Laxatives And Breastfeeding: What's Safe?

can I take laxatives while nursing

Breastfeeding mothers may worry about taking laxatives due to concerns that the medication could pass into their breast milk and affect their infant. While it is generally recommended to try to relieve constipation through natural methods such as increasing water intake and dietary fibre, some over-the-counter laxatives are considered safe to use while nursing.

Characteristics Values
Should I take laxatives while nursing? It is generally recommended to relieve constipation naturally through diet and exercise while breastfeeding. However, some over-the-counter laxatives are considered safe for use while nursing.
What types of laxatives are safe to take while nursing? Bulk-forming or stool-softening laxatives are the safest laxatives to take while breastfeeding. Examples include Metamucil, Fiberall, Citrucel, Colace, and Surfak.
What types of laxatives should be avoided while nursing? Stimulant laxatives should generally be avoided while breastfeeding as they may pass into the breast milk in large doses and cause diarrhea in the baby.
What are the risks of taking laxatives while nursing? There is some evidence of occasional reports of loose stools in infants when the mother uses laxatives.
How can I relieve constipation while nursing without taking laxatives? Increase consumption of dietary fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly.

medshun

Natural laxatives are a good option while breastfeeding

Fibre-based laxatives are unlikely to harm your baby because they are not absorbed into the bloodstream. However, they may not work as quickly as stimulant laxatives, so if you have a serious case of constipation, you may feel uncomfortable. Stool softeners are also generally considered safe for breastfeeding mothers and are often prescribed by doctors for nursing mothers.

It is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any new medication, including natural laxatives, while breastfeeding. They will be able to advise on the best course of action and recommend specific products.

In addition to natural laxatives, there are other natural remedies that can help with constipation while breastfeeding. These include drinking plenty of water, eating high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and staying physically active.

Craisins: Natural Laxative Superfood?

You may want to see also

medshun

Laxatives can be passed to the baby through breast milk

Laxatives are medications used to treat constipation. They come in different forms, including over-the-counter (OTC) options such as osmotics, fiber or bulk-forming, stool softeners, stimulants, and lubricants. While breastfeeding, it is important to consider that some of the medication you take may pass into your breast milk and affect your nursing infant.

The amount of laxative medication that passes into breast milk is usually low, but it can vary depending on the type of laxative. For example, mineral oil, a type of lubricant laxative, can enter the bloodstream and breast milk in greater amounts, so it should be used with caution while breastfeeding. There have been occasional reports of loose stools in infants exposed to laxatives through breastfeeding.

If you feel you need to take laxatives while breastfeeding, it is recommended to consult a doctor or a healthcare provider for advice. Stool softener laxatives and those that are mostly fibre-based are often recommended for women who are breastfeeding. Natural laxatives, which are essentially fibre in powdered or pill form, are also considered a safer option while breastfeeding as they are unlikely to harm your baby. However, they may not work as quickly or effectively as stimulant laxatives in relieving more severe cases of constipation.

Stimulant laxatives, on the other hand, may be more of a concern. They often contain harsh medications that not only soften the stools but also stimulate muscle contractions to help push stools out of the body. While these laxatives are typically effective, they may contain ingredients that are not safe for your nursing baby. Additionally, they can cause dehydration due to increased water loss through loose bowel movements. Therefore, it is generally advised to avoid stimulant laxatives while breastfeeding unless specifically recommended by your doctor.

Natural Laxatives: Homemade Recipes

You may want to see also

medshun

Osmotic laxatives are considered safe during pregnancy

MiraLAX, an over-the-counter osmotic laxative, is considered a safe option for treating constipation during pregnancy. It is often recommended by doctors as a first-choice medication for easing constipation during pregnancy. The active ingredient in MiraLAX, polyethylene glycol 3350, is only minimally absorbed by the body, so it is considered safe for short-term use during pregnancy. However, there haven't been many studies on the use of MiraLAX in pregnant women, so some doctors may suggest other drugs with more research supporting their use during pregnancy.

Other types of laxatives, such as bulk-forming agents, stool softeners, and stimulant laxatives, may also be considered for treating constipation during pregnancy. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medications during pregnancy, as there may be potential risks or side effects.

In general, it is recommended that osmotic and stimulant laxatives be used only short-term or occasionally during pregnancy to avoid dehydration or electrolyte imbalances. Natural laxatives, such as increasing fibre and fluid intake and daily exercise, are often recommended as a first-line therapy for constipation during pregnancy.

Metamucil: When Does the Bloat End?

You may want to see also

medshun

Stool softeners are generally considered safer than stimulant laxatives

Stimulant laxatives, on the other hand, are fast-acting and can stimulate the intestines into having a bowel movement. They often contain harsh medications that are intended to not only help soften the stools but also stimulate the muscle contractions that help push stools out of the body. While these laxatives are usually effective, they may contain ingredients that are not safe for nursing babies. They may also cause dehydration, especially if used regularly.

Natural laxatives are probably the best choice while breastfeeding. These include dietary changes such as increasing water intake and consuming more high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

medshun

Consult a doctor before taking laxatives while breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding and experiencing constipation, it is important to consult a doctor before taking laxatives. While laxatives can be a safe and effective way to treat constipation, not all types are suitable for nursing mothers and their babies.

Laxatives are medications used to treat constipation, which can be caused by a change in diet, medication, or decreased physical activity. Constipation is common during pregnancy and after childbirth due to pain relief, stitches, or fear of tearing stitches. It can be painful and lead to other health issues such as hemorrhoids and anal tissue breakdown.

There are several types of laxatives, including osmotics, fiber or bulk-forming laxatives, stool softeners, stimulants, and lubricants. When breastfeeding, it is essential to consider the potential impact of these medications on your baby. Some laxatives may enter the mother's bloodstream and pass into breast milk, although usually in small amounts. However, mineral oil, a type of lubricant, can enter the breast milk in larger quantities and should be used with caution.

Natural laxatives, such as those containing fibre in powdered or pill form, are generally considered the best option for breastfeeding mothers. They are unlikely to harm the baby and are often recommended for pregnant or nursing women. However, they may not work as quickly as stimulant laxatives, which can induce faster bowel movements. Stool softeners are also generally considered safe for breastfeeding mothers and are commonly prescribed by doctors for this purpose.

It is important to consult a doctor before taking any laxatives while breastfeeding to ensure the safety of both mother and baby. The doctor can advise on specific laxative medications, taking into account the ingredients and potential side effects. They may recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, such as increasing fluid intake, consuming high-fibre foods, and regular exercise, as natural ways to relieve constipation before resorting to laxatives.

Ice Breakers: Laxative or Not?

You may want to see also

Frequently asked questions

It is generally recommended to try to relieve constipation naturally before using a laxative while breastfeeding. However, if natural methods don't work, over-the-counter laxatives such as MiraLAX are considered safe for use while nursing.

Try consuming a diet high in fiber with foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like oatmeal or high-fiber cereals. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, as fluids are needed to make milk and to help with constipation. Regular exercise can also help relieve constipation, but check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you've recently given birth.

Bulk-forming or stool-softening laxatives are the safest laxatives to take while breastfeeding. Doctors often recommend stool softeners such as Colace or Surfak following childbirth. Osmotic laxatives such as Miralax are also considered safe. Stimulant laxatives, on the other hand, should be avoided while nursing as large doses may pass into the breast milk and cause diarrhea in the baby.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Print
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment