Pediatric health experts encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies if they are physically able to do so. Human milk is like a superfood for your baby, because it contains a variety of antioxidants, proteins and other beneficial ingredients that are easy for your baby to digest.
Despite all of the hype, it’s often difficult for nursing mothers to find up-to-date, reliable information and support for their unique struggles and medical issues. In some parts of the U.S., breastfeeding remains a taboo subject that even physicians feel too uncomfortable to discuss thoroughly.
A compounding pharmacist is a great resource for lactating mothers who don’t feel their questions and concerns are being properly addressed by traditional experts. The compounding pharmacist follows safe, established pharmaceutical guidelines while offering you nursing-related products and services that are unknown or unexplored by some medical advisors. Here are three ways compounding pharmacies support your lactation goals.
Your Compounding Pharmacy Offers Customized Care to Prepare
Lactation experts suggest that potential nursing mothers prepare in advance for the physical demands of breastfeeding. One sensitive issue new moms face is sore nipples. It takes a while for some babies to learn how to latch on, and some babies pinch when they feed. If you haven’t toughened up the breasts, you may have some discomfort until you and your baby get the hang of nursing.
Soreness shouldn’t be a reason to give up on nursing your baby if you’re committed to seeing it through. Your compounding pharmacist mixes up ointments that can help condition your nipples in advance of nursing. These ointments help protect and add resilience to your sensitive spots, increasing your ability to withstand any future rough treatment. Choose ointments with conditioning ingredients only, or ask the compounding pharmacist for a nipple ointment that has anti-fungal and germ-fighting qualities.
Ingredients that may be used in breast ointments include:
- Miconazole powder—anti-fungal agent that’s used to treat common nursing infections, such as Candida albicans (thrush or yeast infection) very effectively
- Mupirocin—antibiotic that kills Staph including MRSA and is safe for mother and baby since most ointment stays on mom’s skin
- Betamethasone—corticosteroid that decreases swelling and redness and is also safe for mother and baby
Your compounding pharmacy will have its own proven “recipes” for creating effective lactation-related ointments and creams. Use these tried-and-true ointments with or without medication as you massage sensitive areas of the breast in preparation for nursing. If you experience soreness using a breast pump or other method to prepare for nursing, the ointments are very helpful. The formulations are useful all-purpose treatments for cracked, sore or infected breasts both before your baby’s birth and while nursing.
Your Compounding Pharmacy Offers Safe Support for Successful Lactation
New FDA rules make it easier than ever for your compounding pharmacist to advise you on safe drugs to take during the time period when you’re pregnant and nursing. If you have questions about a medication your doctor prescribed, ask your compounding pharmacist to check on the safety for nursing mothers and their babies.
If you feel a medication is too risky to take while you’re nursing your baby, but you need a health issue addressed, ask your compounding pharmacist about safe alternative treatments. The compounding pharmacist will work with your physician, pediatrician and obstetrician to create the safest medications possible.
Compounding pharmacists also understand the delicate hormonal triggers that make lactation successful. It’s sometimes necessary to adjust levels of oxytocin, estrogen, progesterone and prolactin using various medications in order to increase lactation. Your doctor may prescribe oxytocin nasal spray after pregnancy to help your body adjust to nursing.
Another way to assist lactation is to block dopamine’s influence on prolactin. Without enough prolactin in your system, you can’t produce milk. Dopamine inhibits prolactin in some women, so you may be prescribed drugs that block dopamine, including:
These drugs are controversial due to potential side effects. If you’re having trouble producing enough milk, ask your medical providers and lactation consultant about the appropriate use of these medications in your specific situation. Mothers who wish to nurse adopted infants may also seek lactation-inducing medications from a compounding pharmacy when their physicians approve the use of these drugs.
Your Compounding Pharmacy Offers Help With Weaning Issues
Weaning your baby can be uncomfortable, especially if you and your baby have to quit “cold turkey.” You may face painful, engorged breasts and inflamed nipples. This engorgement can block or infect your milk ducts.
Your compounding pharmacist can help with ointments and other advice about over-the counter remedies to soothe breast pain and infection. The pharmacy may also be able to help you with remedies to help with weaning, including supplements.
Some physicians prescribe a medication called bromocriptine to reduce the prolactin levels in your system. As with all medications, the use of bromocriptine to dry up the milk supply is controversial. Your compounding pharmacist is a great resource to consult if you wish to learn more about modern drugs and effective, rapid weaning.
Contact Potter’s House Apothecary today to receive expert answers to your questions about safe medications to use during pregnancy, postpartum care and lactation. We serve moms-to-be and mothers throughout Arizona, including moms in the Peoria, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Glendale areas.