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How long does medication stay in your breast milk?

  1. #1
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    How long does medication stay in your breast milk?

    Hi. I'm really sick. I've handed my baby over to my helper in the hope that he won't catch it and I have put him on formula while I take medication to get over this cold - all of which says not to take while breastfeeding so I am expressing and dumping.

    When is it safe to start breastfeeding again from the time I stop taking medication? I have tried to research it but not getting much. I would have thought that 12 hours would be safe? Does anyone know?

  2. #2
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    Depends on the medication I would think, if it's decongestant type meds for a cold I think the warning against taking it while bf is that it can affect milk supply rather than that it can be passed on to the baby - if it's not affecting your supply it should be fine. Check that though, it's just what I heard.

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    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    Hi Liquorice, not sure about the medication (depends on the type I guess - you would need to check with your doctor) but from what I understand it is good to continue b/f when there are bugs going around because the antibodies in your system get passed to the baby through your milk, thus decreasing the likelihood of the baby also getting sick. Even if you are not in direct contact, if you are in the same household contamination is almost inevitable. So unless it's essential meds prescribed by the doc and you are advised not to feed because it could be harmful to the baby, my suggestion would be to carry on with the b/f (or pumping) to help bub avoid getting ill also. Also regarding decongestants, I have also heard they can dry up your milk supply.

  4. #4
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
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    Really? I feel bad about not feeding him now. I was taking Nightnurse, which is brilliant for helping you get a good night's sleep when you are ill. It contains paracetamol, dextromethorphan (cough suppressant) and promathezine (a sedating anti-histamine). Also taking cold and flu remedies during the day. I think the cold and flu medicine might be alright to take - says only not to take while breastfeeding, but the Nightnurse says the effects on babies not known. My prime reason for not nursing was to stop him getting ill, so I'll stop the Nightnurse so I can continue to feed.

    Just saw that the promathezine is also a nasal decongestant. But actually all of my medication includes decongestant. Guess I should just take paracetamol on its own and suffer the rest of the symptoms?

  5. #5
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    i was sick when i had my first - fever etc...i just took paracetemol and continued to nurse right through it. like ozmerc said, i was encouraged to continue nursing while sick - it benefits the baby too.

  6. #6
    taysty is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by southside852 View Post
    i was sick when i had my first - fever etc...i just took paracetemol and continued to nurse right through it. like ozmerc said, i was encouraged to continue nursing while sick - it benefits the baby too.
    Same here. I also feed my baby while on panadol. Nurse at mother health centre also said it is okay.

  7. #7
    ozmerc is offline Registered User
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    Maybe carry on with the paracetemol and find an alternative to the decongestants. I know being stuffed up is totally miserable (I just spent the whole winter with one cold after another). I always use over-the-counter Otrivin nose spray as a short term solution (doc said no more than 4-5 days though or your nose can 'rebound'). For me, that makes the world of difference. I'm sure it's OK for you to use while b/f because it can also be prescribed to babies with stuffed up noses (but in a lower strength) and also my OB said it is fine to use while pregnant. So if you are really suffering give that a go - for me the knock-on effects from temporarily getting rid of a stuffy nose means reducing the accompanying headache and sinus pain as well.

  8. #8
    lrpolo is offline Registered User
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    Steam inhalation also helps with congestion, either from basin, or warm bath or shower etc. I think you can also buy menthol smelling type oils that are also good and decongesting just by breathing in their fumes. Also wear mask when you're around baby?

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