Dramamine for seasickness: Safe while breastfeeding?

My wife and I are taking our 15 month old on a cruise. My wife still nurses and wants to know if she can take Dramamine for seasickness.

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is considered to be the active ingredient in Dramamine. It has been studied in a limited number of women without an increase in adverse affects in the infant. Since your baby is older and most likely taking toher foods in addition to breastfeeding, the risk is lower than it would be for an infant.

Additionally, the Dramamine will be peaking in your blood and milk about one to two hours after you take it. You can further minimize your baby's exposure by timing the dosing and breastfeeding to avoid nursing during this peak affect.

Of course you will want to check with your doctor about this or any medication, since he or she knows any special circumstances that would apply specifically to you or your baby.

There are also some non-pharmacological remedies for seasickness:

  • Breathe in fresh air. Spend lots of time out on the deck (not in your cabin).
  • Eat non-greasy foods. It is probably best to eat light meals and to eat more frequently. (Usually not a problem on a cruise!)
  • You can purchase acupressure wristbands that are very helpful for those prone to motion sickness.
  • Ginger capsules are a natural alternative that is helpful to many and can help even once symptoms are in full-force. (Candied ginger or ginger snap cookies are also good to keep on hand.)

When using Dramamine, keep in mind that it will not be nearly as effective if taken during an episode, than if taken prior to feeling seasick. If you plan on using this medication, it might be a good idea to try a trial dose prior to the trip to make sure you don't experience any negative reaction. It can make you drowsy and you don't want to sleep through your entire cruise.


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