Mar 8, 2011
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OTC Drugs for Sick Breastfeeding Mothers – Important Dos & Don’ts



When a breastfeeding mother falls ill, she & her infant would in most occasions be benefiting from continually nursing. There are hardly any sicknesses which necessitate a mom in halting breastfeeding. As majority of the sicknesses arise from viral organisms which are most communicable prior to one realizing that one is ill, your little one would have had exposure prior to you even becoming symptomatic (like puking, nasal dribbling, coughing, fevers, diarrhoea, rashes among others). Continue to nurse which would assist you in protecting your little one from the infection since maternal body manufactures antibodies to a particular infection-causing micro-organism & the mother would be passing these onto the infant via milk. Mostly, a nursed infant would be the sole one in the kin not falling ill. Even when the infant does fall ill, he/ she would generally be having rather mild-ranging case as compared to the other older kin members.

Sicknesses are mostly communicated via skin-on-skin contact & secretion from the oral & nasal regions. Ensure washing hands frequently & too close facial contact with the infant (& do not sneeze direct on the infant).

When a nursing mother weans suddenly, particularly when she’s ill it could be placing her at risk of developing engorged breasts & mastitis while suffering emotionally due to the sudden stoppage from breastfeeding for mother & infant.

Breastfeeding mothers must ensure staying amply hydrated while ill to evade dehydration. Mostly a mother’s milk flow would lessen while & soon following her sickness, however reinstated once the mother senses betterment.

Here is some info regarding OTC drugs & nursing – though bear in mind that medicine makers mostly alter their active constituents, always reading the labelling meticulously &/or consulting your doctor prior to taking any medicines while breastfeeding.

  • Analgesic medicines – evade extra strength formulations – the following could however be safely taken.
    • Tylenol
    • Aleve
    • Tempra
    • Anacin-3 (low strength)

Ibuprofen, Motrin are deemed fine when the dosage is four hundred milligrams or lesser.

  • Antacid & any digestion aid that is generally fine to use are:
    • Mylanta regular/ extra strength.
    • Phazyme
    • Lact-Aid
    • Tums or E-X version
    • Phazyme
    • Lactobacillus acidophilus
    • Gaviscon
    • Mylicon
    • Pepto Bismol (duo Strengths)
    • DiGel
    • Rolaids
    • Alka Seltzer
  • Medicines for treating diarrhea – any preparation that contains loperamide & attapulgite are generally not detrimental.
  • Artificial sweetener – Evade those brands containing saccharin as not much is known. Brands containing aspartame are alright except when the infant is having a rather atypical metabolic condition that all infants must be scanned for soon following their delivery- ensure from the physician in case one is unsure.
  • For colds, coughs & allergy preparation though try using solo constituents, short-acting types of the medicine.
  • For throat soreness evade any spray or lozenge that have hexylresorcinol/ phenol and instead choosing ones containing mentholated &/ or benzocaine presences. One could use a lozenge containing dyclonine instead of hexylresorcinol.
  • To tackle congested sinuses or allergy products like:
    • Triaminic
    • Sudafed
    • Benadryl
    • Gualifed
    • Dimetapp
    • Drixoral
    • Vicks
    • Sinutab
  • In case one is keen on using nose sprays for relieving congested sinuses then looking for a preparation having NaCl/ phenylephrine instead of ones having phenylephrine, naphazoline, oxymetazoline.
  • Also evade long-acting types & several constituents & being watchful for sleepiness in the infant or lowered milk flow. Drinking additional fluids since medicines could be drying out secretion in other regions of the body might also lower milk flow.
  • To treat coughing evade any product having alcoholic presence of more than twenty percent, though being watchful for drowsy appearance of the baby. Also evade multi-acting formulations.
  • For treating constipated feeling deploy OTC drugs formulas having:
    • Methylcellulose
    • Pysillium
    • Magnesium hydroxide
    • Docusate

Though steer clear from any product that contains:

  • Castor/ Mineral oil
  • Bisacodyl
  • Phenolphthalein

They could be causal to indigestion in the infant.

  • Majority of the sleep formulas are alright to take though evade ones containing doxylamine & being watchful for excess sleepy behaviour in your infant.
  • When one feels nauseous & pukes, do not take any product having cyclizine/ meclizine.
  • Majority of weight-controlling product types have excess caffeine & phenylpropanolamine.
  • Majority of the haemorrhoids treating preps in gels or pad forms could be safely used when nursing.
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