breastfeeding and hypertension

Last edited 08/2019 and last reviewed 06/2023

Breastfeeding and hypertension

NICE have outlined guidance regarding the use of antihypertensive agents during breast feeding (1):

  • women should be informed that the following drugs have no known adverse effects on babies receiving breast milk:
    • labetalol
    • nifedipine
    • enalapril
    • captopril
    • atenolol
    • metoprolol

  • there is insufficient evidence on the safety of the following drugs in babies receiving breast milk:
    • ARBs
    • amlodipine
    • ACE inhibitors other than enalapril and captopril

With respect to methyldopa:

  • NICE state if this medication was used during pregnancy then this should be stopped within 2 days of birth (1,2)

NICE now have provided more detailed advice regarding antihypertensive treatment in the postpartum period (after either gestational hypertension, chronic hypertension in pregnancy, preeclampsia) and this advice is linked below (2):