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Consuming antibiotics while breastfeeding – Things you need to know
27 Jan' 21

Consuming antibiotics while breastfeeding – Things you need to know

 
There are various things that a mother needs to follow while pregnant and these things increase after the baby are born.

The best source of nutrition for the baby is the mother’s milk when the baby is born. Everything that the mother eats reaches the baby via breast milk. This makes it very important for the mother to have a balanced diet and has a mix of essential nutrition.

If you’ve been prescribed an antibiotic medication while breastfeeding, you may be concerned about its safety. Common questions like will the medication pass into your breast milk? Is it safe for your baby?

Is it safe to take antibiotics while breastfeeding?

Most of the antibiotics are considered to be safe for consumption by the mother even while breastfeeding and do not have any adverse impact on the baby’s health.

It is important to keep in mind how medications generally work when you’re breastfeeding.

The Mayo Clinic explains that the majority of drugs that become present in your bloodstream will also be present in your breast milk. However, the amount in your milk is usually lower than the amount in your blood, and most medications pose no real risk to most infants and new-borns.

However, the Mayo Clinic also notes that there are some exceptions, every medication you take — including antibiotics — should be cleared with your baby’s paediatrician before you take them.

Are there any harmful effects of antibiotics?

While it is considered safe to take antibiotics when prescribed by the doctor, it is important to avoid too much use of it and only the dosage prescribed should be taken.

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria in your body — both the bacteria that are causing you harm and the “good” bacteria that keep you healthy. As such, antibiotics can cause certain uncomfortable situations for both moms and babies.

Here are some of the problems an infant can go through if the non-prescribed antibiotic is taken:

Stomach upset: Sometimes moms report that their babies have an upset stomach after they take antibiotics. This may be because antibiotics may deplete the “good” bacteria in your baby’s gut. Keep in mind that this effect is usually short lived, not harmful. Also, keep in mind that breast milk is great for your baby’s gut health, so it’s important to continue breastfeeding.
 
Change in temperament: Taking antibiotics may cause the baby to feel a little unsettled and uncomfortable. Colic-like symptoms might appear.

May cause sepsis: Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. This is caused when a pathogen causes the immune system to overreact
and damaging healthy tissues of the body. Intake of antibiotics can cause the weak immune system of the baby to react aggressively and may result in sepsis.
 
The first few months after birth of your baby is very crucial as the essential organs are still developing, and the immune system is not very strong to protect them. It is thereby very important to be extremely cautious before consuming anything, especially antibiotics. Also, if you’re prescribed an antibiotic that’s contraindicated for breastfeeding, you usually have alternatives.

Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself, seek out good, evidence-based information, educate yourself about breastfeeding and medicine usage, and seek second opinions when necessary.

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