Home > Babies and Toddlers > Babies > Feeding Your Baby > Breastfeeding > New Guidelines on Medication Safety for Breastfeeding Mothers
|

New Guidelines on Medication Safety for Breastfeeding Mothers

Do you have concerns about breastfeeding while on certain medications? Good news: In the September 2013 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) shares its revised guidelines on the transfer of drugs into breast milk, largely loosening the "rules" on medication safety for nursing mothers. The AAP says: "Many mothers are inappropriately advised to discontinue breastfeeding or avoid taking any essential medications because of fears of adverse effects on their infants. This cautious approach may be unnecessary in many cases, because only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated in breastfeeding mothers or associated with adverse effects on their infants."

To summarize more of the AAP's latest advice:

  • In most cases, the benefits of breastfeeding a baby outweigh the typically minimal risks of taking most medications, but women should still consult their physician to weigh the risks and benefits before taking any over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
  • Physicians and nursing moms should refer to a searchable database called LactMed for the most current and comprehensive information available on the safety of specific drugs. For example, a search for "Advil" will show the most recent studies and information on the drug amounts passed through breast milk, any known effects on breastfed infants' health and development (including short-term side effects), and any alternative drugs a mom should consider. Note: The LactMed database is filled with medical jargon and statistics, so you should review the information with your physician before taking any medications.
  • Even if a medication is deemed safe, nursing mothers will often be advised to take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time to limit the baby's exposure to any drugs passed through breast milk.

The FDA is currently working on comprehensive new drug labeling for nursing mothers. Previously, most drug labels advised that women either discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue using the medication. Under the new labeling rules, a section called "Lactation" will summarize the risks and considerations specific to breastfeeding.



More on: Breastfeeding

|


highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks