Breastfeeding women can take most prescription drugs without harming their babies, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Many stop taking necessary drugs or discontinue nursing because of concerns about potential harmful effects. Some drugs can be a problem, notably certain narcotic pain medications and antidepressants, but most don’t get into breast milk in clinically significant amounts. The report also urged caution about herbal supplements because of the lack of safety data.
Nursing mothers should discuss their medication with their health care providers. They can also consult the government’s LactMed database (or download the LactMed app), which includes herbs as well as drugs. Overall, “the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh the risk of exposure to most therapeutic agents via human milk,” the report concluded.