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Pump and dump??

Truth is most lifestyle and medical procedures are not indications for a "pump and dump" of your breastmilk.

Uninterrupted breastfeeding is safe with these and other common situations:

  • Caffeine

  • Reasonable amounts of alcohol (can't drive, can't breastfeed)

  • Acupuncture

  • Teeth whitening

  • Dental procedures

  • Over-the-counter cold medications

  • Airport security scans

  • Skin peels

  • Botox

  • Fillers

  • Laser procedures

  • Tanning beds

  • Spray tans

  • Hair dyes or other hair treatments

  • Tattoos

  • Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication

  • Blood pressure medication

  • Acne medication

  • Animal bites on the breast

  • Surgery

  • Anesthesia

  • MRI and CT scan with contrast, x-ray’s, mammograms

  • Breast biopsy with titanium clip placement

  • Breast masses and nipple discharge

  • Injectable numbing medication

COVID is not an indication for separation, interruption or complete stopping of breastfeeding. One study shows that moms who are vaccinated pass the antibodies to their older infants and toddlers (1).

Marijuana consumption is not recommended. However, after risk-benefit analyses mothers who consume very sparingly, the risk of providing formula outweighs the risk of continued breastfeeding. Mothers who consume very frequently is a risk that outweighs formula. Marijuana concentrates in the breastmilk and fat and the infants brain is mostly fat. Every parents should make an informed decision and an individual risk-benefit should be explored. It should be noted that research is done on smoking of marijuana not the edible.

Cigarettes and vaping is not recommended. Nicotine (2) in infants is a risk for SIDS. Bupropion (3) is usually prescribed to quit smoking during lactation.

General information about -


Most medications, including antibiotics, are safe. The exception includes codeine, tramadol, chemotherapeutic agents, 1-131, statins, amiodarone, tetracyclines if used > 3 weeks, some heart valve medications, and recreational drugs.

Avoid medications that decrease milk production, such as estrogen-containing birth control pills, decongestants, sedating antihistamines, bromocriptine, and cabergoline. (4)

Radiology: No interruption of breastfeeding is required for X-ray, CT scan with iodinated intravenous contrast, or MRI with gadolinium-based contras. Nuclear medicine study recommendations most often do not require interruption of breastfeeding; iodine-based compounds are an exception and most often do require interruption and/or cessation. PET CT requires separation of mom and baby for 12 hours, but the milk itself is safe. Screening mammography is safe. (5)


Most mothers with healthy term or older infants can resume breastfeeding as soon as they are awake, alert, and stable after anesthesia. Opioids do transfer into breastmilk and may cause infant sedation or apnea, but use for short periods is considered safe. (6)

As always, if there is a concern reach out to a breastfeeding professional (IBCLC) who will be able to look up the medication and give you evidence based information on the use during lactation.

NOT MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER: The service and content of Peaceful Roots Doula does not constitute medical advice, it is for educational purposes only. If you have concerns about any health or medical condition, diagnosis, or treatment, you should consult with a licensed healthcare provider. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should call 911 immediately.


4. ‘Medications and Mother’s Milk’ by Dr. Thomas Hale. Online at,, LactMed

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