Is It Safe? 10 Answers For Breastfeeding Moms’ Common Health Questions (Part 2)

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By choosing to breastfeed our babies, not only are we aiming to give them the best for their health but we’re also committing ourselves to become a host for nutrition–just as we were during pregnancy. Although not as direct anymore, there are several things that could worry any first-time breastfeeding mother because of the fact that some of the things that you ingest can reach and affect your milk and, therefore, your baby.

Here are several common health issues that may help ease your mind while you breastfeed your baby:

(Read the first part of this article HERE.)

While breastfeeding, is it safe..

5.   To take painkillers

During the first few days after delivery, it’s usually considered safe to take all common painkillers because the breastfeeding mother produces little milk. After the milk has come in at 2-5 days, many painkillers continue to be safe, as long as they’re taken as directed by the physician. Narcotics such as codeine can be taken, as they are destroyed by your baby’s stomach acid and are not properly absorbed by your baby’s immature gut. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are also safe, as long as they’re not taken in high doses. To be sure, you can ask your doctor about the safe dosage.

6. To take allergy medicine

Yes. There are allergy medications available for nursing moms. Be warned though that over-the-counter allergy medications are usually combined with other drugs in one liquid or pill.

For the record, antihistamines are generally considered safe. However, note that the more well-known products like Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton can make your baby feel sleepy (just like they can in you) while Claritin and Allegra are less likely to. Just as it is for cold medication, it’s best to stick to products that target singular symptoms, with your doctor’s go signal.

7.   To get a flu shot or other vaccines

Yes. In fact, it’s even recommended. Children below the age of 2 are considered high risk for complications from the flu. By getting the shot, you allow inactive virus cells to stimulate the production of flu antibodies. And with antibodies, you don’t transfer the flu to your baby when you end up getting it. In the end, you’d actually be protecting your baby.

8.   To get allergy shots

Yes, it’s safe for a breastfeeding mom to get allergy shots. It’s not likely for the baby’s immune cells to be exposed to the allergen, because the allergens will be injected into your skin or sprayed on the lining of your nose rather than into your bloodstream. Again, for anything to get into your milk, it has to reach you bloodstream.

9.   To drink coffee

Yes, in significant amounts. There have been studies that prove that some babies react more to caffeine than others. Sometimes, it even has something to do with the breastfeeding mom’s body, and how fast she absorbs the caffeine. But in general, less than 1% of the amount of caffeine you eat and drink winds up in your breastmilk. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you drink no more than 3 cups daily, while the La Leche League (LLL) says you can have as much as 5 cups a day. Moreover, most experts suggest that you limit your caffeine intake to 300 milligrams daily.

10. To have a drink with dinner

Yes, if you can wait at least 2-3 hours before nursing your baby. Because the same amount of alcohol that makes it into your bloodstream also makes it into your milk, you’ll need to give your body time to clear up the alcohol. Even after bingeing, the amount of alcohol that could make it to your breastmilk will be small, but could still be bad for your baby with an immature liver. Also keep in mind that your blood alcohol levels (and the level of alcohol in your milk) is at its peak 30 to 90 minutes after your first sip.



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