Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: What You Should Consider When Using Antibiotics – Most expectant mothers are skeptical as soon as the doctor tells them to take medication. This is especially true for antibiotics. However, untreated infections can cause more harm in pregnancy, and sometimes even their unborn child, than a specially selected and carefully dosed antibiotic. The same applies to breastfeed.
What are antibiotics?
The word “antibiotics” occurs in the ancient Greek language. There it means as much as “against something alive.” Simplified, antibiotics are capable of preventing other living microorganisms from multiplying or even killing them.
Today, there is a proven, effective antibiotic against almost every bacterial disease.
Which bacterial pathogens are particularly dangerous for the unborn child?
Despite all preventive measures, it is not always possible to prevent a pregnant or lactating woman from getting infected. There are some diseases that can not be cured with home remedies or homeopathic methods. These include, for example:
- Gonococcus (gonorrhea)
- Treponema pallidum (syphilis)
- B streptococci
- and many others
Infected women are more likely to experience prematurity and miscarriage than healthy women . If the infection of the mother passes to the fetus, there is an increased risk that the baby is born with health problems. Timely antibiotics significantly reduce the risk of infection for the unborn child.
To relieve the symptoms caused by the infection, such as fever, sore throat or rash, on the other hand, offer home remedies excellent. Examples include calf wrap, warm or cold compresses, gargles, lozenges with natural ingredients or antiseptic ointments on a homeopathic basis.
Special features of antibiotic therapy during pregnancy and lactation
Even during pregnancy and lactation, the woman may be affected by one of the mentioned infection. For complete healing then an antibiotic therapy is urgently needed. As a result of the common blood circulation during pregnancy or by drinking breast milk, the child, of course, does not remain unaffected by the drug.
Therefore, the prescription of antibiotics to pregnant and breastfeeding women belongs exclusively in the hands of the home or treating specialist. The physicians know which antibiotic classes are suitable with which active ingredients for pregnant women and nursing mothers and which pose special risks.
Many infections must also be treated with antibiotics during pregnancy
In most cases, so-called beta-lactam antibiotics are prescribed to sick and lactating women. These are cephalosporins and penicillins that are best studied in pregnancy. If the woman is allergic or resistant to these drugs, macrolides are still available.
Severe, potentially life-threatening infections may also require the administration of less-proven antibiotics. The physician will always weigh the therapeutic benefit against the potential risk to the unborn child.
It is essential that the pregnant woman is informed precisely about the expected procedures, the necessity and the safety of the antibiotic treatment. A prematurely discontinued therapy is not only useless but also extremely dangerous.
Is there a safe timing?
Pregnancy lasts for nine months and many women wonder if the tolerability of antibiotics or the risks to the unborn baby are the same at all times. For ethical reasons, scientists and physicians do not conduct any studies on pregnant women.
Therefore, the question can only be answered by individual observations and so-called epidemiological studies. There are extensive animal studies. Regarding the side effects or possible damage to the baby, however, their results can only be transferred to humans to an insufficient extent.
However, the fetus is especially susceptible to external disturbances during the first few months, as is the delivery of even small amounts of antibiotics across the placenta. Therefore, special care is needed here. Even women who suspect a pregnancy, without this would be diagnosed, should urgently point out to her doctor.
It tends to be better to effectively treat an infection that could endanger the course of pregnancy or the child’s health with a suitable antibiotic. This is still considered the best way to prevent miscarriage or damage to the baby.
Antibiotics and breastfeeding
For almost every bacterial infectious disease today there is a suitable antibiotic therapy that allows breastfeeding. It is true that traces of the drug pass into breast milk.
However, the symptoms in the breastfed infant are not dramatically dramatic. But even here it is essential that your doctor is consulted.
- No antibiotic is declared utterly safe for pregnancy and lactation. However, several drugs can be recommended for expectant mothers and nursing mothers.
- Basically, the physician will carefully weigh the benefit-harm risk. He will only prescribe an antibiotic if it requires the disease and does not use natural or homeopathic treatment.
- For fear of harming their baby, women should not give up taking a doctor’s recommended antibiotic.
- The risk to the child of a bacterial infection of the mother is usually much greater than the possible side effects of the drug.
- Midwives and doctors now advise nursing mothers to abstain from taking antibiotics.