Breastfeeding and Medication
Obviously you should never take any recreational drugs when breastfeeding as the effects of many are unknown. Babies of mothers who take drugs during pregnancy can be addicted at birth or have serious defects.
Some prescription drugs, however, can be safely taken when breastfeeding. However, it is always advisable to inform your doctor that you are breastfeeding so that she can decide on an appropriate medication.
You can also check any medication you may be currently taking at LactMed*
*Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) - "A peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider."
Many studies have been carried out to try to assess the associated risks of drugs, drinking and smoking during breastfeeding but often results are conflicting. In general it is better to be cautious and to seek medical advice. Consult your health-visitor or doctor if you have any concerns regarding alcohol, smoking or before taking any medication.
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