Many package inserts say “Do not take this while pregnant or breastfeeding.” despite the fact that there is good evidence that a lot of medications are generally compatible with breastfeeding. So where can women go to learn about how taking a particular medicine could affect their milk supply or their baby? Here’s a few options:
LactMed is online, provided by the U.S. Library of Medicine (so free to users). It is easy to search for any medication and the results include research references.
Dr. Tom Hale’s Breastfeeding and Medications Forum online archives are open for guests to read. I’ve found information here on some topics (like safety with old dental fillings) that I couldn’t find other places.
A website hosted in Spain (the English language version) http://www.e-lactancia.org/ingles/inicio.asp One nice feature of this site is being able to search by groups – by a chemical’s use. For example you can look at the category “vitamin”.
American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on The Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals into Human Milk is available online. Other resources often list the AAP’s recommendation on the compatibility of a medication and breastfeeding.
Medications and Mother’s Milk by Thomas Hale is a relatively inexpensive, frequently updated, research-based reference book. I always have a copy with me when I’m working.
Nonprescription Drugs for the Breastfeeding Mother by Frank Nice is another inexpensive reference book.
Finally a resource that isn’t available yet but hopefully will be available soon, is a national call center called the InfantRisk Center. It will be directed by Dr. Tom Hale.