Pregnant women are often advised to take nutrient rich diet along with vitamin supplements and minerals for the good health of the baby. Further, it is recommended that alcohol and drugs should be avoided as much as possible. Anything for the baby’s health! Despite the general awareness, there is still a lot of ambiguity over the medication that pregnant women can take while the child is in the womb or newly born.
Most women think that the moment the umbilical cord is cut; they can fall back to their old ways and habits. However, this could not be far from the truth purely because the woman breastfeeds her child for months after the birth and can transfer any toxic compounds or drugs that she is taking.
There is still a lot of confusion as the FDA prohibits lactating women from participating in experimental studies. That being said, one thing that does have scientific and empirical supplementation is the consumption of Xanax and its adverse effects on the infant that is being breastfed.
Has it been proven that Xanax is harmful to the infant?
A study was conducted where eight lactating women participated. Their milk was tested each hour for over 10 days with placebo and differing levels of dosage. It was found that the infant was more irritable once the mother who was having Xanax addiction stopped breastfeeding.
This indicates that there were enough elements of the drug in the breast milk to create withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. When this fact was brought to light by the researchers, the manufacturers themselves admitted to cases reported where the infant was showing extreme symptoms of Xanax withdrawal like irritability, excessive crying, and sleep disturbances.
The research was further conducted on 5 infants who were exposed to Xanax in the breast milk. It was found that they were drowsier as compared to others on normal breast milk. This is because this drug increases the level of serum prolactin. It has been speculated, though not proven, that the continuous exposure to Xanax in infancy can increase the chances of the infant growing to become an addict due to the high tolerance level in the body.
What to do if Xanax consumption cannot be avoided?
If the consumption of the medication has become a necessity for the body, one might consider taking the baby off breast milk completely rather than becoming prey to the drug’s interactions. Another option would be to consult your doctor regarding milk powders and its efficacy but do enquire the doctor regarding interactions of Xanax and food. Presently, there is International Board Certified Lactation Consultant available to provide guidance and support in cases of extreme nature.
That being said, if the pill has to be consumed for a short span of time, one can consider pumping, storing and freezing the milk for the baby. This can be fed to the baby when on Xanax. Bottle-fed formula milk is also a feasible option for the said time period.