BACKGROUND: General practitioners may consider prescribing medicines for breastfeeding women during the postpartum period. Most medicines can be used safely during breastfeeding at the recommended dose, however there are exceptions that necessitate caution. OBJECTIVE: This article provides an evidence based review of medicines used for common situations and their compatibility with breastfeeding. DISCUSSION: Breastfeeding women typically use relatively few medicines, and generally these are compatible with breastfeeding. If other medicines are required, information on their safety during breastfeeding can be accessed from pharmacy departments at maternity hospitals or from online resources.