Oxycodone and Breastfeeding: Guide for Recovering Mothers in NJ

Learn about the risks of using oxycodone while breastfeeding, precautions you can take, and when you should seek help from healthcare experts.

As a new mom, you might be in quite a bit of pain and wondering if it’s okay to take strong pain relievers like oxycodone while breastfeeding. Questions like “Can I take oxycodone and breastfeed?” or “What should I know about using oxycodone while breastfeeding?” are probably running through your mind. It’s important to think about these things. We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ will show you the risks of using oxycodone while breastfeeding, precautions you can take, and why you should seek help from healthcare experts.

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a medication with the purpose of relieving severe pain. Doctors might prescribe it when other pain relievers do not work. It is a very strong medicine and effective for managing ongoing pain that is difficult to treat.

The important question when it comes to oxycodone and breastfeeding, or oxycodone in general, is – is oxycodone addictive? And the answer is – unfortunately, yes. There is a chance of becoming addicted to oxycodone. This means you might find it challenging to stop using it if you take it either too long or in a way different from your doctor’s advice.

a mom breastfeeding a baby, thinking about the breastfeeding oxycodone situation
Many mothers need help to ease the pain, which is why breastfeeding and oxycodone are interconnected.

Do Many People in New Jersey Use Oxycodone?

In New Jersey, in 2022, doctors gave out 28.6 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people. This means that almost 30% of the population received a prescription for opioids like oxycodone. Oxycodone is included in these prescriptions because it’s a strong painkiller that helps people with moderate to severe pain.

Hydrocodone vs Oxycodone

Both Hydrocodone and Oxycodone are pain relief medications. However, they are not the same. Let’s compare hydrocodone vs oxycodone. Important points about hydrocodone include:

  • Often mixed with other medications, like in some cough syrups.
  • Used not just for pain relief but sometimes to lessen coughing.
  • Might be considered before moving on to stronger painkillers.

On the other hand, here is what you should know about oxycodone:

  • Typically prescribed when hydrocodone doesn’t cut it for pain relief.
  • Praised for its ability to control severe pain.
  • Also comes with a risk of becoming addicted.

Both hydrocodone and oxycodone require careful consideration, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

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Oxycodone During Pregnancy and Its Impact

Taking oxycodone during pregnancy is a big decision with serious consequences. If you’re pregnant and take oxycodone, your baby might feel the impact. This could mean withdrawal symptoms right after they’re born, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). What does this look like? Your newborn might cry more, shake, struggle to sleep, have feeding problems, and sometimes fever or diarrhea. These symptoms are tough on infants and need medical attention. That’s why health professionals usually say no to oxycodone during pregnancy unless there’s no other choice.

A pregnant person belly as a symbol of "can i take oxycodone and breastfeeding?"
Your baby might feel the impact of oxycodone if you use it while pregnant.

Breastfeeding Insights

If you used oxycodone while pregnant and are now breastfeeding, here’s what to consider.

  • Follow the doctor’s orders. Your doctor knows best. If you’re in pain post-birth, they’ll tell you how to handle it safely.
  • Oxycodone will be present in breast milk. Yes, it can transfer into your milk, but typically in tiny amounts. The goal is to manage your pain while keeping the baby safe.
  • Watch your baby. If you’re taking oxycodone and breastfeeding, keep an eye out for drowsiness, breathing issues, or feeding troubles in your baby. Any concerns? Talk to your pediatrician right away.

Can You Take Oxycodone While Breastfeeding?

You can take oxycodone while breastfeeding. However, you should be very careful. It is all about balance. You need to manage your pain without compromising your baby’s safety. Dose matters, too. Smaller doses are generally safer for the baby, but you also need to make sure it’s enough to reduce your pain. Also, you need to plan your doses around breastfeeding times. Feeding your baby right before a dose might let the drug’s levels in your milk drop before the next feeding.

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Risks of Using Oxycodone and Breastfeeding and How to Manage Them

Risks for your baby include sleepiness, breathing problems, and feeding issues. To minimize the risks of breastfeeding and oxycodone usage, here’s what to do:

  • Listen to the doctor. Always stick to your doctor’s guidance about using oxycodone while breastfeeding.
  • Keep an eye on your baby. Notice any unusual signs? Sleeping more or less, trouble feeding, or just seeming off? we repeat – get in touch with your pediatrician right away.
  • Look for safer options. Ask about pain relief methods that are more breastfeeding-friendly.
  • Use the minimum. If you need oxycodone, go for the lowest dose that works – for the shortest time needed. This reduces the chance of affecting your baby.
  • Talk to your healthcare team. Make sure all your health providers are in the loop about your pain management, including your use of oxycodone. This helps ensure you and your baby get the best care.

Monitoring and Managing Side Effects in Infants

If you’re using oxycodone while breastfeeding, you must watch your baby for any unusual signs. Look for the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness: If your baby is sleeping more than usual or seems hard to wake up, take note.
  • Feeding trouble: If your little one isn’t interested in feeding or struggles during feeding, it could be a sign.
  • Breathing changes: It is important to notice any change in your baby’s breathing, such as it being slower or shallower.
  • Crying or comfort issues: If your baby cries more or seems harder to soothe, these could be signals.

When to Get Help

Be aware of the following oxycodone breastfeeding situations and make sure to act immediately if necessary:

  • Trouble breathing: Slow or hard breathing in your baby means you should seek medical help right away.
  • Weakness: If your baby feels unusually limp or doesn’t respond much when you pick them up, it’s time to act.
  • Feeding refusal: Missing several feedings or not staying awake for them is a big red flag.
  • Skin color changes: Blueness around the lips or paleness can mean breathing difficulties or circulation issues.
A happy mom hugging her baby after solving the problem of oxycodone and breastfeeding
Do regular check-ups to avoid the problems of oxycodone and breastfeeding.

How to Keep Your Baby Safe

You should do regular check-ups. This way, you keep an eye on your baby’s growth and health. Talk openly to your doctor. Tell them about taking oxycodone and breastfeeding. They need to know this to support you and your baby best. Learn about other pain relief methods that might be safer for your baby.

If you are ever in doubt, reach out to your healthcare provider. They will always help you and make sure you and your baby stay healthy.

Safer Pain Relief Options for Breastfeeding Mothers

If you’re a breastfeeding mom worried about managing pain and don’t want to take oxycodone, there are safer choices. Let’s explore the alternatives.

Ease Pain Without Medicine

You might want to engage in physical therapy. Custom exercises can ease pain and make you stronger and more mobile. Also, you can put heat or cold on the sore spot to lower pain and swelling. Another thing that can help you is a soft massage. It will ease muscle stiffness and cut down on pain.

Use Pain Killers You Can Buy Without a Prescription

You can take Acetaminophen (Tylenol). This is usually okay for moms who breastfeed and can help with pain but doesn’t have the risks that opioids do.

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is also typically safe while breastfeeding. It works on pain and swelling. Always double-check the right amount to take with your doctor.

Consider Other Medicine Options

Talk about other medicine options with your doctor. Ask if they advise you to use local anesthetics, such as creams or patches for pain in a specific area. That might work well. Certain antidepressants can also help with pain and might be fine if you breastfeed.

Make Lifestyle Changes

First of all, you need good rest. If you get enough sleep, you will be better able to recover and handle pain. Of course, eating right and drinking plenty of water will help your body heal. Also, you should deal with stress in a healthy way. Take up things like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. They will help you with stress and make pain feel less intense.

A person consulting a doctor about breastfeeding and oxycodone
Talk to a healthcare professional about oxycodone and breastfeeding.

Get Advice from Experts

It is a good idea to get advice from pain specialists and lactation consultants about breastfeeding and oxycodone. Pain specialists can advise you on other ways to deal with your pain. If you are worried about how managing pain might impact breastfeeding, lactation consultants can help.

The Role of Support and Rehabilitation

If you’re a mom using oxycodone while breastfeeding and maybe have additional mental health issues, consider getting help from reliable dual diagnosis treatment centers NJ has. Here’s a quick overview of what professional support looks like:

  • Initial comprehensive check: A detailed first check helps us figure out the best way to handle your pain without hurting your mental health or your baby’s safety.
  • Customized recovery plans: Specialists create plans that balance your need for pain relief with the safety of breastfeeding. They aim to keep both you and your baby healthy.
  • Access to therapy: Approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy give you tools to deal with pain and mental health issues without depending entirely on drugs.
  • Support groups: Being part of groups with moms in similar situations can offer you support and useful tips on juggling recovery and motherhood.
  • Family involvement: Having your family involved in your treatment can provide the extra support you need for handling both recovery and taking care of your kids.

Drinking Alcohol While Breastfeeding

Weigh choices like consuming alcohol. There are significant effects of drinking alcohol and breastfeeding. Alcohol can find its way into breast milk and affect your little one’s sleep patterns and development, given that infants break down alcohol more slowly than adults do. Even light to moderate drinking can interfere with your milk production capabilities.

Combining oxycodone with alcohol introduces significant risks. Both substances can suppress the central nervous system, which might lead to serious health consequences and affect your ability to look after your baby properly. Therefore, we advise you not to drink alcohol while on medications like oxycodone.

A couple holding and looking at their baby illustrating breastfeeding oxycodone connection
Learn about the issues of using oxycodone while breastfeeding and make sure your baby is healthy.

Be Cautious and Seek Help to Make Sure Your Baby Is Safe

If you need oxycodone for pain, follow your healthcare provider’s advice closely and learn about oxycodone and breastfeeding. Use the smallest dose that works for as short a time as possible. Watch your baby for any unusual signs, like being more sleepy than usual or having trouble eating, and get help if something seems off. It’s also a good idea to talk about pain relief options that don’t involve opioids to find safer choices for you and your child. Focus on a healthy lifestyle to help your recovery and support your baby’s health. We Level Up Lawrenceville NJ is here to help and give you advice and resources to get through this time safely.

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PubMed. (2006). Oxycodone. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501245/.

www.nj.gov. (n.d.). Department of Health | Population Health | New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program. [online] Available at: https://www.nj.gov/health/populationhealth/opioid/opioid_pmp.shtml.

Anbalagan, S. and Mendez, M.D. (2019). Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK551498/.