Breastfeeding an infant or a baby is a very vital intervention in order to provide the needed nutrients and substances for the baby. Babies are considered mother-dependent individuals. These infants have immune defenses that are still weak and immature that they rely on the nutrients that mothers give through breastfeeding. When a woman gives birth to a child, the body also starts to produce milk in the mother’s mammary glands. This milk contains high amounts of nutrients and antibodies that could help strengthen the immune of the baby. However, the nutrition of the mother can also greatly affect the quality of breast milk. In addition to this, some drugs and medications that mothers use can also go to the milk and eventually be passed to the infant. Because of this, many women are now concerned about the appropriate things to take while nursing the babies. This makes a lot of mothers ask the question; can I take Tylenol while breastfeeding?
What is Tylenol?
Tylenol is a type of analgesic and antipyretic drug that is used in relieving pain as well as reducing the body temperature. This drug is also used as a way to remove symptoms of allergies, colds, cough and as well as the flu. Tylenol is the North American brand name for acetaminophen. So is it harmful to use Tylenol while breastfeeding an infant?
Although Tylenol can be excreted out of the mother’s body through breast milk, this can still cause no harm to the infants. This is due to the fact that only small amounts of Tylenol are able to enter the milk production of the mother. Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics has already approved the use of Tylenol by nursing or lactating women. Although it is advisable by doctors that the amount of medication taken or used by mothers while lactating or nursing a baby must be limited, the use of acetaminophen or Tylenol is not easy to eliminate. In fact, in some of the recent surveys, Tylenol is considered as the most used medicine by women during their child-bearing years.
Experts about this matter have also supported the safety of taking Tylenol while breastfeeding. Tylenol is rated as 1 out of 5 as its risk for any health problems for the baby and 1 is considered as the lowest rating. This only proves that taking acetaminophen, specifically Tylenol, is indeed safe for both the mothers and the babies. Aside from this, drugs and medications will also depend on the size of the molecules or the molecular weight in order for it to pass through the barrier. Some drugs contain large molecules that prevent them from affecting the milk of the mothers. In the case of Tylenol, only one-fourth of the 1% of the dose is able to pass through, which is quite an insensible amount to cause a reaction to the baby. Aside from this, Tylenol is also being given to infants since it is safe to use and is not harmful to the baby’s body.
How can Tylenol be taken safely without causing any great reactions to the infant?
Even though Tylenol is considered safe for the baby, it is still important that proper and careful precaution is practiced while taking this drug in order to prevent any untoward reaction in the baby’s health. In case it is desired to use Tylenol, it is still important that the mother will also consult their pediatricians or physicians in taking this drug. Doing this before starting any breastfeeding session with the infant can actually help reduce the risk of health complications and problems. Discussing with the doctor about the right dose and frequency of using this drug is important in order to prevent overdosing as well as the other possible health problems that might arise.
As soon as the doctor has already assigned an appropriate dose and frequency, mothers must always follow these orders religiously to prevent complications. Reading the label thrice can also avoid wrong medication. This way, the risk of doing a medication error will be significantly reduced. Nevertheless, if there are any side effects or discomforts noticed from taking the medication, then it is ideal that immediate checkup in the doctor’s clinic must be done.
These are just some of the facts pertaining to the safety of taking Tylenol or acetaminophen while doing breastfeeding activities. Tylenol may not be harmful to the baby’s health, but this must still be taken properly with the recommended orders of the doctor in order to prevent any possible complications in the health of both the mother and the infant.
Click here for information on “How Substance Abuse Affects Breastfeeding“.