What to avoid while breastfeeding.

Remember what you eat and drink can affect your breast milk. It's important to know what is safe for you and your baby.

Alcohol

It is best not to drink alcohol when you are breastfeeding.

If you choose to drink alcohol, try to feed your baby before you have a drink. You can also wait for two to three hours after a drink before you breastfeed. Learn more about alcohol and breastfeeding.

Drugs

Over-the-counter drugs. Pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) are generally safe to use when breastfeeding. Do not take more than the recommended dosage.

Prescription drugs. Always check with your doctor whether your prescription drugs are safe while breastfeeding. For details on a specific drug, search the LactMed database.

Birth control pill. It is not recommended to take the pill as it contains estrogen, affecting your milk supply. Vaginal rings and patches should also be avoided. Safe forms of contraception include condoms, diaphragm or cap, and injections. Speak to your health care providers to see what's best for you. Learn more about breastfeeding and birth control.

Street drugs. Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine can pass into breast milk and even tiny amounts can have adverse effects on the baby.

Smoking. Cigarette smoking is not recommended if you are breastfeeding. Nicotine and other harmful ingredients in cigarettes pass through your breast milk and can affect your baby. Smoking can also reduce the amount of breast milk you produce. Even if you choose to continue smoking, it is still better to breastfeed than not. Learn more about the risks of second-hand smoking and ways to help you quit.