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Taking Medications While Breastfeeding

If it is necessary for you to take a medication (prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal) while you are breastfeeding, it is possible that the medication may pass to your baby through your breast milk. Most medications are fine to take while breastfeeding. However, it is impossible for MilkWorks to definitively say that any certain medication is always fine for any individual, breastfeeding or not. It is also important to weigh the risk of taking the medication versus the risk of not breastfeeding your baby.

Multiple factors affect the safety of each medication, including:

  • the age of your baby
  • how much of the medication passes into breast milk
  • how long a medication stays in breast milk
  • what effect the medication might have on a baby
  • the length of time you are taking the medication
  • the dose of the medication
  • other medications you are taking

Unfortunately, we do NOT have thorough research on ALL medications.

If you have internet access, you may want to seek information about a specific medication on the web site https://www.toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/. Click on LACTMED on the left side of the screen. Enter the name of the medication, and you will be given the information available. If a medication is not listed, there is no research available. (If the health care provider prescribing the medication for you is not aware of this great website, please inform let them know!)

You may also call Dr. Tom Hale’s Infant Risk Center at 1-806-352-2519 for information from his book “Medications and Mother’s Milk”.

Or you may call MilkWorks and we will provide you with any information that we have.