Medical procedure - You unexpectedly have to take medications....is your breast milk safe for baby?
Ask an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)!
If a drug is not safe during pregnancy, it could still be safe to take while breastfeeding. To avoid unnecessary weaning, stress and effort of pumping and dumping, check with a lactation consultant!
The safety of the drug will depend on how long the drug takes to leave the mother's bloodstream. Some drugs take longer than others.
Many medications are safe to take while breastfeeding and for most medications babies are exposed to a much smaller amount than the mother. An IBCLC can help you interpret medication info from an accurate source such as InfantRisk or HalesMeds.
Talk to your doctor!
Here is a resource to share with your doctor if you have concerns about a medication:
Sometimes doctors will incorrectly advise mothers to wean because they need to take a medication if they are not familiar with breastfeeding.
Rating system of medication compatibility with breastfeeding:
- L1 and L2 are safest
- L3-Moderately safe- meaning that studies do not show adverse effects during breastfeeding or that studies have not been done for this particular drug
Further info on safety rating system in link below:
Some additional points to consider:
- T 1/2 number = the amount of time the medication will reach half of its concentration in the body..
- Tmax = the amount of time the drug reaches it's maximum concentration in the body
- Is there an alternative drug that is safer for breastfeeding?
- Can you obtain donor milk for temporary feeding of your baby until you are done taking the medication?
- Was the medication injected or taken orally? This will affect the time it takes to leave the bloodstream
Be Safe and be well! Check with an IBCLC if you have questions regarding medications and breastfeeding!
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