When you are a breastfeeding mom, you worry about what you are putting into your body because you assume that everything can go directly to baby through your breast milk. You don’t want to eat too many spicy foods or else your baby could get painful gas and you should lay off the Prozac because … well, babies plus Prozac is bad. Some moms believe some beer is okay when breastfeeding. Any mom on any kind of prescription drug clears that pill with her doctor to make sure it’s safe to take. But sometimes the answers aren’t clear and we take our questions and concerns to the internet. We seek advice of other mother’s with the same concerns who’ve already dealt with this type of a situation and hopefully can provide some advice for you. That’s no longer necessary.
American Academy of Pediatrics has finally come out with a new report telling us what drugs are safe and not so safe to take while breastfeeding. It’s been 12 years since they last had anything to say about it.
The quick answer on what drugs are safe to take when breastfeeding is always going to be to consult with your doctor first. The latest feedback from doctors as a result of this study is that we should avoid drugs whenever possible, especially certain painkillers, psychiatric drugs, and herbal remedies.
It used to be doctors told nursing moms to stop breastfeeding or stop taking meds, now that’s not always the case. Dr. Hari Cheryl Sachs, a pediatric and maternal health expert at the Food and Drug Administration, said, “Before assuming that you need to stop breastfeeding, there may be information that lets you know whether that really is advisable.” Many of these drugs do not significantly get into breast milk. However, some drugs like codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone are still discouraged, along with Prozac and Wellbutrin because their levels appear higher in breast milk. Paxil seems to be the better option with a lower amount showing up in mama’s milk. St. John’s wort and yohimbe should also be avoided.
Are you worried about taking any medications while breastfeeding?
You can check your meds online at LactMed (Drugs and Lactation Database) at www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov and of course, consult your doctor.