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Medications and Herbal Products for Breastfeeding Moms

August 8, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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mom nuzzling her baby

 

 

What happens if you need to take medicine while you're breastfeeding? What about herbal products?  

As a general rule, don't take anything unless you know it's safe for your baby.


Some medications - including common pain relievers such as Tylenol 3, which contains codeine - may not be safe for breastfeeding mothers. Codeine can put the baby at risk of side effects such as lethargy, slowed metabolism or even death.

If you need pain medication, talk with your healthcare provider about taking something that doesn’t have codeine.

For more information about medication safety during breastfeeding, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. You can also contact Motherisk online.

Herbal Products

Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Many are not safe during breastfeeding. These include black cohosh, ma huang and aloe.

If you’re wondering about a particular product, ask the pharmacist about its safety. You can also check the label for an NPN or DIN number. Then go to Health Canada’s natural health product website


Resources & Links:

Motherisk: Breastfeeding and Drugs

Motherisk Helpline (toll-free): 1-877-439-2744 

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  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
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    2. Babies (0-12 months)
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