A urinary tract infection (UTI) occurs frequently in women because the urethra is shorter than a man’s, allowing bacteria easier passage into the urinary tract. According to MedlinePlus, UTIs can occur in any part of the urinary tract, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters and urethra. Treating UTIs while breastfeeding requires more consideration than in nonbreastfeeding women because of the ability of certain medications to enter breast milk.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect a UTI and are breastfeeding. Your doctor can obtain a urine culture to verify the diagnosis and determine exactly which organism is causing the infection. By pinpointing the cause, your doctor can choose an antibiotic that is effective in killing the bacteria and which is safe for breastfeeding.
Discuss choices for antibiotics with your doctor, making sure to notify him of any drug allergies you may have. The Family Physicians Inquiries Network notes that trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, or Septra, is very effective in treating UTI, and it is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers. Other antibiotics considered safe include cephalosporins such as Keflex, Ceftin and Omnicef. Ask about possible side effects and drug interactions if you take any other prescription drugs or even herbal supplements.
Take the prescribed antibiotics exactly as your doctor prescribes. It is important to take the entire course to completely eliminate the infection and prevent its recurrence. The antibiotics will need to be taken for three to seven days, depending on the chosen medication. Refer to your prescription bottle for exact instructions and dosage. If you have any questions regarding your particular medication and how to take it, ask the pharmacist when you have the prescription filled.
Drink at least eight glasses of water per day while taking the antibiotics to help flush the bacteria out of your system. Maintaining adequate hydration can also help prevent UTIs from occurring because the bladder empties more frequently.