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Breastfeeding and Medicine

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Here’s an excerpt from my latest post for the giggle GAB blog… it’s about breastfeeding and taking medicine: (And click here for the full post).

Be thankful for modern medicine. It can get us through a common cold and is often critical when managing a chronic condition. But when you’re breastfeeding, every medication can get into your breast milk. While some medicines are compatible with breastfeeding, others are not. So what’s a mom to do?

For starters, do your homework. For over-the-counter medications, read the packaging.  There should be information for breastfeeding mothers. And if you’re taking a prescription, be sure to tell your doctor that you’re breastfeeding…

… the “bible” on breastfeeding and medications is Dr. Thomas Hale’s Medications and Mothers’ Milk. You can look up a medication and check its safety for breastfeeding. You can also call the InfantRisk Center associated with Dr. Hale at 806-352-2519. They can answer questions about drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, chemicals, vaccines, and other substances. Of course, there’s now even an iTunes and Android app that has the book’s information. (Here’s a YouTube video showing how it works.)

Another resource is the LactMed database. Type in a medication and you’ll get a comprehensive look at its safety information. Finally, don’t forget that herbs require some research as well. I also recommend reading this La Leche League article about Maternal Medications and Breastfeeding.