Choosing to breastfeed can be a very challenging decision to make as it means you are a child’s sole source of food. You don’t belong to yourself for a long time after.
In that same vein, it often means many women have to weigh the risks and benefits of using medications they may need. Sometimes it is more important for the mother to be able to take medication than breastfeed, so she has to pick that over nurturing her child, and that’s okay.
It’s in the Breastmilk
Everything you take in orally makes its way to your precious bundle of joy through the breastmilk. This includes any prescription medications you take as well as any alcohol. So that’s why you have to check with your doctor about the medicines you may be taking and the effects they could have on your baby.
Oral drug absorption is how a majority of prescription medications are taken, and some wouldn’t really have any effect on the baby in the small doses you take, but some really could. Every mother is different in what they feel about their meds.
Every mother is also different when it comes to whether they think breastfeeding or taking their medication is more important, and it is a very personal choice.
Using recreational drugs while breastfeeding is obviously never a great option, even for something like marijuana. You should not smoke around a newborn or share drugs with them. If you are breastfeeding, then you need to be conscious about what you could pass on to your child.
There are plenty of medications that are safe to take while breastfeeding. There are lists out there that you know what class drugs are rated at, from A to D, so you can easily know what effects there may be.
What the Studies Show
The problem is that there have not been tons of different studies on breastfeeding mothers, just like there haven’t been studies on pregnant women in relations to drugs. Keeping babies safe is more important than anything else.
The drugs are classed by what is known about the potential effects a drug could have on a baby, and how much would come through the breastmilk. It’s up to the mother to decide if the unknown factor is too much for her to risk when it comes to breastfeeding.
That’s why many moms need to do their own research to make sure they know exactly what they are taking and what it could mean.
Support for breastfeeding mothers can be hard to find in some places, but usually, there are groups available locally or online. The breastfeeding support helps women talk about their own experiences and what they’ve done, including maybe medications they took while breastfeeding for their own wellbeing.
Finding a support group could really help you make your decision!