Can you eat ibuprofen when breastfeeding?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat ibuprofen when breastfeeding, what is ibuprofen, what brands sell ibuprofen, how much ibuprofen can I take when breastfeeding, and what is the risk of taking ibuprofen when breastfeeding, and considerations of taking medication when breastfeeding. 

Can you eat ibuprofen when breastfeeding?

Yes, you can take or use ibuprofen when breastfeeding. Ibuprofen is not eaten but taken orally to apply to the skin.

According to the NHS, it is one of the few painkillers that are safe to use when breastfeeding because only a tiny amount goes to the milk and it is unlikely to cause side effects in the baby. 

If you are worried about passing the medication to the baby you can take into consideration that Ibuprofen reaches its peak level about one to two hours after being taken orally. It shouldn’t be taken more than every 6 hours. 

What is ibuprofen?

It is a medication that is widely used for pain relief in various conditions 

  • Headache
  • Dental pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Muscle aches
  • Arthritis
  • Reduce fever 
  • Relieve minor aches and pain for common cold and flu

It works by blocking inflammation which helps to decrease swelling, pain, or fever

What brands sell ibuprofen?

The most popular brands you can find 

  • Advil
  • Motrin
  • Cedaparin
  • Midol
  • NeoProfen
  • Profen IB
  • Proprinal
  • Ultraprint

How much ibuprofen can I take when breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding women can take up to the maximum dose daily without any side effects on the baby. Normally the dose is 400 mg every 6 hours with a maximum dose of 3000 mg per day. 

There are several studies in the field. According to one study, the patient’s dose was 400 mg daily while in the second study the dose was 400 mg every 6 hours. In both studies, there was ibuprofen detected in breastmilk. 

In 23 cases reported in which infants were breastfed during maternal ibuprofen use, no adverse effects were reported. 

What is the risk of taking ibuprofen when breastfeeding?

The side effects are the same for breastfeeding women than for another person. The baby does not have side effects when the mother is taking ibuprofen

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Ringing in the ear

You just need to be aware that the baby is feeding normally as usual or if you have any concerns about your baby talk to your doctor or pediatrician. 

What other painkillers can I use when breastfeeding?

According to LactMed, you can use acetaminophen, flurbiprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, or piroxicam.

How can I treat headaches without taking medication?

Hydrate well and eat regularly

Drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day and eat at the right times, do not go too much time without food. Breastfeeding can give you hunger, you need to eat a healthy balanced diet and try not to diet. 

Get some sleep

I know it is very hard to get some sleep with a newborn. I won’t say sleep when the baby sleeps because I know it is almost impossible but try to rest as much as you can so you don’t have headaches. 

Exercise

Once again, exercise is hard when you have a newborn. If you can’t sleep, let’s not talk about exercise but just a little walk is enough, 10 to 20 minutes a day to keep your blood flowing correctly. 

Use some ice

If you already have a headache, try to use some ice or something cold in your head or in the back of your neck. 

What should I consider from taking medication when breastfeeding?

If you want to decrease the amount of medication you are passing to your baby breastfeed before you take the medication. 

Something to consider when breastfeeding and taking medication

  • Take only what you need: Only take it when you really need it and do not overdo the maximum daily dose. 
  • Only take medicine when you need to
  • Avoid medications that are labeled extra-strength or time-releases

Here is a link to the National Library of Medicine where you can search what medications you can take and their effects on the baby if you are breastfeeding.

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat ibuprofen when breastfeeding, what is ibuprofen, what brands sell ibuprofen, how much ibuprofen can I take when breastfeeding, what is the risk of taking ibuprofen when breastfeeding, and considerations of taking medication when breastfeeding. 

Citation

​​https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/ibuprofen-breastfeeding

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/breastfeeding-and-medications/art-20043975

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500986/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.