Can Antibiotics Lower Breastmilk Supply? 3 Things To Know

Can Antibiotics Lower Breastmilk Supply? 3 Things To Know

If you’re a breastfeeding mother and you are worried you might not be making enough milk for your baby, you’re not alone!

It’s very common for breastfeeding mothers to have this concern.

The good news is most mothers can make plenty of breastmilk for their babies!

The important thing to remember is you should focus on the reliable signs that your baby is getting enough milk and not the unreliable signs.

People make various claims about things that can lower milk supply – or increase it, for that matter.

Most of these claims are myths and are not based on any scientific evidence.

Can Antibiotics Lower Breastmilk Supply? 3 Things To Know

By far, the most important factor in establishing and maintaining a good milk supply is frequent and effective milk removal.

Some people believe the use of antibiotics can lower supply. But is there any truth to this belief?

Here are 3 things to know about antibiotics and your breastmilk supply.

#1: There’s No Evidence Antibiotics Lower Breastmilk Supply

Let’s get this straight from the outset. There’s zero evidence to suggest the use of antibiotics can lower breastmilk supply. However, some mothers claim it’s true, so why might this be?

#2: Correlation Doesn’t Equal Causation

Antibiotics are prescribed frequently; breastfeeding mothers also worry about supply frequently. This is probably where the association comes from.

But of course correlation doesn’t always equal causation and, as indicated above, no causal connection between antibiotics and lowered breastmilk supply has been found.

A common reason that doctors prescribe antibiotics for breastfeeding women is mastitis.

#3: Mastitis Might Cause A Temporary Drop In Breastmilk Supply

Antibiotics might be prescribed for infective mastitis. This is when your breast tissue becomes infected by bacteria. Some mothers experience a supply drop in the breast affected with mastitis. This supply drop is usually not significant enough to necessitate supplementation. It is usually temporary, and is resolved when the mastitis clears.

In such situations, some mothers might associate the supply drop with antibiotic use rather than with mastitis.

What should you do if you’re worried about your supply?

The first thing is to establish whether your supply really is low or whether you just perceive it to be.

Speak with an Australian Breastfeeding Association counsellor or La Leche League Leader or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, who will help you work out what’s happening.

Next, if your supply really is low, there are things you can do about it.

Read here for more information about how to increase your breastmilk supply.

You might also be interested in the following BellyBelly articles:

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Renee Kam IBCLC CONTRIBUTOR

Renee Kam is mother to Jessica and Lara, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a physiotherapist, author of 'The Newborn Baby Manual' and an Australian Breastfeeding Association Counsellor. In her spare time, Renee enjoys spending time with family and friends, horse riding, running and reading.


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