Antibiotics: Is it Safe for Breastfeeding?

When breastfeeding, any kind of medication you take must be taken into full consideration. Some drugs aren’t compatible with lactation and affect the milk’s composition and production. Also, some medications such as antibiotics are harmful and could affect your newborn’s health and development. The bad news about antibiotics is it penetrates through the blood and breast milk, thus resulting in finding its way through your baby’s body. As a result, you might have to fight those illnesses such as bowel disorders, indigestion, and poisoning.

That is why many moms don’t prefer taking antibiotics because there are a lot of negative factors accompanied by it. Some parents also fear it for the sole purpose of harming their child, I mean who would want to harm their child? No one. That is why it is best to take meds when prescribed by a licensed physician. While according to studies, most of the antibiotics are good when lactating. There are certain considerations to make.

Antibiotics’ safety

Most pregnant women out there always asks, “Can I take antibiotics while breastfeeding?” Always keep in mind that when a woman is pregnant, every medicine intake must be advised by her doctor. The same is true when she is breastfeeding. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about what medications are safe to take while breastfeeding. 

What should a mother know about taking antibiotics while nursing?

One of the most common cases of taking antibiotics and affecting your baby is their poop. Antibiotics while breastfeeding upset your baby’s stomach. Whenever your baby’s poop is unusual and has a greenish color, this only means that the antibiotic you are taking is affecting your newborn. It must be stopped or you must ask your pediatrician whether to stop or continue your medication. Some pharmacies sell baby green poop antibiotics to help your baby.

Will the medication/antibiotics are passed on to your baby?

There are a lot of factors to determine whether the antibiotics you take are passed on.

1. First is, Age.

Whenever a baby is still 2 months old below, chances are it will be passed on. It is the complicated stage wherein babies are susceptible to the effects of the antibiotics. The reason behind this is because their livers and kidneys are still in the process of developing and aren’t mature enough to flush out those materials inside the antibiotics. By the age of 6 months and up, this adversity reduces as they have organs that are mature enough to flush out.

2. Second is the chemical properties of that antibiotic.

It comes down to chemical factors. With molecular weight, half-life and the binding of proteins that can determine the ability of the drug to persist through breast milk. Some drugs that have longer half-life or have heavier molecular weight will take time a long time to break down and can affect your milk. As a result, If certain antibiotics have the potential to bind fat/lipid quickly, then it has the potential to transfuse faster from blood to milk.

3. Third is the combination of different antibiotics during medication.

The level of safety of your baby depends on how many antibiotics you take during your medication. Some parents have one or more antibiotics to take. There are some medications that if combined with another type of antibiotics doubles the chances of your baby getting harmed. When other drugs combined with a certain type of drug, it may form compounds that have the potential to harm your baby. It is with the best interest to have your physician check all the medications you take before taking those.

4. Fourth is the acidity and composition of breast milk.

There are a lot of types of antibiotics that tend to dissolve in milk that has greater protein than blood. Some mothers should take extra precautionary measures whenever taking antibiotics, as most of them produce milk with much higher protein levels.

During breastfeeding, certain types of drugs/antibiotics are prohibited during lactating

In most cases, the safe antibiotics for lactating mothers are mostly ineffective whenever to one or another pathogenic organism. Mostly, some doctors prescribe medication that is incompatible with lactation, it only means that you should temporarily stop feeding milk to your child when taking these types of antibiotics. It is because these types of antibiotics are harmful and may have adverse breastfeeding antibiotics side effects on your child’s health. You don’t’ have to feel bad whenever you taking these measures, this will play a vital role not only for your child but for you too. This may also affect your milk supply as these medications may decrease milk supply. Moms have the technique to pump milk whenever taking antibiotics, to avoid losing milk supply for your young one.

These are the forbidden drugs for breastfeeding:

· Aminoglycosides (Amikacin, Kanamycin, Streptomycin, and others). The drugs within this group penetrate the milk of women with low concentrations, thus prohibiting the use of it at has the potential to intoxicate your child’s hearing and kidney.

· Tetracyclines (Doxycycline, Tetracycline) these types of drugs penetrate well through breast milk. These drugs harm an infant’s body. Because of the formation of complex molecular compounds with calcium, it tends to disrupt a baby’s development of their bone tissue and enamel.

· Fluoroquinolones (Ciprofloxacin) This type of drug penetrates through a mother’s milk with large amounts and is capable of causing an infant’s cartilaginous tissues. So avoid with all costs during the breastfeeding period or as advised by a pediatrician.

How can a mother avoid the risks of antibiotics through their babies?

If you have the chance to take certain medications that have alternatives such as ointments or aren’t taken orally. Take them. As it has no chance of passing through the breastmilk. Take medications that are safe for you and your baby. Never hesitate to ask your pediatrician. It is with the best care to have them around or call them whenever you are baffled with your medications. As I’ve said earlier, there are lots of safe antibiotics while breastfeeding. It is also good to take these medications after finishing breastfeeding. As there is leverage of time between the consumption and the next feeding session.

What should you when your baby reacts to your medication? 

If you are a Mom that still nurses their young one, always keep a watchful eye in your baby’s changes. Whether small or big, always a factor and these aren’t normal happenings if taken into account. So, if you noticed any slight changes from your baby, immediately call your doctor. Always remember to never self-medicated even the slightest.  

Final Thoughts 

We hope we have helped you in some ways to the question “Can I take antibiotics while breastfeeding?” If we rely on studies alone, most of the antibiotics that are made today are safe during breastfeeding. But in most cases, there are these certain medications that aren’t for lactating moms. So, it is best to follow all the rules and regulations as to taking these drugs combined with breastfeeding. Always remember that the welfare and well-being of our child is our topmost concern. Never hesitate to ask your doctor if anything changes to the health of your baby and yourself too. 

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