Medications that interfere with breastfeeding: What decreases milk supply

Ah, breastfeeding! One of the many gifts of motherhood. That said, it isn't always roses and rainbows when it comes to feeding your little one from the source.

Medications that interfere with breastfeeding: What decreases milk supply

One factor that can greatly impact a mother's milk supply is medication. Before taking any medications while breastfeeding, make sure you consult your doctor as some could ultimately harm both mom and baby or result in reduced milk production. Here are some common culprits:

Birth Control Pills

Hormones are serious business for breastfeeding women, especially when combined with other hormones such as birth control pills. Some oral contraceptives contain estrogen which can inhibit breast milk production (say goodbye to streamers folks).

If you must take birth control pills during lactation, consider using progestin-only formulations like Depo-Provera or POP (Progestin-Only Pill) instead.

Allergy Medications

What a sneeze attack! Time to pop an allergy pill... but wait! Make sure you read the labels first because drugs like antihistamines - Benadryl being a prime example - have been shown to reduce milk production in nursing moms (yikes!).

Surprisingly enough though and not just so we're all downers around here – there are prescription nasal steroids available on the market including Flonase and Nasonex that don't interfere with breastmilk supply at all.


Let's face it; nipple pain after days upon days of feeding sucks out loud super loudly (try no more tears formula for parents). Women usually find relief through either ice compresses or ibuprofen forms of doses but alas often forgetting their suppressing tendencies towards breastmilk reduction (uh oh!).

Still looking for relief? Ask your physician about paracetamol/acetaminophen; pretty effective on pain and – cue drumroll – it won't interfere with breastmilk production.

ADHD Medications

Sorry moms but if you are planning to take medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), best not to experiment since almost all of treatment medicines have a tendency of messing with the milk supply (aww man!). It's understandable that managing one’s ADHD symptoms during lactation is an attractive option, but unless your prescriber suggests anything otherwise: there might be tough days ahead.

Many women do improvise however by requesting their healthcare providers try out immediate-release formulations rather than extended-release versions where the effects may linger longer into feeding times!

Sage tea or Peppermint Tea?

As well meaning as they come; naturally such tea is some go-to options available when trying to decrease milk supply (-gasp-) - this applies equally right after weaning too! Reason being , sage leaves contain high levels of beta-thujone which essentially acts like magic in encouraging cessation in milkflow whereas peppermint has similar properties too only not as strong.

If dryness for instance is something you’d like to get rid off then opting for either shouldn’t pose difficulty indicating use over short term preferably..…

Hopefully, that helps guide anyone concerned about decreased milk production while breastfeeding from medication intake. To recap though:

  • Birth control pills can inhibit breastmilk production
  • Some allergy medications - including antihistamines - can reduce milk production
  • Painkillers containing ibuprofen could suppress breastmilk production
  • Almost all ADHD medications could mess around with your supply.
  • If looking to decrease your supply dry-sage tea or peppermint tea may help.

Don't forget, any time you're unsure whether medication will affect feeds negatively or want specifics regarding formulations safe enough during motherhood? Consult a physician first before taking them. Happy Feeding!

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