SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Checking with your doctor to make sure the medications you’re taking are safe is always important.
But during pregnancy and breastfeeding experts say the conversation should be an even bigger priority.
First time mom Andrea Baker gave birth just three months ago to a healthy baby girl. One step to make sure her baby arrived healthy was checking with her doctor to see if her medications were safe.
“With any medication there’s concerns even if you’re not pregnant, and so to be able to ask my doctor about those is very helpful,” Baker said.
Now that Baker’s breastfeeding her daughter the concern about medications doesn’t go away.
“If you get a headache, is it OK to take ibuprofen because it’s not necessarily OK to take it while you’re pregnant and so medications like that can also be concerning,” Baker said.
Doctors say an important thing to consider when it comes to medications during pregnancy or breastfeeding is the risk versus the benefit.
“What are the benefits of the medication? And do the benefits outweigh the risk to you and baby,” Dr. Abrea Roark said.
Women who take prescription medications and become pregnant shouldn’t immediately discontinue taking them. Instead Roark says they should speak with their doctor about what the safest health plan is first.
“I think commonly we’ll have a lot of patients on an anti-depressant or something on the SSRI spectrum. A lot of those medications, women would do better if they weaned them,” Roark said.
If you’re breastfeeding she says it’s important to make sure your doctor knows, to be sure you’re getting a medication that is safe for you and your baby.
“I do think overall a lot of our medications are pretty safe in breastfeeding. Like the excretion would have to be really high to have babies be affected, even with moms on antibiotics or you know, steroids,” Roark said.
Roark says whether it’s over the counter or prescription, talking with your doctor can help provide the safest pregnancy plan for you.
To read more about medication safety while pregnant or breastfeeding, click here.