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How can food and medications affect my breast milk?

Richard W. Ott, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Almost anything you eat or any medicine you take will get to the baby through the breast milk. The question is, Is it harmful to the baby or not? Typically with spicy foods, there might be a little more spice in the breast milk. That may upset the baby's stomach. You have to think that anything that goes into your body will probably get to the baby through breast milk. That's a general rule.

Medicines that are over-the-counter are typically very safe, especially if they have a pediatric formulation. Anything that you can see that can be given to kids you can probably take while you're breast-feeding. You should always ask a doctor just to make sure. Most obstetrician/gynecologists almost never prescribe things in the postpartum period that will be harmful to a baby in breast milk. So you can usually trust doctors that prescribe you things knowing that you're breast-feeding. Make sure you tell a doctor that you are breast-feeding when they're writing a prescription for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.