The American Academy of Pediatrics says many women are wrongly advised to stop taking medications they need or to quit breastfeeding because of concerns over whether it’s safe for the baby to take medications while nursing.
In a news release, the AAP provides guidance to doctors regarding drug exposure and reaffirms the recommendation that most medications are immunizations are safe during lactation.
The AAP warns that mothers must inform their child’s pediatrician about all of the medications they are taking, including herbal products. While most drugs are safe to take for nursing moms, many are not.
Drugs that can be dangerous for nursing infants include pain medications, antidepressants, and drugs to treat substance and alcohol abuse or smoking cessation. They’re dangerous because of how they accumulate in breast milk or because of the effect they have on mother and baby.
Most immunizations are considered safe for nursing mothers to take and may even protect against the incidence of fever after being immunized. These vaccines are designed to protect the infant and lactating mother.
Physicians are recommended to get the latest information on drugs and lactation from the National Institutes of Health, which provides an online database on specific drugs and how they relate to breastfeeding.
The information was published in the journal Pediatrics in an article entitled, “The Transfer of Drugs and Therapeutics Into Human Breast Milk: An Update on Selected Topics.”