Pregnancy does a lot of different things to a mother’s body. It increases your weight, cravings, appetite, mood swings, and discomfort. You think this will only last for the duration of your pregnancy, right? Wrong! Your body may gradually go back to normal after childbirth, but you should now be focused on another responsibility that may affect your body – breastfeeding. We know how important breast milk is in the health and development of our baby, so we do everything to give them our liquid gold of nutrition. But what if you are not feeling well, or you have to undergo an operation? Can you take ibuprofen while breastfeeding after surgery? Let us discover what are the common dos and don’ts during breastfeeding and answer the question, can you take ibuprofen while breastfeeding?
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
The moment you become pregnant, there are things that you are not allowed to do for the sake of caring for the health and well-being of your offspring. Even after you gave birth, there are still limitations that you need to take note of if you are an advocate of breastfeeding and you want to provide the best nutrition for your child. But there are times when you feel aches and pains, and you would want to take medications to feel better faster. The question is, is it safe for the baby? Can you take ibuprofen while breastfeeding?
Can You Take Ibuprofen While Breastfeeding?
Childbirth in itself is painful, no doubt about that. So, it is a fact that after giving birth, the first few days will be uncomfortable for the mother. Uterine cramps, back pain, headaches, or surgical wounds (for those who delivered via caesarean birth or had episiotomy), these are just some of the discomfort and pain that a mother has to go through. Pain medications may be a common way to alleviate these concerns, but what if you are breastfeeding? Can pain medications that are safe to use before pregnancy be taken while breastfeeding? Well, the answer depends on what your pain medication of choice is. Is it acetaminophen, naproxen sodium, ibuprofen, aspirin? Let us focus on one for the meantime: can you take ibuprofen while breastfeeding?
The answer is yes, you can safely take ibuprofen while breastfeeding. Actually, you can also take this drug while pregnant. Commonly sold with brand names Motrin and Advil, ibuprofen as an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) is usually taken to reduce fever, swelling, and simple body aches. It is so safe that you can buy it over-the-counter without a prescription.
In pregnancy, ibuprofen is often given to alleviate back pain, headaches, and sometimes fever. Upon giving birth and starting to breastfeed, ibuprofen is the most prescribed pain reliever when the mother complains of breast engorgement, plugged milk ducts, breast tissue swelling (mastitis), or painful nipples. Especially to first-time mothers who are not used to the soreness and discomfort brought about by breastfeeding, these situations impede the capability of the mother to fully perform natural feeding, so ways to alleviate these conditions are essentially important.
Is There A Correct Dosage Of Ibuprofen For Breastfeeding Mothers?
Since ibuprofen is a safe drug for anyone to use (even kids with fever or painful teething can take them), its usual dosage is the same as what any regular adult can take. However, it is still upon the discretion and assessment of your doctor on how he will likely prescribe it, depending on your symptoms and reasons for taking the drug. For instance, mothers who have gastric ulcers or asthma should not be taking ibuprofen because this drug may make existing conditions worse.
Are There Any Side Effects That Breastfeeding Mothers Should Take Note Of?
Taking ibuprofen is safe even if the drug gets mixed with the breast milk. There are no reported instances where breastfeeding mothers developed notable adverse effects while taking the drug. However, it is imperative that you consult your doctor if you feel any discomfort while taking this drug. The assessment may or may not be associated with taking ibuprofen, but we should always stay on the safe side of things, especially now that our baby’s welfare is also affected. If your baby, on the other hand, develops problems like diarrhea or vomiting, even if it is not associated with ibuprofen, stop taking the drug and notify your doctor and pedia right away.
What Other Ways Can Breastfeeding Mothers Do To Alleviate Pain And Discomfort?
Although taking pain medication is the easiest way out of an ache, there are still some effective pain-relieving ways you can do to feel better.
- Drink Plenty And Eat Healthily
Hydrating and eating healthy foods can steer you away from having headaches, one of the discomforts mothers complain about. Because the mother’s focus is directed only at the baby and his needs, she sometimes neglects her own body’s needs. As much as possible, keep a bottle of water near your seat to always remind you to drink water. Take small but frequent healthy snacks to nourish your body as well.
- Get Some Sleep
Let’s be honest; no mother can have a decent sleep, especially if they are breastfeeding. Lack of sleep can really affect the mother’s health and mood, so making sure that you steal a few minutes to an hour of nap time while the baby is also sleeping is actually good for your body (and emotions!)
- Stay Active
Keeping fit is very difficult especially when taking care of your newborn dominates your whole day. But as they say, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Take a walk while carrying your baby on a carrier or stroller. Dance your baby to sleep. Take a sprint in the evening while the baby is sleeping just to sweat it out a bit. This activity can stimulate your happy hormones and keep you away from any body discomfort.
- Use Ice
If you are just too tired but you need to relive a headache, put a cold compress on your neck and feel an instant relief. Sit comfortably, put an ice pack on your neck or back, and relax while nursing your baby to reduce any inflammation that may cause your body ache or migraine.