6 months postpartum.

Urinary Tract Infection Treatment

Women with a urinary tract infection may want to consider breastfeeding for medication and breastfeeding reasons. Seven of the most common medications for UTI treatment that can be used while breastfeeding are:
Doctors recommend treating your UTI with antibiotics. Your doctor may also advise you to take pain medication as needed for your discomfort. If you have a UTI while breastfeeding, talk with your physician before taking any medications or alternative remedies. Women often believe their medications are safe while breastfeeding because they are prescribed by medical professionals and recommended in public health publications, but medications can potentially enter breast milk and harm a nursing baby. The best way to prevent harmful interactions is to speak with your doctor about all of your medications before becoming pregnant and again when you’re ready to start breastfeeding. Knowing which medicines to avoid can help reduce complications that could arise if you need medications while breastfeeding.

Final Thoughts

If you’re breastfeeding and taking birth control, you might be wondering what your options are. There are many different types of birth control methods available, so there is likely something out there for you to use.
The number one thing to know about medication and breastfeeding is that you should always consult with your doctor before making any decisions. They will be able to help assess your situation and determine the best course of action for you.
The following is a list of seven medications that can be taken while breastfeeding