Breastfeeding moms never get free of postpartum issues such as getting sick during their lactating period. In some cases, it’s become important to take medicines such as antibiotics. And quite often they feel like whether it’s okay to take it or not, what if it causes any harm to my child? So, is it safe to breastfeed while on antibiotics?
We’ll make you free of all these concerns at the end of this article.
Do Antibiotics Affect Breastfeeding?
Well, in most cases antibiotics don’t cause any harm to the mother or child. Antibiotics are one of the commonest medicines prescribed to nursing mothers and pass some amount into milk, says the academy of American pediatrics. It further says that if the antibiotics are direct to the premature infant, then it’s safe for the mother to take them during breastfeeding.
Also read: Breastfeeding and covid-19 vaccination
Let’s discuss how antibiotics generally work during your lactating period.
Whatever medicine you will consume will be present in your bloodstream and so in your milk too, but not in the same quantity as blood. And most medications cause no risks to the infants at all.
Mayo Clinic knows that there are several exceptions too, on every medicine you take, hence whatever type of medicine you are taking including antibiotics should be first cleared up with the baby’s pediatrician.
How old your baby is also a big factor in breastfeeding while taking antibiotics. Mayoclinic says premature and newborns are at greater risk of exposure to antibiotics than toddlers and older babies.
If you have to take antibiotics that aren’t safe for your baby, you will have to decide how necessary it is for you according to your sickness.
Or are there any other options? Can you discard the breast milk and then carry on with breastfeeding?
What Antibiotics Can A Breastfeeding Mother Take?
This is generally considered depending on some factors like the baby’s age, weight, and overall physical health after the consultation with the baby’s pediatrician and mother’s doctor.
However, most antibiotics are considered compatible with lactation. For example, penicillins, aminopenicillins, cephalosporins, clavulanic acid, and metronidazole at a lower dose than recommended dose range are considered safe for lactating women.
Fluconazole can be given, though it’s not an antibiotic but can be given to treat fungal infections. However, Fluoroquinolones should not be given primarily, but if so breastfeeding shouldn’t be interrupted because the risks are justified.
If there is any other medicine you need to take, consult the pediatrician.
Is It Safe To Breastfeed While On Antibiotics?
No doubt antibiotics don’t have any severe harm to you or your child. Still, there are other concerns regarding the consumption of antibiotics by breastfeeding moms. Let me tell you how antibiotics work in your body. They simply kill the bad bacteria that are causing the illness and the good bacteria in your body, which keeps you well. Such kinds of antibiotics can create uncomfortable situations for both mother and child.
Antibiotics and breastfeeding side effects:-
Upset stomach and fussiness in infants
In some cases, mothers report that their child has an upset stomach after taking antibiotics. This may be caused due to the depletion of good bacterias in the baby’s gut.
Fortunately, this effect is for the short term and not as harmful. Thus, breastfeeding shouldn’t be interrupted due to some short-term issues, as breastfeeding is food for the baby’s gut.
You can give probiotics to your baby but consult your doctor.
As we know so far, antibiotics that reduce the number of good bacterias in the gut can contribute to developing thrush, a fungal condition caused by a fungal yeast “Candida Albicans”.
Therefore an overgrowth of this fungus growth could lead to very uncomfortable experiences in mother and child. Babies can experience stomach upset, diaper rash, and white coating on the tongue and mouth. And moms can feel pain in nipples and shiny or red nipples.
Usually, antifungals are given in such conditions for both moms and babies. But prevention from the start won’t let you take antifungals. Hene, consume probiotics while taking antibiotics to keep the gut bacteria balanced.
How To Ask Your Doctor About The Safety Of Antibiotics?
Now the question is how to ask a doctor about the safety of the medication. Here are some common questions you can ask simply to the pediatrician.
- Is it safe to breastfeed while on antibiotics?
- Are there any side effects to my baby from taking medicine?
- Should I give probiotics to my child?
If the doctor denies you for not breastfeed while taking some kind of antibiotics, you can simply ask for alternatives:-
- Ask if there are any alternatives for antibiotics that are friendly to breastfeeding?
- Ask if a lower dose of that medicine would work?
- Ask for how long you’ll need to take medicine and for how long it stays in your milk?
Consult some other pediatrician if you are not satisfied with the answers, not all medical practitioners have such kind of knowledge, feel free to consult a well-experienced doctor.
What To Do If Antibiotics Aren’t Safe For Your Baby?
It can happen that some medication won’t fit with breastfeeding and can contradict. But you don’t have to worry much in this case. Your baby needs milk regularly and you can do a simple pump and dump your milk to clear out the antibiotics. You soon will be able to resume breastfeeding once your milk is clear of medicine.
Antibiotics and breastfeeding are a concerning topic for most moms that are dealing with any illness. And the question of taking medicine or not often triggers them. The good news is most of the antibiotics don’t have any severe effects on mom or baby. If some medications are not good for you to take for your baby, alternatives are still there to proceed.
Frequently Asked Questions:-
What antibiotics are not safe while breastfeeding?
Usually, the antibiotics are safe while breastfeeding, and the only potential side effects that could be caused in infants while the mother is taking antibiotics such as penicillins, aminoglycosides, cephalosporins, and macrolides is an upset stomach and thrush( depletion of good bacterias in the gut, eventually causing the fungal infection).
Is augmentin safe while breastfeeding?
Yes, it’s safe to take augmentin while breastfeeding, but make sure you take it just after the feed to disallow the exposure to the child. There are no such reports of adverse effects of the medicine.
How long after taking antibiotic can i breastfeed?
Try not to breastfeed for 1-2 hours after taking antibiotics to minimize the levels of medicine in the milk. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that nursing mothers throw out their milk for 24 hours after taking the drug dose.
What happens if I take antibiotics while breastfeeding?
Usually, the antibiotics produce disbalance in the digestion of the baby resulting in loose motions and diarrhea. Some infants experience conditions like upset stomach and thrush. This happens due to the depletion of good bacterias in the gut.
Can I still breastfeed while taking amoxicillin?
Amoxicillin is an antibiotic used for treating bacterial infections in babies and can be used by nursing mothers. It passes to the child while latching milk and has no harmful effects. It could affect the baby’s intestinal flora and may cause an upset stomach.
Can you take antibiotics for sinus infection while breastfeeding?
Yes, you can get antibiotics for sinus infection while breastfeeding such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are nasal decongestants and used to treat allergies, colds, and sinus. You can get both the ingredients over the counter and are safe taking during breastfeeding.
How long does antibiotic stay in system?
There is a different duration for the stay of antibiotics in the system, but some common antibiotics like amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin can stay in your system for about 24 hours after the last dose of the drug. However, it may take a long time for people with impaired kidney function to discard the drug.
Can mastitis antibiotics affect baby?
Generally, only a small amount of medicine will enter your breast milk and will make your baby poop more frequently and restlessly. This is because the antibiotics will kill the good bacteria in the baby’s gut leading to a disbalance.
How long does amoxicillin stay in your system?
Amoxicillin will be out of your body within 6-8 hours of consumption. People with impaired kidney functions might take longer to throw it out. Amoxycillin excretes out in the urine.
How long should I wait to breastfeed after taking metronidazole?
Generally, the use of metronidazole while breastfeeding is not a topic of concern. Topical and vaginal use of metronidazole is safe, though some vaginal products don’t suggest breastfeeding for at least 2 days after the last dose.