Is Tylenol Safe For Breastfeeding?
The end of pregnancy does mark the end of some restrictions but not all of them. Breastfeeding mothers have to be extremely careful too. What they eat affects the milk they produce, ultimately affecting their babies' health. Therefore, in addition to the diet, nursing mothers are cautious about their medications. Not all medicines are compatible with breastfeeding. Today, let's talk about one very popular drug, Tylenol, and find out if you can take Tylenol during breastfeeding.
Tylenol In Brief
Tylenol is the brand name under which the drug acetaminophen is sold. Acetaminophen is an analgesic and an atipyretic. It means that it is used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Its exact mechanism of action is still not known.
However, it is thought to block the secretion of prostaglandin, the enzyme that makes us feel pain, thus elevating the pain threshold. Its antipyretic effects are executed due to its activity on the hypothalamus, which regulates the body temperature.
However, Tylenol is not an NSAID(Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug), unlike Ibuprofen. It's no rocket science to understand what not being an NSAID means. It just implies that Tylenol doesn't reduce inflammation. It can only help with the alleviation of pain.
Tylenol is most commonly used for headaches, sore throats, menstrual cramps, backaches, and other muscle aches. New mothers might consider taking a dose of Tylenol to lessen the pain during the recovery phase after delivery, nipple pain during nursing, fever, and other body pains and aches. Let's find out if it's safe to take Tylenol while breastfeeding.
Can You Take Tylenol While Breastfeeding?
A small portion of Tylenol does pass into the breast milk. However, enough research has been conducted to show that the amount released into the breastmilk is too little to impact the baby. Therefore, it is completely safe to take Tylenol while breastfeeding.
If you are still skeptical about the little acetaminophen that gets into your baby's body through your breast milk, here's an important fact. Several studies reported that breast milk showed a peak in acetaminophen levels 1-2 hours after the intake of Tylenol.
To keep your baby free from any possible risks, you can nurse them just before taking the medication and schedule the next feeding session a couple of hours later. If that is not feasible, you can pump your milk and return to the stored supply if your little one wants to fill their tummy anytime within two hours of taking medicine.
The Truth About Tylenol and Alcohol
At this point, we are confident that Tylenol is one of the pain relievers safe for breastfeeding. However, Tylenol and alcohol do not get along well. Our liver metabolizes Tylenol into a harmless compound that passes out in the urine.
A minimal amount of it gets converted into a toxic compound. However, a substance called glutathione in the liver reduces that compound's toxic effect. In fact, alcohol itself uses glutathione to reduce its toxicity in the liver.
However, excessive consumption of alcohol diminishes the glutathione reserve of the liver. So, when acetaminophen gets converted into a toxic metabolite, its toxicity can no more be neutralized. This leads to internal bleeding, liver damage, and other life-threatening conditions.
If you have turned pale, remember the number of times you have taken acetaminophen after downing a glass of wine, then let us bring you some relief. You will not ruin your liver that way. Only heavy alcohol consumption and regular acetaminophen intake can harm your health in ways we discussed a while ago.
Go For Natural Remedies If You Can
Even though there are a few pain relievers safe for breastfeeding, you might want to keep drugs a million miles away from your baby for as long as possible. We second you on this. So, if you have a soaring body temperature or experience any pain during breastfeeding, you should try out natural remedies for pain relief. They never seem to fail in providing relief.
- If you have a fever, then allow yourself to rest. Take sponge baths with lukewarm water after discussing it with your doctor. Eat easily digestible foods and drink a lot of fluids.
- In case of a cold, there can be a plethora of reasons to feel uncomfortable. However, there are enough home remedies to deal with them. Warm water is the best treatment for your sore and scratchy throat.
Sip ginger tea, hot soup, and honey in warm water to reduce cough and soothe your throat; and how can we forget gargling with warm water? To open up your nasal passage, take steam frequently by adding any vapor rub or essential oil to hot water. You shall soon be able to breathe freely.
- Cold compresses are an excellent way to reduce swelling and inflammation. As a new mother, if you have cramps or experience back pain or pain in your neck, hands, or legs, use a hot water bag to lessen the pain.
- Breastfeeding-related pains can be too disturbing. Engorgement, mastitis, nipple pain, the list can continue until infinity. If that happens, frequently breastfeed to prevent engorgement and mastitis from blocked ducts.
To soothe the pain, you can use a cold compress or cabbage leaves to cup your breasts. Gently massaging your breasts and taking a hot shower will also help. In addition, drink a lot of water, rest well and try new feeding positions to help yourself and your baby.
Your baby's safety is your priority, and we know that. That is why we try to educate you on every possible aspect that can affect you and your baby. Since pain and discomfort are a part of life and can show up anytime, you might have been wondering,' can I take Tylenol while breastfeeding?' we hope you got the answer.
If you want to avoid drugs while breastfeeding, then don't shy away from trying out natural remedies for pain relief. However, if pain medications are necessary and your doctor prescribes a Tylenol, then you shouldn't flinch taking it. We repeat, it is safe and will not harm your baby if consumed in prescribed doses.
Meta: A small portion of Tylenol passes into the breastmilk, yet research claims that the amount is too little to affect breastfeeding babies. Find out more about the use of Tylenol during breastfeeding.