Weight Loss

Are Weight Loss Medications Safe While Breastfeeding?

Key Takeaways
  • It’s unknown whether the molecules of some modern weight loss medications pass into breast milk. Most weight loss medication manufacturers have stated that the medications are not recommended for people who are breastfeeding.
  • You’re supposed to be taking in more calories per day while breastfeeding, rather than less. This means there is no safe appetite suppressant to take while breastfeeding; instead focus on eating a well-balanced diet.
  • The metabolites of certain forms of oral weight loss medications have been shown to pass into breast milk and shouldn’t be taken while breastfeeding. This means taking weight loss pills while breastfeeding may be dangerous for the infant or child..
  • Things like regular exercise and a healthy diet, coupled with psychological and behavioural therapy are fantastic, safe alternatives to prescription medications while you’re breastfeeding.
  • If you are pregnant, you should not take weight loss medications, as they are not safe for use during pregnancy and can cause harm to the fetus.

During pregnancy, our bodies go through a lot of changes and people often experience some weight gain that is more than temporary baby weight. 

This can lead some people to consider weight loss medication to try and take control of their body size. And if you’re breastfeeding, you may be wondering what are the safest options? Can you take weight loss medication while breastfeeding?

To answer these questions, the team at Felix has put together some useful information to help you safely consider treatments for your weight management journey, safely and effectively.

Is It Safe to Diet While Breastfeeding?

Mild caloric restriction may be safe for some patients with overweight or obesity, but in general, people who are breastfeeding need more calories, not less.

In fact, some patients may lose weight without dieting, throughout their time breastfeeding.

Exercise and maintaining a healthy diet is generally a safer choice than trying to restrict your caloric intake. However, you should consult your healthcare practitioner to discuss healthy weight management options while breastfeeding.

Can I Take Weight Loss Medication While Breastfeeding?

For common, modern weight loss medications, it is unknown whether the active ingredients in these medications are present in breast milk. This is why it’s generally not recommended to take weight loss drugs while breastfeeding.

Some oral forms of the medications contain salcaprozate sodium (SNAC). It’s unknown if SNAC is present in breast milk. Because of this, taking weight loss pills while breastfeeding is also generally not recommended.

According to the manufacturer:

“The decision to breastfeed during therapy with injectable weight loss medication should consider the risk of infant exposure, the benefits of breastfeeding to the infant, and benefits of treatment to the mother. 

Breastfeeding during therapy with oral weight loss medication is not recommended due to the unknown risks associated with potential accumulation of SNAC in the infant. Due to safety concerns, medications for weight loss therapy are not recommended for patients who are breastfeeding.”

If you’re interested in discussing these risks further with a healthcare professional, just complete a short online assessment. Your practitioner will be happy to discuss the benefits vs risks of using weight loss medications while breastfeeding. 

Do All Weight Loss Medications Pass into Breast Milk?

There are some molecules in certain oral weight loss medications that aren’t safe while breastfeeding because their metabolites have been shown to pass intobreast milk.

For most modern weight loss medications, it’s not known whether the active ingredients from these medications can pass into breast milk.

Not all medications pass into breast milk, but it’s best to seek advice from your healthcare practitioner before using any medications while breastfeeding.

NOTE: Felix doesn’t endorse the use of weight loss supplements deemed ‘safe’ for breastfeeding, because the vast majority of these products are unregulated. This means there is no guarantee that they won’t cause a negative reaction for you or your child while breastfeeding.

Alternatives to Weight Loss Medications

Considering either psychological and behavioural therapy are great alternatives to using weight loss medication while breastfeeding.

Psychologists will be able to give you the tools that you need to make sustainable dietary choices and build healthy habits.

Together with regular exercise and counseling to manage the mental health aspect of your weight management journey, these can help you stay in control of your overall health.

The truth of the matter is that the ‘move more, eat less’ mentality doesn’t take things like biology and genetics into account. Although, it’s important to remember that a balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for everyone to maintain our health; especially as we age.

Even if you can’t lose weight during this period, these elements can help prevent further weight gain, until you’ve finished breastfeeding and may be able to begin weight loss medications safely.

When Should I Contact My Healthcare Practitioner?

If you’re concerned about your weight and how it’s affecting your health, or you’ve been considering using weight loss medications, but you’re planning to or are breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare practitioner at Felix.

They’ll be able to walk you through all the safe weight management options at your disposal once you’re no longer breastfeeding. With Felix in your corner, you can take back control of your health, so you can get back to living life on your terms - the way it should be.

Medically reviewed by


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