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Can You Take Midol While Breastfeeding? (2024 Guide)

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Can you take Midol while breastfeeding? Here’s everything you need to know plus other breastfeeding-safe medications and tips!

If you’re a first time mom and breastfeeding, you probably won’t start your period for several months.

But, you may still experience cramps, bloating, and other period-like symptoms.

You may think to reach for Midol to get some relief.

But is it safe?

A breastfed infant can be exposed to medications through breast milk.

And some are harmful to babies.

So, here’s everything you need to know about Midol and breastfeeding, plus other breastfeeding-safe remedies!

RELATED: Can you donate plasma while breastfeeding?

What is Midol?

Several white Midol tablets in a pill pack on a pink background.

Before we discuss Midol and breastfeeding, here’s what Midol is and its main ingredients.

Midol is an over-the-counter medicine typically used to treat menstrual cramps, bloating, fatigue, headaches, and backaches.

There are a few different formula options, but many women prefer Midol Complete which includes multiple ingredients.

The active ingredients in Midol complete tablets include acetaminophen, caffeine, and pyrilamine maleate.

And there are several inactive ingredients, including:

  • Carnauba wax
  • Croscarmellose sodium
  • FD&C blue #2 aluminum lake
  • Hypromellose
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Pregelatinized starch
  • Propylene glycol
  • Shellac
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Triacetin

The gel capsules also include black iron oxide, stearic acid, and edetate disodium.

The acetaminophen provides pain relief, the caffeine works as a diuretic to target bloating, and pyrilamine is an antihistamine that’s commonly used in cold medications but it can also help with bloating.

RELATED: Why Am I Not Losing Weight While Breastfeeding?

Can you take Midol while breastfeeding?

With any new medication, it’s always wise to consult with your health care provider before taking it.

But it’s generally safe for a breastfeeding mother to take Midol when needed.

However, there may be some mild adverse effects for the baby.

When you take any type of medication, it starts to break down as soon as you swallow it. As it does so, the drug filters into the bloodstream.

And this is when a small percentage of the medicine can pass to your breast milk.

Caffeine does transfer to breast milk at a rapid rate, but there isn’t enough data surrounding this to definitively say that caffeine is bad for breastfeeding moms.

Pyrilamine transfers to breast milk at low levels so it’s usually not a problem for babies. But it can affect milk supply with larger doses or prolonged use.

On the other hand, acetaminophen is one of the safest drugs to take while breastfeeding.

If you’re worried about your milk supply, use caution when taking Midol Complete. Or, you can opt for Midol Long-Lasting Relief, as it only contains acetaminophen as the active ingredient.

High doses of Midol can cause your baby to become more irritable, jumpy, hyper, and unable to sleep. This could be because of the amount of caffeine and antihistamine that is found in Midol.

To minimize risks, don’t take more than six pills in a 24-hour period.

And try the additional suggestions, below.

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How to Minimize Risks

A baby being breastfed at night with light shining on his face.

If you plan to take Midol or any other over-the-counter medication, here are some tips to minimize the risks:

  • Try to take the medicine right after nursing or pumping.
  • Or, plan to take the medication right before your baby goes to bed when they’ll be more likely to feed less or skip nursing sessions.
  • Only take medicine when you think it’s really needed.
  • Take the smallest dose possible.
  • Don’t take extra-strength or long-acting formulas.
  • Use a single-ingredient versus a multi-ingredient formula if possible.
  • If you’re taking an over-the-counter medication like Midol while breastfeeding and your baby has signs of a reaction, diarrhea, or a change in eating habits, be sure to tell your pediatrician. 
  • If you notice a decrease in milk supply, add in extra pumping or nursing sessions. Human milk is produced based on supply and demand. So, the more milk you extract, the more your body will produce.

RELATED: How Long Does It Take To Refill Breast Milk?

When To Be Concerned

If you have underlying conditions like blood pressure issues or are taking blood thinners, it’s especially important to talk to your doctor before using the product.

If you take Midol while breastfeeding and have an adverse reaction like hives, rash, swelling, drowsiness, constipation, or stomach irritation, stop use and consult with your healthcare provider.

According to the drug facts, you should also avoid alcoholic drinks and caffeine while taking Midol. Alcohol may make you excessively drowsy and caffeine can cause excitability, especially in children.

Be sure to follow the directions on the package and do not exceed the daily maximum dose.

In case of overdose, seek medical help right away. Taking Midol in large doses can leave your body in serious condition and may cause severe liver damage.

Other Breast-Feeding Safe Medications

If you prefer not to take Midol or prescription medication, here are some other safe medications to take while breastfeeding.

Generally, if a drug is considered safe to take during pregnancy, it’s also safe to take while nursing (although there are some exceptions).

Also, if a drug can also be prescribed for infants, it’s likely safe to take while nursing.

Medications

Pain Relievers

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin, Proprinal)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Flanax)

Sleep Aids

  • Doxylamine (Unisom)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Cold and Flu Medicines

  • Theraflu
  • Any throat lozenge or cough drops without menthol (or in moderation)
  • Nasal sprays like Ocean mist
  • Oral decongestants like Mucinex and Sudafed Cold and Cough
  • Cough suppressant medications like Robitussin and Robitussin DM

Allergy Medications

  • Nasal decongestant like Claritin
  • Benadryl
  • Clear Eyes
  • Loratadine

Nipple Creams

RELATED: Can you take collagen while breastfeeding?

Natural Remedies

Woman hunches over on her bed with a heat pad on your abdomen.

Cramps and Muscle Aches

A good heating pad is a great way to relieve sore muscles, cramps, and body aches.

You should also drink plenty of fluids.

Calcium-rich foods can also help treat and prevent muscle aches. Aim for about 1,000 mg/day of calcium.

Here are some simple calcium-rich foods to add to your diet:

  • Dairy products
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Soybeans
  • Kale
  • Figs
  • Almonds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Tofu

Fiber-rich foods can help with cramps and bloating.

Try foods like:

  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Avocados
  • Popcorn
  • Whole grains
  • Apples
  • Dried fruits
  • Potatoes
  • Nuts

Cold and Flu Symptoms

Steam inhalation or a neti pot is great for sinus infections and for relieving congestion.

And you can try honey and ginger tea or brothy soups to help soothe a sore throat.

You can also use a cold/hot compress for aches and pains, nasal strips, and saline drops.

And, be sure to drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, and up your Vitamin C intake.

RELATED: Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding?

Medications to Avoid

While it’s generally okay to take Midol while breastfeeding, there are some medications you should avoid.

Aspirin is one medicine that women should avoid while breastfeeding. It can cause rashes and bleeding problems in infants who are breastfeeding.

Exposure to aspirin can also increase an infant’s risk for Reye’s syndrome.

This is a rare but serious condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the brain and liver.

Other medications may include aspirin, so it’s always important to check the labels.

Aspirin can even be found in products like Alka-Seltzer which may come as a surprise to many women.

Other Breastfeeding and Postpartum Tips for New Moms

Woman nurses her newborn baby while sitting on a bean bag in front of window.

Now that we’ve covered everything to know about Midol and breastfeeding, here are some other breastfeeding tips for new moms and other postpartum body changes you may experience and what to do about them.

Breastfeeding Tips

First, every breastfeeding mom needs a few essentials on her baby registry checklist. Here are some of the most popular items to try:

If you’re hoping to build a breast milk stash, try using the Haakaa pump! It’s an easy way for a nursing mom to collect extra milk without a lot of extra effort.

You can also use the Haakaa pump to relieve clogged ducts and increase your milk supply.

If you have leftover breastmilk that you can’t or don’t want to give to your baby, there are several other uses for it that might surprise you.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Create a soothing breastmilk bath for baby.
  • Use it to treat sunburns, bug bites, and diaper rash.
  • Use it to heal sore nipples.
  • Create breastmilk jewelry.
  • Donate it to milk banks.

If your milk has a soapy taste that your baby refuses, you’re likely dealing with high lipase milk. Here’s how to scald high lipase breast milk to remove the funky taste.

RELATED: Can you take probiotics while breastfeeding?

Postpartum Tips

As mentioned above, most breastfeeding moms won’t experience their first menstrual period for several weeks or months.

But, it’s common to have cramping, bloating, and body aches as part of your postpartum symptoms.

Here are some other common postpartum issues you may encounter:

Hair Loss

Many women shed hair after birth. This is because the body tends to hold onto hair during pregnancy that would normally fall out after the end of its life cycle

During postpartum, hormonal shifts switch the process back to normal.

If you’re concerned about postpartum hair loss, you can learn more in this post about how long postpartum hair loss lasts.

Itchy Scalp

Close up view of a woman with dark hair scratching her itchy scalp.

Along with hair loss, you may also experience an itchy scalp. This is another postpartum condition typically caused by changing hormone levels.

Luckily, this symptom is temporary.

You can find more information and remedies in this post about postpartum itchy scalp.

Loose Skin

Loose skin is probably one of the biggest complaints for postpartum moms. For the first few weeks, you’ll still look pregnant.

And then once the uterus shrinks to its normal size, you may find that your skin hasn’t tightened back up along with it.

You can find easy ways to fix loose skin in this post about how to tighten your stomach after having a baby.

RELATED: Is it too late to wear a postpartum girdle?

Postpartum Depression

It’s also common to experience some baby blues after birth, or a more serious condition like postpartum depression.

Your doctor should follow up with you to check in on how you’re feeling, emotionally.

But, if you ever experience any of the symptoms, below, reach out to your doctor right away for resources and help:

  • Extreme sadness
  • Intense loneliness or withdrawal
  • Insomnia and severe fatigue
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Intense anger or rage
  • Self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Belief that your baby would be better of without you
  • Inability to bond with your baby

Check this post about postpartum body changes for a complete list of symptoms and what to do about them!

RELATED: What is the safest antidepressant while breastfeeding?

FAQs

Is Midol OK to take while pregnant?


It is not advised to take Midol while pregnant from 20 weeks to birth. If for some reason your doctor instructs you to take this medication between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy, you should take the lowest dose for the shortest time possible.

And you should not use this drug after 30 weeks of pregnancy.

Can I take Ibuprofen while breastfeeding?


Yes. It is generally safe to take Ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin, Proprinal) while breastfeeding. However, you should always consult with your healthcare provider to be sure.

Can I take Pamprin while breastfeeding?


No. You should not take Pamprin while breastfeeding. This product contains Aspirin which is harmful to babies.

It can cause rashes and bleeding problems in infants who are breastfeeding.

Exposure to aspirin can also increase an infant’s risk for Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare but serious condition that causes swelling and inflammation in the brain and liver.

If you’re experiencing period symptoms like cramps, bloating, or muscle aches while breastfeeding, you can take Midol instead.

The Bottom Line

A woman holds a Midol pill in one hand and a glass of water in the other.

Here’s the bottom line on taking Midol while breastfeeding:

  • You should always consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new medication while breastfeeding.
  • However, Midol is generally considered safe while breastfeeding.
  • Midol may cause mild adverse reactions in the baby in high doses and may decrease milk supply. So, it’s important to take the lowest dosage possible and not take more than the daily maximum dosage.
  • The adverse reactions for baby include temporary irritability, jumpiness or hyperactivity, and an inability to sleep.
  • To minimize the risk to your child, try to take the medication right after pumping or nursing or when your baby goes down at night. And only take the medication when it’s really needed.
  • If you prefer not to take Midol while breastfeeding, there are other safe pain medicines you can try. These include.
    • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
    • Ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin, Proprinal)
    • Naproxen (Midol, Aleve, Flanax)
  • You can also try natural remedies to relieve body aches and cramps like a hot pad, drinking plenty of fluids, increasing calcium intake, and increasing fiber intake.
  • You should avoid aspirin while breastfeeding and any medication that includes aspirin in the ingredients.
  • Aspirin can cause rashes and bleeding problems in infants who are breastfeeding as well as a rare condition called, Reye’s syndrome, which causes swelling and inflammation of the brain and liver.

Want More?

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Your Turn

Did we answer all your questions about taking Midol while breastfeeding? Let us know if we missed anything in the comments!

Pinterest graphic with text and a woman with a Midol pill and water.