Imodium While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Questions: Can I Take Imodium While Breastfeeding?

When the mother is sick her baby will almost always benefit from continuing to breastfeed. There are very few illnesses that require a mother to stop nursing. Most illnesses are caused by viruses that are most contagious before you even realize you are sick, your baby has already been exposed before you even develop symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, runny nose, cough, etc. Continuing to breastfeed will help protect your baby from the infection, because your body produces antibodies to the specific bug that is causing the infection, and you pass them on to the baby in your milk. Often, a breastfed baby will be the only member of the family who doesn’t get sick. If he does get sick, he will usually have a much milder case than the older members of the family.

In cases of diarrhea, it can really get in the way of nursing and reduce your milk supply and dehydrate you.  Antidiarrheal preparations containing loperamide, such as Imodium, are usually considered safe.

Loperamide works by slowing the muscular contractions of the intestine and so is called an ‘antimotility’ medicine. Loperamide works by acting on opioid receptors that are found in the muscle lining the walls of the intestines. By acting on these receptors, loperamide reduces the muscular contractions of the intestine (called peristalsis) that move food and fecal matter through the gut. This reduces the speed at which the gut contents are pushed through the intestines, allowing more time for water and electrolytes to be reabsorbed from the gut contents back into the body. This results in firmer stools that are passed less frequently.Loperamide can be bought without a prescription to treat acute (sudden and short-lived) episodes of watery diarrhea in adults.

Loperamide can also be used to control flare-ups of chronic (long-term) diarrhea, however it should only be used for this purpose on the advice of a doctor. It should only be used to treat diarrhea associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) after initial diagnosis of IBS by a doctor.

Find Out More About Medicine and Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding With Diarrhea
Finding Safe Medications While Breastfeeding
Herbal Remedies and Breastfeeding
What is a Galactagogue?
Meditations to Avoid While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding While Sick

Can I get a tattoo while breastfeeding?

Tattoos can be fun and addicting. Some mothers like to get the name of their child tattooed to their skin. But one must remember, anything that is applied to the skin is absorbed and goes into your body anyway. You may want to do your homework before you decide if it’s okay to proceed with a tattoo.

Tattoos are created by injecting ink into the dermal (second and third) layer of the skin. Tattooists use a hand-held electric machine that is fitted with solid needles coated in the ink. The needles enter the skin hundreds of times a minute to a depth of up to a few millimeters. The ink that is used in tattoos in the United States is subject to FDA regulation as cosmetics, but none are approved for injection under the skin. The ink molecules are too large to pass into breastmilk (1a).

The ink used for tattoos will be safe, as it primarily stays in the skin and does not get into the circulation. The needles used for the tattoo may pose a very small risk of transmitting hepatitis C. Recent research shows that a larger, multicolored tattoo poses a higher risk than small black tattoos. Another study showed that the risk of contracting hepatitis is actually higher during a dentist visit than while getting a tattoo, so this subject remains controversial (2a).

Local and systemic infections are the most prevalent risks of tattooing. Local infections can occur when the recommended aftercare regimen is not followed. Aftercare includes keeping the tattoo clean with mild soap and water, not picking at the scabs and keeping the tattoo out of the sun. Tylenol is often prescribed for the pain, if needed. Systemic infections occur when universal precautions are not followed by the tattoo artist and can include such diseases as hepatitis, tetanus and HIV (1b).

In conclusion, is it not 100% sure that everything will go smoothly. It is not an emergency to get a tattoo. Your baby’s health is top priority.




Breast Surgery And Breastfeeding

I feel a bit like a Dr. Seuss book. There are types of breasts that are good for breastfeeding. Small breast breastfeeding. Large breasts breastfeeding. Small breasts with large breast milk capacity. Large breasts with small milk capacity. All different kinds of breasts are good for breastfeeding!

That being said a lot of us women have self confidence issues surrounding our breasts and breast size. Many more have health issues associated with their breasts. My sister suffers from severe back problems due to her large breasts. The humor is not lost on her that the breasts many women would kill for are killing her. This is a judgement free zone. Whatever your reason for having breast surgery or contemplating breast surgery is fine with me.

What matters most is that if you choose to have breast surgery that you retain the option to breastfeed. Breastfeeding and breast surgery should be compatible if you choose your surgeon wisely. Nerves, milk ducts, and milk glands can be damaged during breast surgery. Injured nerves can decrease the feeling in your nipple area. This may reduce your let-down reflex (when your breasts fill with milk). Damaged milk ducts can decrease the amount of breast milk produced. Your breast tissue may be damaged or scarred after surgery. This can be caused by a breast infection, bleeding after surgery, or a hematoma. A hematoma is a buildup of blood in an area of your breast.

Read More About Breast Size and Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding with Small Breasts
Breastfeeding and Small Breast Milk Storage Capacity
Breastfeeding and Large Breast Milk Storage Capacity
Breast Surgery and Breastfeeding:
Breast Reduction Surgery and Breastfeeding
Breast Implants and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding while Pregnant

Pregnancy and lactation are quite compatible and continued breastfeeding helps the older child feel secure during a time of change.

During your pregnancy you and your toddler will have to accommodate some changes.  Beginning about the fourth month of pregnancy your breast milk may decrease in volume and begin to change to colostrum. Your toddler may react to these changes or they may not.

If you decide to stop breastfeeding it is important for you and your toddler to find time together. This is a great time for other members of the family to take an increasing active role in the life of the toddler.

Breastfeeding Vegetarian

Breastfeeding Questions: Will I Provide Enough Nutrition As A Breastfeeding Vegetarian?

A breastfeeding vegetarian should not have any problems producing breast milk and providing enough nutrition for their child. Providing proper nutrition comes down to maintaining a balanced diet regardless of the addition or exclusion of meat. There are several different types of vegetarians and each type works to balance their nutrition slightly differently: Lacto vegetarianism is a vegetarian that consumes dairy products.  Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is a type of vegetarianism that allows for eggs and dairy in the diet. Pescetarian are vegetarians that allow fish into their diet. All three of these types of vegetarians should have no problem with producing breast milk and raising a healthy baby as long as they had a balanced vegetarian diet before pregnancy and breastfeeding.

However if you are following a more strict vegan diet, a diet that does not include any animal products be sure to consult with a nutritionist to make sure that you are consuming a balanced diet for your baby.

Vegetarians should be sure that their breastfeeding diet includes proper amounts of:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc
  • Riboflavin

Read More About Breastfeeding Diet:

12 Fabulous Foods To Add To Your Breastfeeding Diet
12 More Foods To Add To Your Breastfeeding Meal Plan
More Breastfeeding Diet Information
Foods That Might Cause A Fussy Baby
Fussy Foods Test
Six Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
Diet Restrictions While Breastfeeding

What foods might make my baby fussy?

While food sensitivities vary tremendously from baby to bay the following list are the most common foods with reputations for bothering babies:

  1. Raw Broccoli
  2. Brussels Sprouts
  3. Raw Cabbage
  4. Cauliflower
  5. Citrus fruits in excess
  6. Corn
  7. Dairy products
  8. Egg whites
  9. Hot peppers
  10. Iron Supplements
  11. Prescription and over the counter medication
  12. Onions
  13. Peanuts and peanut butter
  14. Prenatal vitamins (with iron salts)
  15. Shellfish
  16. Soy products
  17. Spicy Foods
  18. Tomatoes
  19. Wheat gluten

The good news is that even if your baby does show a sensitivity to these foods as their digestive system matures they will be better able to handle a wider variety of components in your breast milk.

Minor Illness and Infection

Chances are that sometime during the course of breastfeeding you will develop a  cold, get the flu, a yeast infection or some other illness. If you are actively breastfeeding then your baby has already been exposed by the time your symptoms show.

You should continue to breastfeed for your body produces antibodies to the illness and will pass those into the breast milk and to your baby helping protect them.  Should you stop breastfeeding when your symptoms appear you can actually increase the chances of your baby contracting the illness and the severity of the illness for them. Even through more serious complications like surgeries can you continue to breastfeed, but be sure to keep a running dialogue with your pediatrician.

Warning Signs in Breastfeeding

As natural a process as breastfeeding can be there are occasions when you should seek help without delay.  If you find that you fit into any of the following scenarios be sure to call your pediatrician immediately.

1, Your baby’s nursing sessions are very short. – Breastfeeding sessions consistently shorter than 10 minutes in the first few months can mean your baby is not getting enough milk and your milk production will decrease.

2. Your baby’s nursing sessions are very long. – Breastfeeding sessions consistently longer than 50 minutes can indicate that your baby is not getting enough milk either because of ineffective suckling or low milk supply.

3. Your baby seems hungry after most feedings. – Your baby may not be ingesting enough milk.  Have their weight checked immediately.  Verify that they have good latch.

4. Your baby frequently misses nursing sessions or sleeps through the night. – Try waking them and encouraging them to eat.

5. You don’t hear frequent swallowing when your baby is breastfeeding, even after your milk supply has come in. – You should hear your child swallowing vigorously in the middle of a session.

6. Your baby is not gaining weight in the  first few weeks.

7. In the first seven days  your baby has less than six wet diapers and four stools a day, urine is dark yellow or specked with red, or stool remains dark rather than yellow and loose.

8. Five days after birth and your milk has not come in or your breasts don’t feel as if they are filling with milk

9. You experience severe breast engorgement.

10. Fullness or hardness of your breasts doesn’t decrease after a feeding.

11. Severe nipple pain interferes with breastfeeding.

12. After 7-14 days of beginning to breastfeed you don’t notice the let-down sensation.

If you experience any of these situations contact your doctor without delay.

Breastfeeding With Diarrhea

WARNING  Women who are breastfeeding should avoid drugs that contain bismuth, such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate (bismuth subsalicylate – active ingredient) due to the association of salicylates with Reyes Syndrome in children. WARNING

Diarrhea Relief Tips

All breastfeeding mothers succumb to the horrors of diarrhea at some point. Breastfeeding with diarrhea may cause you to start worrying about the health of your child. However, proper hygienic measures often prevents diarrhea from spreading to the baby. Most cases of diarrhea go away on their own in a couple of days.

Common causes of diarrhea while breastfeeding include:

  • Eating or drinking foods and beverages contaminated with certain bacteria, parasites or viruses.
  • Spending time around other young children, can spread organisms such as rotavirus.
  • Taking antibiotics for conditions such as mastitis.
  • Cesarean section delivery
  • Stress and anxiety about your breast milk supply

You do not need to stop nursing your baby if either of you has diarrhea.  Diarrhea from food poisoning will not result in the bacteria or viruses entering your breast milk and harming your baby. In fact, breastfeeding through illnesses like diarrhea is a good idea. It will allow your baby to receive your antibodies through your breast milk. These antibodies protect your baby against infection with the same organism.

Decreases in your breast milk supply are not unusual if the diarrhea lasts more than a day or if you develop vomiting in addition to the diarrhea.  It is extremely important that breastfeeding mothers remain hydrated to maintain the quality and quantity of their breast milk supply. If you are having difficulty in keeping fluid down call your doctor immediately.

If you suffer from and upset stomach or diarrhea while breastfeeding here are a few diarrhea remedies you can try:

  • Use proper hand washing and household hygiene.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Eat simple foods, like the BRAT Diet
  • Avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
  • Refrain from consuming foods or beverages containing artificial sweeteners.
  • For breast pumps, wash your hands before and after pumping to avoid contaminating the milk collection bottles and breast pump parts.

If a bacterial infection is the cause of your diarrhea it may be necessary to take prescription antibiotics. Make sure your doctor prescribes a medication that is safe for breastfeeding.

Find Out More About Medicine and Breastfeeding:

Finding Safe Medications While Breastfeeding

Herbal Remedies and Breastfeeding

What is a Galactagogue?

Meditations to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Thrush, Candida, or Yeast Infections

The common yeast infection that you or your baby may experience is also called thrush or candida.

Infants with thrush have white patches inside their mouths or an angry looking rash on their bottoms.  As a mother you can experience sharp shooting pain in your breast with sometimes red and tender nipples.  You may also see patches of red or white on your breast.

Most children with candida became infected as they passed through the birth canal and the first symptoms show up in two to four weeks.  Occasionally babies have a late onset infection brought about by the use of antibiotics.

If you have comfortably nursed your baby for weeks or months and are suddenly experiencing pain, thrush or candida might be the problem.

While yeast infections can be very painful the respond well to treatment.  Doctors will generally prescribe an anti-fungal rinse for the baby’s mouth and an anti fungal cream or ointment for your baby’s bottom and your nipples.   Medicine alone does not offer the most rapid or effective course of treatment.  In addition to medical treatment you may wish to:

  • Rinse the affected area and diaper area with clean water and let them air dry
  • Expose the affected area to the sun for a few minutes once or twice a day
  • Change your nursing pads after every feeding session
  • Change diapers more frequently as yeast thrives in warm damp places
  • Using hot soapy water , wash your bras, bottle nipples, breast shells, pacifiers, and anything else that comes into contact with the affected areas on you or your baby.
  • Use lanolin or other breastfeeding-friendly nipple treatment to relieve pain.
  • Wash your hands before and after feedings and treatments
  • Drink more water and reduce your sugar intake
  • Treat your partner as if they has had contact with your breasts

Mothers suffering from thrush have found success in using a product called gentian violet.  Many pharmacies carry a 1% dilute solution that can be applied to the affected areas using a cotton swab two to three times a day.  Be careful as it will stain everything it contacts.

One last word of caution, if your are expressing milk while you have a yeast infection, pump and dump as freezing will not kill the yeast and stored milk can re-infect your baby starting the entire process over again.