With the anxiety and stress that are prevalent nowadays with all that's going on in the world, many of us are wondering what we can do to help ease our minds. The question arises...can you take Xanax while breastfeeding? Is it safe for mom and baby?
The short answer to the raised question is no (sorry!). Xanax passes on to the baby through breast milk and can cause significant problems for your child. You will find a more thorough answer to the question below. For the most part, we will look into the in-depth analysis of what Xanax does to your body and whether it is okay to be taking it as a mother or soon-to-be mother.
What is Xanax?
Xanax, or better known as Alprazolam, is a drug that is used as a medication for mental problems. Doctors may also refer to it as the "benzodiazepines.” People are recommended the intake of Xanax when they have anxiety or symptoms of panic disorders.
This strong drug is only eliminated half in quantity from your system approximately 11 hours after intake. At the same time, it may take a few days to get rid of it from your system completely. The central nervous system is affected by it for awhile, relieving the person’s anxiety.
Pregnancy and Xanax
There are not many Xanax studies conducted on pregnant volunteers, as the drug may cause the baby harm, which means that most of the knowledge about pregnancy comes from reports and studies that dictate and conclude possible problems that may happen. Thus, relying on a doctor's recommendation is far better than personal research.
All in all, Xanax crossing the placenta affects the baby, which is the reason that doctors recommend women to stop taking medicine for the first trimester so there are no birth defects caused by it. The intake of Xanax at the time of pregnancy would mean that you may risk your baby's health, as the baby might be born with a system that already has a Xanax dependency. It is highly suggested that mothers have a one-on-one talk with their doctors about their pregnancy and Xanax intake.
Breast Milk and Xanax
Let's come back to our main question of whether one may take Xanax while breastfeeding or not. It is not recommended that you take Xanax while breastfeeding, as it's absorbed into your breast milk and would then pass on to the child. According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 14.5 hours is the estimated time that Xanax can stay in breast milk. If you are in extreme need of anxiety relief, then you should consult your doctor and talk to them about your situation.
The effects that it would cause your baby include making the baby sedated, which would eventually affect their breathing. Risks for seizures are also increased with the intake of Xanax, which means that the baby might have a seizure when the medicine is withdrawn from their body.
Necessity may call for the emergent intake, but other than that, it is best to avoid the medicine for your child's sake and well-being. Mothers can adequately use prescribed medicines that have a shorter duration of acting duration and have a less negative impact on the mother and the baby's body.
Moreover, the side effects of Xanax may have a greater impact on babies due to their weak immune systems. Drowsiness, insomnia, slurred speech, and trouble concentrating may become problems for your child.
Some of the unfortunate issues that may take place in your baby’s body with its regular intake of Xanax are as follows:
- Weight loss
- Refusing the breast
All medicines must only be taken, especially at the time of breastfeeding or pregnancy, with your doctor's recommendation. Being diligent and avoiding unhealthy decisions for your little one's life and health is the best decision a mother can make.
It's best to consider other alternatives for reducing stress and anxiety while breastfeeding, such as meditation and healthy habits, as well as asking for and getting help when you need it.