As a breastfeeding mother, you might have several digestive issues. While some of them are mild, there are also more severe ones that you will need to address with the right treatment.

One of the most common treatments for digestive problems is Pepto-Bismol. But can you take it while you are breastfeeding? If you are wondering that, keep reading!

Can you take Pepto Bismol while breastfeeding?

Acid Reflux and Breastfeeding

Pepto-Bismol should be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women. You shouldn’t take this treatment without talking to your doctor first, and we will discuss why this is so important further.

Can You Take Pepto Bismol While Breastfeeding? 1

What is in Pepto Bismol?

The active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol is bismuth subsalicylate. This is a derivate of salicylate, which is Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid).

  • Some forms of Aspirin get in the breastmilk and interfere with the development of the baby.
  • However, there are not enough studies to decide if this is the case for Pepto-Bismol.
  • For this reason, you should only take this medicine if your doctor decides it is the best for you, as a nursing mother.

As a general rule, doctors are very cautious when they prescribe any drug containing salicylates to nursing women.

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Can You Take Pepto Bismol While Breastfeeding? 1

Pepto Bismol Can Get to Breastmilk

Pepto-Bismol is efficient in treating gas, nausea, or severe heartburn. It is usually recommended to people with no reserves unless we are talking about breastfeeding mothers. Even if it can be just as efficient for nursing mothers, the fact that it can get in the breastmilk and affect the baby is a big downside.

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Risks for taking Pepto Bismol While Breastfeeding

What are the risks of taking Pepto-Bismol while you are breastfeeding, you might wonder?

  • While these risks were not identified precisely, there have been cases of babies who developed Reye’s syndrome from salicylates.
  • This syndrome causes a severe inflammation of the brain and liver, and it can be life-threatening.
  • It is unclear if Pepto-Bismol has the same effect. Still, some of the side effects noticed in infants are black stools, constipation, internal bleeding, or a black spot on their tongue.
  • Pepto-Bismol is not recommended for people who are on specific long-term treatments that include blood thinners, gout medications, tetracycline antibiotics, Aspirin, or diabetes medications.

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Can You Take Pepto Bismol While Breastfeeding? 1

Breastfeeding and Lifestyle Changes for Acid Reflux

If you don’t want to take any risks, you should be looking for some life-changing options for Pepto-Bismol.

  • You can avoid fatty, fried, or spicy meals as they cause heartburn and diarrhea.
  • Staying hydrated will also help you prevent many of the problems with your digestive system.
  • Also, vitamin B6 will keep nausea episodes away.

If these home remedies don’t help you, talk to your doctor before choosing the right treatment.

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Can You Take Pepto Bismol While Breastfeeding? 1

Regardless of your health problem, you should always talk to your doctor before you take treatment as a nursing woman. While most of the medicine you will find over the counter are considered safe, some might cause specific side effects. And you shouldn’t take any risks when it comes to you and your baby.

Read the instructions of each product and administrate it accordingly. But overall, keep in mind that a balanced diet and lifestyle can prevent most of your digestive problems.

Can You Take Pepto Bismol While Breastfeeding? 1

Key References

  • “Bismuth Subsalicylate – Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMed) – NCBI Bookshelf”. Accessed May 20, 2020. Link.


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