Endocrine System Home > Novolin N and Breastfeeding

From what is known about Novolin N (NPH insulin) and breastfeeding, the medication appears to be safe for breastfeeding women and their infants. It is not known whether the insulin passes through breast milk, but it would be destroyed in the digestive tract of the infant even if it did. If you are using Novolin N and breastfeeding, you may need to adjust your dosage.

An Overview of Novolin N and Breastfeeding

It is not clear if Novolin® N (NPH insulin) passes through breast milk, although it is not expected to cause any problems when used during breastfeeding. Most healthcare providers consider Novolin N to be safe for breastfeeding women and their infants. However, because breastfeeding women may need adjustments in their insulin requirements, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking Novolin N if you are breastfeeding or plan to start.

Can I Take Novolin N While Breastfeeding?

There is conflicting information available about whether or not insulin passes through breast milk. However, even if it does pass through breast milk, it would be destroyed in the digestive tract of the infant. Insulin (including Novolin N) is a protein that is digested and inactivated when taken by mouth. This is why insulin cannot be taken by mouth.
You can be assured that taking Novolin N while breastfeeding probably presents little or no risk to your infant. Be sure to seek your healthcare provider's advice about managing your diabetes while breastfeeding, as breastfeeding may impact your insulin requirements.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Novolin N and Breastfeeding

You should talk with your healthcare provider about Novolin N and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision about Novolin N and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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