Sunday, February 13, 2011

Warning: Ask a doctor before visiting the Heisses

I don't really know how Andrew survived this week—he only slept in one day, causing him to miss one class.  It's a miracle, really, considering how awful I feel. Andrew's been absolutely wonderful and has let me sleep pretty much all day yesterday and today. Somehow he managed to get the flu without getting a fever. The girls and I, on the other hand, have just been burning up.

I think it might have something to do with how much Dayquil/Theraflu he's been ingesting.

When I started feeling sick I quickly made a call to the doctor to see what he suggest I take. I knew the course of this illness would be awful because Andrew has been acting so pathetic all week. Unfortunately, the doctor never got back to me so I've been suffering through the flu with ibuprofen, cough drops, and orange juice. I'm still nursing, see, so I never know what I can take because everything seems to have a warning label these days: if pregnant or breastfeeding, ask a doctor.

The last thing I want when my little baby is sick is to have my milk run out and so I just continue taking nothing. I wish, instead, that they would list on the bottle what would actually happen if a nursing mother were to take the medicine. Taking aspirin is discouraged because the aspirin can pass through the breast milk to the infant and potentially cause Reye's syndrome or internal bleeding. However, my ibuprofen bottle also says to "ask a health professional before use," because I'm breastfeeding.

Now, it does clarify, saying that "it is especially important not to use ibuprofen during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless definitely directed to do so by a doctor because it may cause problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery." However, both my OB/GYNs suggested taking it to ease post-partem pain since it doesn't seem to effect breastfeeding at all. So why does the bottle say to ask a health care professional if you're pregnant or breastfeeding? Why isn't the warning just for pregnancy? Why can't they just say "DO NOT USE DURING THE LAST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY"?

Help a girl out, here.

Kellymom is a great resource explaining which medicines are safe for pregnant/breastfeeding women.

Still, when I look at her charts I tend to get a headache. It's all so confusing.

It probably doesn't help that I only look at her charts when I already have a headache...

And then there's infant tylenol.

The last time I checked "infant" meant "baby," not "child."

I consider Rachel a child. She walks, talks, knows her alphabet, and can dress herself.

I consider Miriam a baby. She toddles, babbles, loves to spin around in circles, and sucks her thumb.

However, when I look at the "infant" tylenol bottle, there is no dosage offered for Miriam. There is, however, dosage for Rachel. How does that even make sense?

It says to ask a doctor for advice in administering the drug to any "infant" under the age of two (or under 24 lbs). Are you serious? In my opinion this is just asking for parents to overdose (or under-dose) their children. As I said, I called my doctor on Friday afternoon and I've yet to hear back from them. So what am I supposed to do when my baby is up crying on a Sunday evening with a cough and a high fever?

I found a chart on that gives the dosage for littler people and it sounded like the same dosages that our doctor recommended for Rachel, back in the day.

Why don't they just put that information on the bottle though?

Ah, well. We'll be over this soon enough. Rachel's already feeling better—I don't know what it is about that child but the first thing she feels she needs to do when she gets sick is to throw up. Yesterday morning she jumped out of bed, got a bucket from the kitchen and hopped back into bed with me. She promptly threw up. I have no idea what brought it on because she hadn't been coughing or anything.

She's was running a slight fever this morning but seemed to be fine by the afternoon. Andrew is definitely on the mend. I think I might be getting better, too. My fever broke this afternoon but then came back, only not as bad. Miriam, on the other hand, is just starting to be really sick.


  1. I totally agree with you about putting the dosage on labels. WHY don't they list it clearly? I'm convinced it leads to more incorrect dosing when they don't.

    I used to use this site to help me out with medicines while nursing.

  2. Oh no, that sucks so much! I totally can commiserate with you about the infant vs. child tylenol/ibuprofen stupidness. I mean, if it's infant ibuprofen, why does it only have doses for 2 year olds and up???? I know, I know, the drug companies want to be extra careful about how they can be held accountable, but oh man. It's obnoxious. I'm sure your doctor is swamped with these kind of little phone calls.

    Have you tried calling your doctor's hotline at night before? They got back to me right away, and I was able to grill them on these types of questions. I'm nursing, too, so also feel you on the lack of labeling. I had a crown put on my tooth a few weeks ago, and they gave me vicotin. But the dentist said I needed to call my doctor to see if I could actually take it, since I'm nursing. The doctor said that it was fine but to avoid it if possible because it would make the baby drowsy. I was like, "Hey, drowsy is good!"

    I really, really hope Miriam doesn't get too sick. We had to take 4 month old baby Dan to the hospital when he got the stomach flu because he wasn't peeing at all. Our doc was having us give him a tsp of pedialyte every five or ten minutes. For about 8 hours. And he still didn't pee, so he had to get an IV. Ugh. Probably the stomach flu itself is not dangerous for Miriam, but if she gets dehydrated, that would be. Just remember, you can't really "dry up" in 24 hours. It takes longer. But that is also really scary.

    Oh man, my heart goes out to you. That is so hard!!! And then, you probably can't very well ask for much help from your friends because they don't want to get sick either. Ugh. Hope you guys get better!

  3. Aside from the creepy fetal pictures, it looks like a great resource, Bridget! ;)

  4. My favorite is that on the Fenugreek I took for breastfeeding, including the tea that said it was to increase breast milk production it said, "Consult your doctor if you are breastfeeding." I hope you feel better soon....sick mamas and sick babie :(