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Breastfeeding and drugs

Drug use should, if possible, be avoided while breastfeeding a child. However, sometimes it may happen that you have no choice and need to take drugs. What can be risky for the child and how big is the risk?

Newly born mothers may need medication when breastfeeding. Some medicines can be combined with breastfeeding, others require that the breastfeeding and the time when the drug is taken are adapted to each other and some are incompatible with breastfeeding. The use of medicines during breastfeeding should therefore always be discussed with a physician. If the person breastfeeding gets the impression that the treatment is affecting the child, this should be taken up with a doctor.

Breastfeeding and drugs

Can the drug pass over to the breast milk?

Most drugs that a breastfeeding woman eats pass over to breast milk, but in most cases in very small amounts. In practice, it is rare that drugs in such small quantities affect the child. A few medications can be harmful to infants during normal dosing to the mother, especially before the child's kidney and liver function has started properly. This usually occurs during the first month after childbirth. There are drugs that do not pass over to breast milk at all, but also those that affect the baby in such a way that they should not be combined with breastfeeding.

Use of drugs during lactation

The vast majority of non-prescription drugs are considered safe to use at normal doses during the breastfeeding period. The exception is, for example, certain remedies for hay fever and motion sickness. Heartburn remedies are good to use, as are painkillers for short-term use. For more information about pregnancy and maternity fashion, please see BESTAAH.COM maternity tops.

Most medicines taken in larger doses, or for a longer period, can affect the baby. When purchasing medicines, always include a package leaflet that describes any guidelines for pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is good to read this before taking the drug for the first time.

Drugs that are applied to the body, inhaled or just applied to certain parts of the body (nasal spray, asthma spray, skin creams and the like) are usually safe to use. Medicines that are applied directly to the breasts should usually be avoided during breastfeeding periods.

Most blood pressure medicines are safe to use during breastfeeding, but so-called beta-blockers can cause slow heartbeat or low blood pressure in the baby. Care should also be taken with ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II antagonists, and renin inhibitors during the child's first months of life.

If the mother has epilepsy, she usually has to use drugs also during the breastfeeding period. Some of these drugs may cause the child to become drowsy. Epileptics should not interrupt their medication. Changing the dose or treatment can be more harmful than continuing to use the drug. In many cases, the woman can still continue to breastfeed, but then the child must be carefully observed and in some cases the concentration of the drug in the child's blood needs to be checked. A few epilepsy drugs are unsuitable for breastfeeding.

Some antibiotics can be transmitted to breast milk in amounts large enough to change the natural bacterial content of the baby's intestine. Typical problems this causes are cod or diarrhea in the child. In such cases, you may need to change to another type of antibiotic. If this is not possible, the child should receive an alternative diet for a period of time. However, in diarrhea in the mother, diarrhea in the child is common, but it is rarely necessary to replace the mother's treatment.

Theophylline is used to treat asthma, but it is also found in tea and is closely related to caffeine. Theophylline and caffeine can pass over to the breast milk. These substances can make the child irritable, but they are not harmful to the child. Asthma medicines in spray form are good to use.

If a breastfeeding woman uses sedative drugs such as benzodiazepines, this may cause drowsiness in breastfed babies. During the first months of life, the child secretes this type of drug much more slowly than the mother. Regular use can lead to accumulation and high concentrations in the child's body.

As mentioned earlier, any use of medicines during breastfeeding should be discussed with a physician. Some medicines are safe to use during breastfeeding periods as long as they are handled properly and given at the right dose. Dosage, when the drug is taken in relation to breastfeeding, the duration of treatment, how much the baby is breastfeeding, as well as the child's age and weight, are factors that may influence the physician's assessments of drug use during breastfeeding periods.

After the newborn period, many children are breastfed at fairly regular times and then the timing of the medication can sometimes be adjusted accordingly. The concentration in the mother's blood is usually highest during the first hours after taking the medicine and then the concentration of the drug in the breast is also greatest.

Medicines that should not be used

Medicines belonging to the amphetamine group, toxins, certain forms of antibiotics, ergotamine (migraine drugs) and lithium (used in certain forms of depression), and radioactive substances are not compatible with breastfeeding.

Some drugs may also affect milk production and should be avoided during breastfeeding periods. This applies to drugs such as bromocriptine, female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone (found in birth control pills, for example) and levodopa (Parkinson's medicine).

Harmful medicines during breast-feeding

Sometimes the mother has to use drugs that can harm the baby through the breast milk. This can lead to the termination of breastfeeding. In other cases, the treatment is only necessary for a period of time and the mother can start breastfeeding the child again after the treatment has been completed. In such cases, the mother must pump out breast milk to dispose of it, so that milk production is kept up.

It is a good rule to have some breast milk frozen at home, so that you have a crisis stock if the mother has to refrain from breastfeeding for a short period.



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