We often receive calls from moms with a cold or allergies inquiring which medicines are safe for them to take while breastfeeding. We understand this may be nerve-wracking and generally suggest the following medications in the order listed.
- Antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra or Benadryl are recommended first. However, use caution if taking Benadryl as the drowsy side-effect of the medication and tiredness associated with breastfeeding can make for a very sleepy mommy.
- If none of these work, try Sudafed. However, Sudafed has the greatest chance of affecting the milk supply.
You should watch that your milk production does not decrease while taking any of these medications. Side effects may vary depending on the mom. Also, it is important for breastfeeding moms to always stay hydrated, but especially while taking these medications. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times to remind yourself to stay hydrated!
While the above medications are often ok to take, very harsh antibiotics such as vancomycin can be problematic depending on the dose. Also, any radioactive treatments such as iodine oblations, require breastfeeding to be stopped or your milk dumped. Check for recommendations on either of these situations as serious harm for your baby may be a result.
Most medications are safe to take while breastfeeding, but if you have any doubts contact your physician or a Shannon lactation consultant to be sure the medication you are taking will not hurt your milk supply or your baby.
Please leave a comment if you have any other questions or join us for the next Breastfeeding Community Gathering on Thursday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Shannon Women’s & Children’s Center family room (3rd floor), 201 E. Beauregard.