A breastfeeding mother is often worried whether taking in medications, altogether, is safe for the baby.
Since anything ingested by the mother can also be shared to the infant or the breastfed child through breast milk, there are medications and its certain concentration that are identified to be tolerable and safe for the child.
Even with the use of over the counter medications, which are relatively safe, may at some concentration level pose danger to the breastfed child. As a precautionary measure, it is always safe to consult a physician for guidance or look for an expert pharmaceutical advice before taking in any medication.
While a medication may be identified beneficial for you and is relatively safe for children, there may be some concentration levels or dosages that cannot be tolerated by the breastfed child.
Medications can dangerous or pose health risks because the child’s metabolism and physiologic functions are not yet as developed as that of an adult and it may not be able to tolerate such medications.
It is an advantage if one is properly educated on the proper use and knowing what are the factors that influence drug concentration. This will not only be beneficial to mothers but for the breastfed child, as well.
There are times that really require one to take in medications. For breastfeeding mothers, here are some recommendations:
A drug may have its adverse effects to the mother. It is highly recommended that one understands the possible side effects that a drug may pose to the breastfed child. Watch out for these common side effects:
There are drugs that change the taste and even the smell of breast milk that may make a baby refuse breastfeeding.
For mothers who have no alternative but to take the medicine, it is highly recommended that they occasionally express and discard some of the breast milk prior to actual breastfeeding.
For those mothers who have to temporarily stop breastfeeding while taking medications have to regularly express and empty their breast.
Proper expression or emptying of the breast milk will help maintain a good supply of breast milk and is a good preparation when breastfeeding is safe to resume.
If you are concern of the pharmaceutically prepared drugs yet need to take in some medication, then it is important to know the alternatives.
There are various herbal preparations that are available in most pharmacies and supermarkets. Natural remedies may work as well. However, there are always substances and concentrations that may be beyond what the baby can tolerate.
To accommodate breastfeeding mothers, some drug preparations need to be combined with other drugs to reduce or improve its effects. However, the doctor’s prescription should always be the first thing that you need to seek.
Moreover, drug actions can be dangerous when there are other substance that taken in. These substances are alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and all illicit drugs.