Can Moms Take Meds While Breastfeeding?

Aug. 27, 2013

Mom breastfeedingA new report from the influential American Academy of Pediatrics says that breastfeeding moms can take most medications without risking their baby’s health, including certain anti-depressants and pain relievers. Published in the journal Pediatrics, the report is the first to address the issue in more than a decade.

"There are very few drugs that are contraindicated while breastfeeding," Ruth Lawrence, M.D.,  professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology told the Wall Street Journal. She added that about 80 percent of new mothers leave the hospital breastfeeding their babies, but after three months, only about 30 percent are still nursing. Worry about the potential harm to the baby from medications is one reason for the drop-off.

Lawrence, a renowned global expert on breastfeeding medicine who has spent her career researching and advising women and physicians on the topic, is thrilled with the new report. She hopes it solidifies the message that medications should not be an obstacle to breastfeeding, which provides extremely important health benefits to mom and baby.

Read the Wall Street Journal story here. Lawrence also spoke to the Huffington Post (story here) and MedPage Today (story here).