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Breastfeeding > Breastfeeding and Medications

Breastfeeding and Medications

pregnantMedicines.jpgMany mothers need to take medications while breastfeeding. Most medications are safe while breastfeeding.

Many mothers need to take medications while breastfeeding. Most medications are safe while breastfeeding or pregnant. This page specifically discusses medications with breastfeeding, but the link to Lacmed at the bottom will discuss medications during pregnancy as well.

Pain and fever

Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are safe for fever and pain. Talk with your doctor (Mother's OB or FP or internist) about prescription pain medications.

Cough and cold

Decongestants (cold medicines) might decrease milk supply, so watch your infant for hunger cues if you take a cold medication. Saline to your nose and keeping a vaporizer (without menthol medication) in your room safely helps your congestion.

Caffeine

One caffeinated beverage per day is generally felt to be safe.

Alcohol

Alcohol is generally best to avoid. If you do drink occasionally, eat a well balanced meal and only drink small amounts of alcohol with large amounts of water. There is no need to pump and dump, but avoid breastfeeding for 3 hours. Do not breastfeed if you feel drunk, as your breast milk will have the most alcohol at this time. Your body and breast milk will clear out the alcohol over time, but this amount of time is related to how much is ingested and the weight of the mother.

Other medications

You can search LactMed for medication safety.

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