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Can I take medication while breastfeeding?

Many medications are totally fine to take during lactation. Many meds won’t affect milk production and they won’t harm your baby!

Medications, prescription and over the counter, are processed through several steps which determine how much makes it into your milk and determines if it will affect your baby or the milk production process.

Let’s take a look at this process!

As you can see oral medications need to be digested, metabolized through the liver, processed through the target organs, before they can make it into the mammary tissue of the breast and into the milk.

If they make it that far the remaining molecules still have to be small enough and attracted to water, fat, or both to make it into the milk.

If it makes it into the milk it still needs to be digested and processed through baby’s liver before it will possibly affect baby!

Most medications are diluted to 0.5-10% of the parent’s dose before they even make it to baby! That’s very small!

There’s a lot that goes into determining if a medication is safe for you and baby during lactation. You can discuss the medications, supplements, and herbal remedies you are considering with your IBCLC who will provide you with resources to talk with your doctor.

Often there are alternatives if the medication you want to take is not compatible.

Since it’s cold and flu season you can check here for information about common medications you may be thinking of taking if you get symptoms.
The flu vaccine is safe to take while breastfeeding and gives your baby extra protection!

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