Don't give up on breastfeeding just because you need to take medicine – instead find out whether it is safe to keep breastfeeding. Never stop any medicine suddenly, check first with your doctor or pharmacist as stopping some medicines suddenly can be dangerous and make you unwell.
This article is intended as a general guide only. Get advice from your pharmacist, midwife or doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Most medicines are safe to take while you are breastfeeding because they don't pass into your breast milk. Even if the medicine does enter your milk, it is usually in such a small amount that it won't affect your baby.
However, occasionally medicines are not good to take while breastfeeding. This can be because they have a risk of side effects for your baby, or because they might decrease your milk production.
Before your doctor prescribes a medicine for you, make sure they know you are breastfeeding, and ask them to check and discuss with you any information about continuing to breastfeed while taking this medication.
Breastfeeding mothers rarely have to stop breastfeeding due to taking medicine. However, it is important you get advice from your doctor or pharmacist. They will help you to weigh up the risks and benefits of taking the medicine with any risks for your baby.
You should take special care if your baby was premature, is sick or is taking medicine themselves.