Lactation Consultant: Medication and Breastfeeding

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Posted on 25th October 2010 by admin in Uncategorized

When I was pregnant I was paranoid about taking any type of medication.  After my son was born I was just as concerned and stayed away from taking most medications.  It wasn’t until I came down with the flu that I was forced to consider taking medication while breastfeeding.  Here is some valuable information about taking medication if you are breastfeeding or just want to learn more about how to become a lactation consultant.

1.    Take only necessary medications when necessary.  At some point you may catch a cold.  Before you reach for the over-the-counter cold medicine, determine its necessity. Antihistamines are only minimally effective at relieving cold symptoms.

2.  Try non-drug therapies.  Instead of using analgesics, try relaxation techniques, massage or warm baths.  Cough, cold and allergy products can be substituted with saline nose drops, cool mist, or steam.  The use of anti-asthmatics can be reduced by avoiding known allergens, especially animals.  Instead of laxatives, eat high fiber meals, prunes, lots of fruits and vegetables.  Drink hot liquids with breakfast and water throughout the day.

3.  Choose the lowest recommended dose of medication.  Avoid extra-strength and long-acting preparations.  Also avoid combination ingredient products.

4.  Avoid breastfeeding when the peak drug concentration is greatest in milk.  It is best to breastfeed before you take a dose of medication.  Peak drug concentrations occur about one to three hours after an oral dose.  This is easier to do if you are taking drugs with short half-lives.

5.  Administer the drug before your infant’s longest sleep period.  If your baby sleeps longest in the evening, take your medication before you put baby to sleep.  This is especially useful when taking long-acting drugs.

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