Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Alcohol and breastfeeding

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Alcohol and BreastfeedingYou have waited many months and finally you have given birth to your beautiful baby! Now you want to celebrate with a glass of champagne, right? Don’t fill up your glass just yet. When you drink alcohol and then breastfeed your baby, she is exposed to a small amount of the alcohol you drink. Your baby eliminates the alcohol from her body at only half the rate you do. Therefore, it stays in your baby’s system, which is not good for her.

Don’t believe the myths

• It was once believed that drinking beer was a way to increase a mother’s milk supply, but that is not true. Research has shown that drinking beer does not increase your milk supply. In fact, drinking alcohol of any kind may decrease the amount of breastmilk your baby drinks. Alcohol can change the taste of your milk, which your baby may not like, and can result in your baby taking in less breastmilk.  Chronic drinking of alcohol may also reduce your milk production.

• Some people believe “pumping and dumping” (expressing breastmilk and then throwing it away instead of giving it to your baby) will get rid of the alcohol from your body quicker, but this is not true either. Pumping and dumping does not have any effect on how quickly alcohol leaves your body. However, if you miss a feeding session due to having had an alcoholic drink, then pumping and dumping will help you maintain your milk supply and avoid engorgement (when your breasts are swollen with milk to the point of hurting).

Bottom line

Avoid alcohol when you’re breastfeeding. However, if you have a drink, allow at least 2 hours per drink before your next breastfeeding or pumping session. This allows your body to have as much time as possible to process the alcohol out of your system before your baby’s next feeding. If you do drink alcohol, don’t have more than two drinks a week (one alcoholic drink is equal to a 12-ounce beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine or 1 ounce of hard liquor.)

You may also want to pump after your feedings when you have not had a drink. This way, you will have extra milk stored to feed your baby if you have been drinking when you need to breastfeed.

You also can pass street drugs, like heroin and cocaine, to your baby through breast milk. Tell your health care provider if you need help to quit using street drugs or drinking alcohol.

Pills and pregnancy – what’s safe and what’s not

Friday, January 18th, 2013

pillsYou may have been taking meds for a chronic condition for years. Some are fine to continue during pregnancy and some won’t be safe for a developing baby. It’s important to check with your doc before you conceive, if you’re planning ahead, so that you can be shifted to a safer alternative, if necessary.

But let’s face it, more than half of all pregnancies are not planned. Once you find out, you may have questions about your meds during pregnancy.  So how do you know if what you’re taking is still OK? The most important thing is to talk with your health care provider. He/she knows you and your medical history best and can make whatever adjustments are best for you. Don’t stop taking your medication, however, without your doc’s knowledge.

In the meantime, there is an excellent organization that can help give you valuable information about the safety of medications during pregnancy. The Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) is a group of highly trained professionals who are dedicated to providing accurate evidence-based, clinical information to patients and health care professionals about medications (prescription or over-the-counter), vaccines, chemical and other exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  They can tell you whether a mother’s exposure might be harmful to her baby. Their toll-free number is 866-626-6847 and calls are kept anonymous and confidential. You can read a number of their fact sheets at this link.

How to get rid of leftover Rx

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

pill-bottlesHundreds of thousands of children take a trip to the hospital every year due to taking medications that are in the house and are way too easy for them to get their hands on. Often, old prescriptions that were never completely used are sitting around posing an unnecessary risk.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has organized another prescription drug “take back” day to provide drop sites for people who want to properly dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. The two take back days in 2010 collected nearly 309 tons of prescription drugs. This year’s event is on Saturday October 29, 2011, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can locate a drop site near you at this link or by calling 800-882-9539.

Drop by and drop off your old drugs. Do it for your kids.

Paternal exposures – can they harm a future baby?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

man-paintingYes, some can. A paternal exposure is something the father of a baby is exposed to before conception or during his partner’s pregnancy.  These exposures include drugs (prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs), alcohol, cigarettes, chemotherapy, radiation.  Chemical products at work or in the environment, such as lead, organic solvents and pesticides, also fit into this category.

Unlike maternal exposures (read Things to Avoid),  paternal exposures do not appear to cause birth defects, according to current studies, but more research is needed in this area.  Some paternal exposures, however, can damage a man’s sperm quality, causing infertility or lengthy delay in conception or early pregnancy loss.  Research indicates that some exposures may cause genetic changes in sperm that might increase the risk of childhood cancer in a man’s children.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can seriously alter sperm, at least for a few months post treatment.  Some men opt to bank their sperm before they receive treatment to preserve its integrity.

Again, further research into to the field of paternal exposures is needed to fully understand the risks associated with them.

For children: Too much media may harm health

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

The more time a child spends with television, movies, video games, magazines, music and the Internet, the more likely he is to be obese and to perform poorly in school. And as the child gets older, he’s more likely to smoke and use drugs. This is what experts at the National Institutes of Health, Yale University and California Pacific Medical Center found in a recent review of research.

What does this mean since most of us and our children love media? I had a nutrition professor once he told us “Everything in moderation.” That’s good advice, it seems to me, for many things in life. So be sure you and your kids walk, swim, play ball, socialize, dance, go to the zoo, join clubs, visit with neighbors and friends. The media are great; they enrich our lives. But too much of anything isn’t a good idea.

As one of the researchers said, “Couch potato does, unfortunately, sum it up pretty well.” So let’s get up, get our kids up, and get moving!

How do you manage the media in your children’s lives?


Will drug labels change for pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  is proposing major changes in drug labels to provide more information about the effects of medicines used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. If the changes take effect, they would help doctors and women make more informed decisions.

Comments on the proposed regulations are due on August 27.  After reviewing the comments, FDA will decide whether to go ahead with the changes.

Meanwhile, if you’re pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, take only medications prescribed to you or recommended by a health care provider. But don’t stop taking a prescription drug without your health care provider’s okay.