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

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