All a mother wants is the best for her baby. She wants her little one to be happy and in good health. During those initial months, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for the baby. While nursing, you need to eat healthy and stay well hydrated in order to improve the quality of nutrients in breast milk and to help your body in postpartum recovery.
So what happens if you fall sick while breastfeeding? Or if you just need to take a certain pill that will make it all better? Take the pills you usually take right? WRONG! Self-medication has a number of potential health risks such as incorrect diagnosis, adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, incorrect dosage, incorrect choice of therapy and risk of abuse. When you do this during the lactation period, it can be very harmful to the health and alter the process of growth of the baby.
This happens because the mother can transmit the contents of the medicine to their children through breast milk. It is said that under no circumstances should a new mother self-medicate because she might expose her children to toxicity of the drugs through breast milk, which could then negatively affect the nervous system, alter bone growth, cause severe anemia, diarrhea, stomach pains, excessive sleep, irritability, tooth discoloration and even change the taste of milk and lead to breast milk rejection in infants.
According to studies, self-medication is practiced by 50% of nursing moms. The most used ones are analgesics, laxatives, nasal decongestants and antibiotics. Recently, drugs have been introduced which are safe and compatible to the mother as administered by applying them to the skin and does not absorb or pass into the breast milk and, if they do so, it is in small quantities.
Some scientists have also noted that the effects of using drugs while breastfeeding also affects the mother, reducing the milk production, which thereby harms the baby. A question may arise if herbal medicines are safe? Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Since no controlled studies have been performed on this, we cannot make any conclusions.
So the best option for you is to avoid self-medication in any form and to stick to consulting your doctor about what you need to do. This would be the best choice for both you AND your little one. If there are any changes in the behavior of the baby from the prescribed medicine then it must be alerted to the concerned doctor immediately to suspend or change the medication. This is the only way to protect your baby and it’s health, helping to strengthen their defenses because their growth and development are appropriate.
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