All throughout pregnancy, we have to check and double-check what goes into our bodies and balance our needs with the needs of our babies. It doesn’t stop once they’re born!
Breastfeeding moms still have to check their meds for safety issues. Sometimes even health care providers aren’t exactly sure what is or what isn’t safe, and will just err on the side of “pump and dump for 24 hours.” We’re all for being safe—no mom would argue against caution—but it’s not helping anyone to make assumptions instead of looking into the facts!
Luckily, there are several great lactation medication apps. The Infant Risk Center out of Texas Tech University has MommyMeds, which is $3.99, and the NIH has LactMed, which is a part of the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network and free. In both apps, you can search by brand name or generic, and it’ll give you both a pregnancy and lactation risk, what the specific side effects are likely to be in certain situations (such as high doses)
MommyMeds offers a few more features– an overall rating of whether the benefits outweigh the risk, and a color-coded chart of whether it’s safe in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd trimesters of pregnancy and the 0-6, 6-12, or 12+ months. It also allows you to scan a medication’s barcode, see hot topics, and search by condition.
I used a lactation medication app during both my breastfeeding journeys, and the it was a huge relief to be able to quickly access trustworthy information, especially the detailed sections that clarified whether a medication was blacklisted for nursing in general, or just in the first weeks. Being able to take care of your own conditions or illnesses instead of just suffering through them for the time that you’re breastfeeding makes for a greater quality of life, a happier mom, and a happier baby too.
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