Medications and Breastfeeding

Medications and Breastfeeding

People often instinctively avoid medications – both prescription and over-the-counter—when pregnant or breastfeeding. 

The good news is that that most medications are safe for breastfeeding.  The really good news is that you can easily look up medications and even environmental substances to see what’s known and what’s safe.  (links below)

The best news of all is that there are dedicated researchers who continue to study the amazing attributes of breastmilk (the human variety in particular) and how some substances get through the mom’s body into the milk and how they affect babies.  Dr. Thomas Hale of Texas Tech University is a champion in this field with his Infant Risk Center.  You can even help, especially if you or a friend needs a medication that’s on the list of drugs under study and can provide breastmilk samples. 

The bad news is that if you ask a medical provider, you may get poor advice!  Many doctors, particularly in specialties that don’t see breastfeeding often (like urgent care, emergency and surgery) will advise mothers to stop breastfeeding either temporarily or permanently.  The medical field is just starting to improve on its education and advocacy for breastmilk, including the risks to babies who aren’t breastfed. 

Here’s where you can go for accurate information when you need it:

www.mothertobaby.org This FREE source is super handy.  You can email them, call, text or IM on any substance exposure, including medications.  The University of Arizona is part of their team! 

https://www.infantrisk.com/apps  Dr. Hale and the Infant Risk Center have up-to-date apps that are really handy.  It summarizes information on medication safety for pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is the one I recommend to professional colleagues – it’s one of the few “paid” apps I keep!

The Arizona Breastfeeding Hotline:  1-800-833-4642     There’s a lactation consultant always available to answer your question, even in the middle of the night.  It’s a FREE call, and the lactation consultant can talk to you about any questions or subjects related to breastfeeding at any stage.

The Babymoon Inn Midwives!  Just give us a call, we’ll be happy to chat about your question.  

Olga Ryan MS-NL, RN

Olga Ryan MS-NL, RN

Director, Babymoon Inn Tucson

Olga has been in Perinatal nursing since 1995 and in birth center nursing since 2006.  She has been studying leadership her whole life and recently joined the Babymoon Inn team as director of the Tucson location.

Breastfeeding Tattoos

Breastfeeding Tattoos

Essential Baby highlights a new trend for celebrating the breastfeeding relationship between mom and child – breastfeeding tattoos!  Author Evelyn Lewin explains:
Psychologist Sharon Draper, author of Stuck in the Mud, says the tattoos can be beneficial, as they can remind mums of the strength they found during breastfeeding.”They can [also] be a form of self-expression to show the world how proud they are of something they believe in,” she says.

Sharon says breastfeeding tattoos also send a positive message to others.

“For other mothers, seeing these mothers embrace breastfeeding in this way can provide a form of support to them, to let them know it’s a positive thing and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.”

To find inspiration and images, visit the entire piece here.  Ms. Lewin also suggests:

If you’re contemplating getting a breastfeeding tattoo, it’s easy to find inspiration on social media. Type in ‘breastfeeding tattoo’ on Facebook or Instagram and you’ll find many beautiful images of these works of art. Pinterest has stunning examples, too – as does a simple  image search.

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