Available research suggests that Pepto-Bismol is not safe to take while breastfeeding. While there is no conclusive evidence that bismuth subsalicylate is passed to infants through breast milk, other salicylates do. For this reason, most authoritative organizations recommend avoiding salicylates while breastfeeding.
Try not to breastfeed 1 to 2 hours after taking the dose to minimize the amount in your breast milk.
Loperamide (Imodium®) is the most commonly used drug. The dose is two capsules, to then start one after each bowel movement. It can be taken by nursing mothers as it is poorly absorbed from the intestines and minimal amounts pass into breast milk.
Bismuth subsalicylate, also known as Pepto Bismol, has not been officially classified as dangerous during pregnancy, although some research suggests that long-term use may be harmful. According to Healthline, the ingredients in this belly pacifier, if taken later in pregnancy, may increase the risk of bleeding during childbirth.
Domperidone and metoclopramide are considered compatible with breastfeeding as antiemetics for short-term, low-dose use.
It is clinically unknown whether Pepto-Bismol is excreted in human milk. However, other types of salicylates are known to pass into breast milk and can have harmful effects on a nursing infant. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends caution when breastfeeding with salicylates such as Pepto-Bismol.
If the mother has food poisoning, breastfeeding should be continued. As long as the symptoms are limited to the gastrointestinal tract (vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps), breastfeeding should be continued without interruption, as there is no danger to the baby.
It’s okay to breastfeed when you’re sick
Common illnesses like the common cold and diarrhea can’t be passed to the baby through breast milk. When the mother is sick, antibodies can be passed to the baby to protect the baby from getting the same disease as the mother.
Just catching a virus or bug like the flu, cold or stomach virus will not decrease your milk supply. However, associated symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting or decreased appetite definitely can.
Some of the over-the-counter medicines that increase the chance of birth defects are: Bismuth subsalicylate (such as Pepto-Bismol). Phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, which are decongestants. Avoid drugs with these ingredients during the first trimester.
Children and adolescents under the age of 18 should not take this product if they have chickenpox, the flu or an undiagnosed illness, or if they have recently received a vaccine. In these cases, taking aspirin or aspirin-like products increases the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious condition.
Doses of famotidine in breast milk result in infant doses that are lower than those used in neonates. Famotidine is not expected to cause any side effects in breastfed infants. No special precautions are required.
Pepto-Bismol should work within 30 to 60 minutes. If necessary, you can receive another dose after 30 to 60 minutes. You can take up to 8 doses in 24 hours.