Breast milk is the best and main source of nutrients during the first 4 – 6 months of the baby’s life. During this period, it provides the little organism with the perfect combination of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals necessary for its proper development and protection against various infections. WHO recommends breastfeeding up to the second year of the child’s life. Many researches point out breastfed children are less susceptible to gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. They also suffer from allergies, asthma, diabetes, and obesity more rarely. On the other hand, breastfeeding has benefits for the mothers as well. It has been proven that it reduces the risk of developing breast and ovary cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
The benefits of breastfeeding are indisputable and the process itself is perfectly natural and physiological. However, sometimes mothers need to take certain medicaments during this period. In such cases, mums want to know which ones are harmless to their children. This article will present the most commonly used and approved to be used during breastfeeding medicaments.
Here are some basic principles to follow when breastfeeding women need to take medicaments:
- Never take a medicament before consulting your doctor and your child’s paediatrician.
- Never neglect your health just because you want to continue breastfeeding. If necessary, stop breastfeeding when taking medicaments contraindicated for breastfeeding women. There are many good quality formula milks which can provide the little one with the necessary nutrients so it will grow well. You can maintain lactation while you are taking the medicines by using a pump and throwing away the breast milk. After the end of your treatment you can start breastfeeding the baby again.
- Evaluate the necessity of the medicine in question. If it is not necessary, don’t take it. This article will provide the medicaments with the lowest risk for you and your child, which are officially approved for use by breastfeeding women.
- Take the medicine immediately after breastfeeding and do not breastfeed in the following 2 hours. Our tips: When possible, plan to take your medicine when there will be a longer interval without breastfeeding (for example during the night).
Basic medicament groups:
Antipyretics and painkillers: Often during the breastfeeding months mothers need to take antipyretic and painkilling medicaments.
Paracetamol: it effectively lowers body temperature and numbs pain, but has no anti-inflammatory effect. It is recommended to be taken in tablet form and one dose should not exceed 500 mg. The interval between doses should be no less than 4 hours. Breastfeeding mothers should not exceed intake of 4 tablets in 24 hours. Its contraindications are based on the risk of liver damage, both in the mother and the child.
Ibuprofen: except the effects of the paracetamol, it also has an anti-inflammatory effect. In breastfeeding women, it can be taken in a single dose of 200 mg and no more than 3 times a day. Its concentration in the blood is at its peak 3 hours after the intake, so you should have this in mind when planning the intake and the baby’s feeding.
Diclofenac and Indomethacin: Anti-inflammatory medicaments of low risk when taken during breastfeeding. If you need a preparation to use locally, containing the active ingredients in question, do not apply on the breasts or on large areas of the body. Before use consult with a doctor.
Antibiotics: The intake of antibiotics from breastfeeding women should be thought through very carefully. Their careless use without medical prescription is a serious problem, not only for breastfeeding women, but for anyone in general. There are cases, however, when this is inevitable. We will provide a list of antibiotics that are allowed to use during lactation, however, it is very important to know that they may cause dysbacteriosis in the underdeveloped organism of the child, especially under the age of 6 months. The antibiotic may cause an allergic reaction, even if the mother has never before had any problems with this medication. Groups of antibiotics allowed to be used during breastfeeding, but only on doctor’s prescription, are penicillin, cephalosporins, and macrolides. Here is a short list of the ones which pose lower risk in breastfeeding mothers:
- Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid
Antiviral and antifungal medicines:
Such medications which pose low risk during breastfeeding are: Aciclovir, Penciclovir, Itraconazole, Fluconazole, etc. They can be used locally or taken in orally, but only on doctor’s prescription and after an examination of the child’s condition (past and underlying illnesses).
Breastfeeding is one of the most sacred and important events in life, both for the child and the mother. It helps the healthy development of the little one by allowing close contact with the mother. It is really important not to prematurely stop the process unless it is absolutely necessary. Luckily, there are many medicaments on the market, which are compatible with breastfeeding and do not require any disruption in the process during treatment.
In conclusion: If you have any concern or a health issue, do not neglect them for the sake of the child, because a healthy and happy mother is the most important condition for a healthy and happy child. We advise you to regularly discuss your health with your doctor, so you can be as calm as possible and devoted to caring for you little precious one.
For reference about the safety of medicines during breastfeeding, regardless if you look them up by trade name or active ingredients, use the following site: www.e-lactancia.org