When a Nursing Mother is Ill and Needs to Take Medications

When a mother becomes ill, she should not interrupt breastfeeding for fear that she may make her baby sick. Breast milk passes immunity to the baby in many circumstances. Frequent hand washing will also decrease the risk of contagiousness.

If you are nursing while ill, it is generally best to avoid most medications. If you wish to take medicine, the following medicines may be taken safely (at the recommended dose) without risk to your baby:

For fever: Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen

For colds: Sudafed; nasal sprays (eg. Afrin, Neosynephrin); Benadryl (Other antihistamines may be given, but there may be a slight decrease in mother's milk supply)

For pain: Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, codeine, Demerol, Naprosyn

For infection: Antibiotics do not usually produce adverse effects in breast-fed infants.

You may take: Penicillins (eg. Amoxicillin), Ceclor, Cefzil, Lorabid, Suprax, Duricef, Keflex, Augmentin

For weight reduction:

After your child reaches one month of age, you may take products with Aspartame(Nutrasweet) or saccharin. Mothers who carry the gene for phenylketonuria should consult us before taking Aspartame.

If you are taking a medicine which is not listed here, call and speak with our phone nurse.


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