7 Things to Consider Before Taking Medication while Breastfeeding


Some of the things to consider before taking medication while breastfeeding is to take medication after nursing and as little as possible. Take only L1 and L2 category medicines and its best to try home remedies instead of medication. Avoid Pseudoephedrine, methergine, and bromocriptine.

How drugs affect a breastfeeding baby?

Many moms have questions about whether the medications they take can have an effect on breastfeeding and also their baby although most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding. There are some that can be more of a concern than others. There are many products that pass poorly into breast milk and other medications that are destroyed by the enzymes and acids in your stomach and your baby stomach.

Some over-the-counter cold, flu and allergy medications can contain different combinations of ingredients, some that are safe and some that are not many medications used to treat depression and other mental illnesses are considered safe for breastfeeding but few are not. Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of research on medications and their use. When considering medications and breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to weigh the benefits against the rests. Talk to your healthcare provider not only about the risks and side effects a particular product will have in your own body but also what their impact will be on your baby’s health. The lower the risk the better for your child you can get more specific information about medications and breastfeeding

7 Things You Should Consider Before Taking Medication while Breastfeeding

medication while breastfeeding

Take medications after nursing:

Another important consideration is when and how often your baby feeds. When you take your medication can be a challenge with babies who feed more often, like every two hours around the clock, with a baby who feeds less frequently especially at night. Taking your medication before the baby has a long sleep will reduce the amount your baby will receive through breast milk. Try to take the medicine after you finished nursing. However, babies older than six months who have started in solid foods will gradually take less breast milk over time and will, therefore, be less affected by any medication that will be present in breast milk

Read More: 11 Must Have Herbs that Increase Breast Milk


Take medicines as little as possible:

All medications pass into the breast milk to some degree although it’s almost always a small proportion of what the mother receives for the majority of the medications the dose that the baby receives is less than 1% of that received by the mother there’s a great deal of evidence that suggests that the small amount of medication that gets to your baby is not a reason to stop breastfeeding.

Try to take as little the medicine as possible. Always have one single pill rather than having 2 or 3 pills combined.

Read More: 31 Foods to Increase Breast Milk Supply

L1 Category:

Medicines have been classified according to safety and those which are safe in breastfeeding women. The safest category is L1 category medicine and these contain paracetamol and ibuprofen. These are okay to take in breastfeeding. Ibuprofen and associated medicines are not safe in the third trimester of pregnancy. So for a fever, these are good.

L2 category:

 If you have a cough and you want to suppress a cough, choose a cough syrup that has guaifenesin and it is an L2 category medicine, which means that it has been shown that it is safe for the baby and it does not cross into the breast, milk, but it does not cause a strong level of evidence as in L1. Pseudoephedrine which is also a cough medicine is also not considered quite safe. The level of evidence is not quite strong. So try natural remedies, try paracetamol which is safe for fevers and tries cough syrups which have guaifenesin.

Read More: Prescription Drugs that Help Increase your Breast Milk Supply


Try home remedies instead of medication:

The breastfeeding mothers always tend to catch a cold and fever. At that time the safest possible remedy is the natural remedies. So eat some garlic, drink turmeric milk, drink hot water or hot lemon juice with some honey in it. Drink tea with crushed methi leaves because this can help to increase your breast milk supply. Breast milk tends to go down when you have an infection. So crush some methi leaves or methi seeds in your tea. That will increase the breast milk.

Which medication to avoid?

There is, however, a group of medications that need to be avoided while breastfeeding. Taking these creates a great risk to the baby. These include radioactive compounds needed for medical testing; certain anti-cancer medications or gold compounds for treating arthritis. These may be necessary for a mother’s health and would require stopping breastfeeding, at least temporarily. It’s best to discuss these situations with your health care provider; they’ll work with you to find a solution that works best for you and your baby. It goes without saying that recreational drugs are to be absolutely avoided when breastfeeding. These are very dangerous to both mothers and babies.

Read More: 31 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom and Baby

Pseudoephedrine, methergine, and bromocriptine:

Some medicines adversely have an effect on breastfeeding. Pseudoephedrine (the active ingredient in Sudafed and similar cold medications), methergine (often accustomed to treating severe uterine hemorrhage when childbirth), and bromocriptine (brand names Parlodel or Cycloset, used for the number of issues) are shown to own a negative impact on milk you feed to baby. If your milk feeding has dropped, and you understand you’ve taken one amongst the medications listed here, raise your doctor concerning an alternative treatment for your cold or health illness. Increased breastfeeding, supplementation with herbs and foods, and presumably further pumping can assist you to build up your milk production once more.

Read More: 5 Prescription Drugs Used for Increasing Milk Supply



While a mother is breastfeeding it’s important to discuss any questions you may have with your healthcare provider or pharmacist they can help explain the safety of a specific product and give you advice about which medications are best for your condition and safest for breastfeeding. Speak to an expert about any concerns you may have so that you make the best decision for you and your child. Among the questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider is whether or not the medication you’re taking is even necessary at all. If your healthcare provider’s advice is to discontinue a course of treatment you’re currently following discuss what alternatives are available for your personal situation which don’t present a risk for your baby.