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Questions on Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the act of feeding a baby milk directly from a mother's breast instead of using a baby bottle. Many doctors recommend that breastfeeding begin one hour after birth and continue until the child is six months of age. After six months, the breastfeeding can continue until the age of two, along with complementary foods. Many working mothers pump breast milk so the baby can have the mother's milk even while being cared for by babysitters. To learn more about breastfeeding, take a look at the questions below that have been answered by the Experts.

Can breastfeeding cause constipation?

Case details: Stool softeners are causing rectal pain and bleeding. Generally, breastfeeding doesn't cause constipation in women who are properly hydrated. If the woman isn't taking enough fluids, constipation may be a possibility. Much of the fluid a woman drinks during the day goes towards making breast milk which is why it is important for a woman to be conscious of her water intake. In many cases, a stool softener can help with constipation, as well as fiber such as Citrucel, Metamucil or Benefiber. If the woman is experiencing pain and bleeding, the usual cause for this is hemorrhoids since many women who have just had a baby experience this. An over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can usually take care of this issue. If the cream isn't strong enough, a prescription cream may be required.

If a breastfeeding mother has diarrhea, is it safe to take Imodium A-D?

While imodium is considered safe to use while breastfeeding, it generally only treats symptoms such as cramps, spasms and pain and is not recommended for simple diarrhea. There are natural ways to treat diarrhea that don't include the use of medication. Foods such as boiled rice, toast, crackers and baked potato can be taken along with drinks to replace electrolytes such as Gatorade, Boost or Pedialyte. Pepto-Bismol can also be used in small amounts and will not affect breastfeeding.

Does breastfeeding cause inverted nipples or is this a sign of cancer?

Generally, if a woman's nipples were not inverted prior to breastfeeding but are inverting now, a consultation with an OB/GYN is usually necessary. While inverted nipples can be a family trait, the nipples are usually inverted prior to breastfeeding if this is the case. In most cases, there may not be any reason for alarm with inverted nipples but it is always best if the woman speaks to a physician about the issue. In some cases, inverting nipples can also be a sign of a possible cyst but this type of cyst is usually benign (non-cancerous).

Is it safe to take Paxil while breastfeeding?

If a woman takes Paxil while breastfeeding, the drug could be passed to the baby through the milk and could possibly harm the baby. Before a woman uses this medication, she should consult with her doctor about the risk involved. The doctor can then decide whether or not the woman should continue with the Paxil or stop taking it. While there are no studies available on the effects that Paxil can have on a breastfed child, the fact is that the medication can be passed to the child through the breast milk.

Is using the morning after pill while breastfeeding harmful to a baby?

Taking the morning after pill, while breastfeeding a baby, is generally considered safe as it doesn’t affect breast milk or the baby who receives the breast milk. To avoid a pregnancy, it is important to take the morning after pill as soon as possible. Breastfeeding has many benefits and is generally advised by doctors if the mother is able to do it. As new mothers, many women may have questions about breastfeeding and the precautions to take while feeding a baby. If you have any questions or concerns regarding breastfeeding, ask an Expert for medical insights and suggestions based on your case history.
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