Breastfeeding and medication

Drugs that are always or often cons-indicated

  • Antibiotics: very little are cons-indicated while others must be used with precaution and monitored by a doctor.
  • Antidepressants: some of them have no effect while others require a close monitoring of the baby.
  • Lithium (for bipolar disorder): should only be prescribed to stable and reliable women and any signs of lethargy, suction decrease and hypotonia (decreased muscle tone) in the baby must be reported to a doctor.
  • Anticonvulsants: some of them cause little exposure while others may cause medium to high exposure in the infant.
  • Antihistamines: only certain brands.
  • Sedatives and sleeping pills: taken in strong doses, it can cause drowsiness in the baby.
  • Beta-blockers (for heart problems): some can be used while others raise concerns.
  • Cancer drugs: usually cons-indicated.
  • Narcotics: usually cons-indicated.

Breastfeeding on medication: warnings

  • Do not self-medicate. Consult your doctor or your pharmacist and avoid combining drugs.
  • Your doctor should only treat you if it is truly necessary and avoid prescribing “comfort” drugs.
  • Take your medication just after feeding or schedule the feedings so that your child doesn’t drink when the drugs are peaking.
  • Mothers of premature babies should be even more careful.
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