Women and Infant Care

Common Home Medications After Having a Baby

After having a baby, there are some common medications you might take at home to give you more comfort or help you stay well. Always check with your doctor or other health care provider before you start taking any new medications.

Prenatal vitamins

These vitamins are used to aid the diet needs before, during and after pregnancy. These may come as a tablet, capsule, chewable tablet or chewable gummy. Prenatal vitamins are taken one time a day with or without food. Taking with food may help decrease stomach upset. You may breastfeed while taking prenatal vitamins. Frequent side effects may include constipation, stool discoloration or diarrhea.

Iron supplements

Iron supplements are used to prevent or treat low iron in the body. Iron can be a tablet or a solution and is taken one to two times a day as directed by your provider. Do not chew or crush extended release tablets. Take with water or juice between meals for maximum absorption. It may be taken with food to decrease stomach upset. Do not take with milk or other dairy products. You may breastfeed while taking iron supplements. Possible side effects are diarrhea, constipation, stool discoloration, decreased appetite, stomach cramps, or staining of mouth, teeth or fillings.

Colace (docusate)

Docusate is a stool softener used to treat constipation. It can come as a capsule, tablet or syrup. Docusate tablets or capsules are best taken with a full glass of water. Mix syrup with 6 to 8 ounces of milk or fruit juice to prevent throat irritation. It can be taken with or without food. If you breastfeed while taking docusate, your baby may experience diarrhea. While taking docusate, side effects may include stomach cramps or diarrhea.

Motrin (ibuprofen)

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to relieve pain, swelling and fever. It can come as a capsule, suspension or tablet. This drug is best taken with a full glass of water. You do not need to take ibuprofen with food, but you may if it causes stomach upset. Ibuprofen capsules should be swallowed whole. You may breast-feed while taking ibuprofen. While taking ibuprofen, side effects may include heartburn, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation or upset stomach. Contact your provider immediately if you have or get any of the following: unexplained rash or hives, unexplained itching, difficulty breathing, black, tarry or bloody stool, fever, severe stomach cramps or pain, severe nausea or vomiting, vomiting of blood, abnormal bleeding or bruising, or any other signs of an allergic reaction.