Constipation from Taking Pain Medication While Breastfeeding

Updated on May 14, 2011
K.B. asks from Santee, CA
7 answers

Hi moms. I have recently been taking vicodin for back pain for about a month now. I have an 8 month old who breastfeeds only part time and she has been really constipated lately. She has been getting formula and breastmilk as I have been trying to slowly wean her. She is also eating more solids. The doctors have indicated that the medicine is safe to take while breastfeeding, in fact they usually send everyone home with a big bottle of it after delivery. What I'd like to know is, can the medication that I'm taking be causing her constipation, or is it more likely the transition to more and more formula every day? I know Vicodin can cause constipation when you take it, but I don't know if that would be a side effect to the baby. I've heard at most it can make them sleepy. Anyone have any insight on this?


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answers from Tampa on

Sounds like a double whammy... formula definitely causes the two extrmemes of pooping - constipation and diarrhea. But having too much pain medication can do it too.

Vicodin IS commonly used and found to be safe in breastfeeding. Older infants have a much lower chance of having a constipation side effect. The basis of the study was done with 5-10mg of Hydrocodone every 4-6 hours as needed.

Medications and Mother's Milk by Dr. T Hale - 2008 Ed

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answers from Charlotte on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

My ped recommended pears or pear juice for constipation and it's worked every time. I keep it in the house and we all use it, even my husband and I, when we need it.
Formula is probably more likely the cause. Maybe try a different base, if you're using a milk base switch to soy for instance and see if it helps.


answers from New York on

Yes it is possible for the baby to experience side effects from the vicodin, but the constipation is probably caused from a combination of the vicodin and diet change. Check with your Pedi see what he has to say. You can try prune juice.

I hope that your back pain is better soon.



answers from Los Angeles on

My mom is a pharmacist - she says that vicodin can cause constipation in the person taking it, and since everything in your system gets passed onto baby, it could definitely cause constipation in your baby. Hope that helps!

Oh - and when my baby was constipated, I introduced pureed prunes into her diet...seemed to help.


answers from Austin on

i think itd be more likely the formula switch/combo would be causing constipation but its possible. increase your fiber and add some probiotic to the formula.



answers from New York on

I don't but prune juice and more water seem to always help me or the babies when backed up.

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