While there are many benefits to breastfeeding your baby, you may also be worried about some of the problems. What you eat and drink may potentially pass from your milk to your baby. As such, doctors will often caution you against drinking alcohol following your pregnancy, at least if you plan to breastfeed. Smoking and other potentially harmful habits may also reach your child unless you either kick the habit or stick with formula.
However, you may want or need to take certain drugs for your own health. Prescription medicine for a variety of conditions can be perfectly safe for you, yet harmful to your developing baby. At least that's the common viewpoint. A study published in the journal Pediatrics claims otherwise, according to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal.
Rather than needing to decide among your health, your baby's health and breastfeeding, you can instead have your cake and eat it, too, by choosing all three. The study found that most medications won't transfer to your milk to any meaningful degree, so you should be able to continue most of your treatments after your delivery. Most vaccinations should also be fine for you to receive.
Although the study didn't individually list every safe drug, it noted that doctors can usually recognize which ones are fine based on their chemical makeup. Additionally, the database LactMed lists about 450 different medications and their potential effects on your baby's development.
Some drugs can still affect your child
You should still avoid certain medications. Pain relievers such as codeine and oxycodone may have a harmful effect on your baby. Milder drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen should be fine, though. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Wellbutrin may also show up in your breast milk, as can herbal supplements like St. John's wort, so you should try and find alternatives until you change your baby's diet to bottle-feeding or other food.
Since many drugs are still labeled with warnings about not breastfeeding children while using them, or have no data available for their use by recent mothers, you should ask your doctor just to make sure that they're OK for you to use. Some should be, but you never know.
Were you worried about your medication affecting your baby? What did you decide to do? Please let us know in the comments below!