Guest Post by Patrick Bailey
When you are pregnant there are endless rules…
‘Don’t eat this’ or ‘Don’t use that’ statements are made over and over.
But many moms don’t realize that some of those same statements actually apply to breastfeeding as well.
Learning about what medications to avoid while breastfeeding is important. You can actually pass some of that medication through your breast milk to your baby.
Additionally, some medications can actually cause your milk supply to drop (like antihistamines).
This article outlines 10 common medications that you should avoid while breastfeeding!
10 Medications to Avoid While Breastfeeding
Congrats! You just had a baby and decided to start breastfeeding.
Not only is breastfeeding great for your baby, but it is healthy for you as a mother as well.
However, when it comes to taking things like medications, mothers should be careful as some medications can actually cross over through breast milk which can be harmful to your baby.
Note: It is best to discuss this directly with your doctor and weigh the risk vs benefit of the medication you are on. Always disclose what medications you are taking or ask prior to taking anything (even over the counter medication) just like you would during pregnancy.
Here are the top ten medications to avoid while breastfeeding:
1 – Aspirin
Taking aspirin while breastfeeding has been linked to Reye’s syndrome in babies.
Reye’s syndrome is rare, but it is very dangerous and may be fatal. It causes swelling in the brain and liver damage. Look for symptoms in your baby that include vomiting, drowsiness, irritability and even seizures.
2 – Codeine
Codeine is often found in combination medications and contains small amounts of morphine, which can be linked to morphine toxicity in babies.
3 – Decongestants
Decongestants are found in most cold and flu medicines, and this includes nasal and oral versions. It could affect your milk supply.
4 – Guaifenesin
This is often found in cough syrups (like Mucinex) because it helps clear phlegm.
5 – Certain Antidepressants
While not all antidepressants are safe while breastfeeding, but some are, so ask your doctor.
6 – Oxycodone
Oxycodone is a painkiller for severe pain. It is important to avoid because the side effects of oxycodone can harm your baby.
7 – Antihistamine and Decongestant Combinations like Dimetapp
They could affect your milk supply, so it is better to avoid.
8 – Medications for Anxiety
Like antidepressants, some anti-anxiety medications are safe, while others may affect your baby. Check with your doctor if the kind you are on is safe or not.
9 – Birth Control Pills
You will want to avoid hormone birth control pills while breastfeeding. There is a low hormone option that you can ask your doctor for that is often referred to as the ‘mini pill.’
10 -Alcohol and Other Drugs
Alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and other drugs are not appropriate to use while breastfeeding because they could be transferred to your baby and cause health concerns.
Always Check With Your Doctor
As always, ask your doctor if medication is okay for you to take while breastfeeding.
It is always better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to your precious baby.
Double check the ingredients in medications too.
Keep in mind that anything in your bloodstream will pass along to your baby, but many levels are so low that it will not affect them in any way.
Some medications that are always safe to use while breastfeeding are acetaminophen, ibuprofen, regular antihistamines, Pepcid for heartburn, and many natural remedies.
Use an App to Tell You Which is Safe
Your doctor is a great resource when it comes to the risk of medications while breastfeeding but nowadays, there are apps that can give you the risk grade of a specific medication.
‘A’ being completely safe to ‘F’ being worst possible for breastfeeding.
You can find a highly recommend medication checking app in this article, here.
About the Author
Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. You can find more content by Patrick over at Elite Rehab Placement.