When you’re pregnant and then breastfeeding, you’re extra cautious about everything you put into your body. From food to drink to medicine, many women are afraid about how what they’re consuming can affect their baby’s health.
Medications can be especially concerning because while they may make us feel better, they may harm our babies. That’s why it’s important to know what medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding.
Some women may turn to pain relievers like Midol, but can you take Midol while breastfeeding? We’re going to dig into this question and look at whether it’s safe and what medications you may want to avoid.
In this article
- What does Midol do?
- Is it safe to take Midol while breastfeeding?
- Are There Side Effects To Taking Midol While Breastfeeding?
- Are There Are Other Pain Relievers I Can Take?
- Are There Medicines I Should Avoid While Breastfeeding?
- What Else Should I Consider When Taking Midol and Other Over-the-counter Medications?
- The Bottom Line on Taking Midol While Breastfeeding
What does Midol do?
Midol is used to treat cramps, bloating, fatigue, headache, and backaches. Many women use it when they have their period or when these types of symptoms pop up.
Midol contains acetaminophen, which is a pain reliever, as well as caffeine, and pyrilamine maleate (an antihistamine) to fight fatigue and bloating.
It can provide up to six hours of relief. The recommended dose is two caplets every six hours while not exceeding six caplets daily.
Is it safe to take Midol while breastfeeding?
The main concern many mothers have while taking Midol or other medications while breastfeeding is whether it will pass through to their baby’s milk.
When you take any type of medication, it begins to break down as soon as you swallow it. As it does this, the drug makes its way into your bloodstream. This is when a small percentage of the medicine can pass to your breast milk.
Studies show that since the amount passed is very low, many over-the-counter pain medications pose very little risk to infants.
Before taking any pain medications while breastfeeding, it’s best to check with your doctor to make sure it’s safe.
Generally, pain medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve, Midol, and Flanax) are safe to use.
But, with Midol and other medications in the naproxen family, it’s recommended that women who are breastfeeding only take it for a short amount of time. Again, check with your doctor to see whether they advise you to take it, in what dose, and what length of time.
Generally, if a drug is considered safe to take during pregnancy, it is safe to take while nursing (although there are some exceptions). Also, if a drug can also be prescribed for infants, it is likely safe to take while nursing.
Are There Side Effects To Taking Midol While Breastfeeding?
If you’re thinking of taking Midol while breastfeeding, you may experience side effects that any woman may have while taking it whether they’re breastfeeding or not. Side effects of Midol include:
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling nervous
- Skin reactions
- Allergic reactions
- Stomach pain
In breastfeeding women, high doses of Midol may lead to hyperactivity and wakefulness in infants. Keep this in mind if you’re thinking about taking Midol while breastfeeding.
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Are There Are Other Pain Relievers I Can Take?
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are generally safe for women when they’re breastfeeding. But, always double-check with your doctor first. It’s recommended to take no more than the maximum dose.
Also, if you have a peptic ulcer, you should not take ibuprofen because it can cause gastric bleeding. Also, if you have asthma you should avoid ibuprofen because it can cause bronchospasms.
It’s also recommended to take as small of a dose as possible to limit side effects. Also, you may want to consider limiting other supplements and herbs to reduce side effects as well.
Are There Medicines I Should Avoid While Breastfeeding?
Aspirin is one medicine that women should avoid while breastfeeding. It can cause rashes and bleeding problems in infants who are breastfeeding. Exposure to aspirin can also increase an infant’s risk for Reye’s syndrome.
This is a rare but serious condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the brain and liver.
It’s unclear whether there is enough aspirin that passes to your baby through breast milk for Reye’s syndrome to be a risk. But, to be safe, it’s advised to avoid aspirin altogether while breastfeeding.
Since aspirin can be found in other medications too, you should always read the label to make sure aspirin is not included.
Aspirin can even be found in products like Alka-Seltzer which may come as a surprise to many women. That’s why you always have to read the labels first.
What Else Should I Consider When Taking Midol and Other Over-the-counter Medications?
If you’re thinking about taking Midol and other over-the-counter medications while breastfeeding, the best advice is to talk to your doctor first.
If the one you’re considering may not be completely safe, your doctor can suggest another one. Keep these other tips in mind:
- Read the label for any information about how any over-the-counter medications may affect breastfeeding.
- Only take medicine when you think it’s really needed.
- Take the smallest dose possible.
- Don’t take extra-strength or long-acting formulas.
- Use a single-ingredient versus a multi-ingredient formula.
- If you’re taking an over-the-counter medication like Midol while breastfeeding and your baby has signs of a reaction, diarrhea, or has a change in eating habits, be sure to tell your pediatrician.
The Bottom Line on Taking Midol While Breastfeeding
If you feel the need to take Midol while breastfeeding to relieve bloating, cramps, and other symptoms, always check with your doctor first.
If you get the green light, take the smallest dose possible and watch for any side effects or reactions. At the first sight of any side effects, stop taking the medicine and call your doctor.
Although taking Midol for a short time while breastfeeding is generally safe, you may want to avoid it if you’re nervous about taking any medications at all.
Some women don’t like to put any medications in their bodies, not even Tylenol, while they’re breastfeeding. If you fall into that category, you can consider other therapies like a heating pad.