Wellness and Lifestye Habits
Can I safely take medicine while breastfeeding?
Questions to ask if you need to take
- Is this medicine really necessary?
- Is it the safest medicine?
- Is this medicine ever given to babies?
- When is the safest time to breastfeed when I take this
- Is there more of the drug in the blood or the milk?
Most antibiotics can be taken while nursing. Babies
may develop loose poops. Moms and babies may develop a thrush infection
Pain medication Over-the-counter pain medications
Birth control pills: Birth control pills that
contain estrogen can affect your milk supply. Mothers who have difficulty
making milk find that they make less breastmilk when they use the
combination pills that include estrogen. See Taking
Care of Yourself for more information.
Anti-depressants: Certain types of anti-depressants
are safe to use while breastfeeding. Discuss with your doctor.
Always remind your doctor that you are breastfeeding.
Taking medication is rarely a reason to stop breastfeeding.
Call the Saskatchewan Drug Information line at
or visit the website www.usask.ca/druginfo
for more information.
What if I have to be hospitalized?
Check to see if you can keep your baby at the hospital with you
by having someone there to help care for your baby.
Does the hospital have a breast pump to express your milk when
your baby is not with you?
You can request a visit from a lactation consultant.
Lifestyle habits in your household can affect your baby’s
Do not quit breastfeeding if you smoke.
You can reduce the effects of nicotine and cigarette smoke if you:
- keep your home smoke-free,
- do not smoke just before or during a feeding,
- avoid sleeping with your baby in the same bed,
- reduce the number of cigarettes to 10 or less per day.
Caffeine in breastmilk may make your baby fussy
and wakeful. Be aware that some common drugs contain caffeine such
as - Tylenol #3, Anacin and Dristan. Keep your daily intake of coffee,
tea, chocolate milk to less than 2 –4 cups.
Alcohol: You can breastfeed and still have an
occasional drink. Avoid more than 1 - 2 drinks at a time. One drink
is the same as one glass of wine, a bottle of beer, or one ounce
of hard liquor. Wait up to 2 hours after a drink before feeding.
As the alcohol level in your blood drops, so does the alcohol level
in your breastmilk. There is no need to pump and dump your milk.
Marijuana and other street drugs are harmful for
your baby. There will be more of this drug in your milk than in
Hand express milk for a feeding, before you use alcohol or drugs.
This milk can be given to your baby by cup or bottle. If this is
not available, give your baby formula.