Cold and Allergy Help While you are Breastfeeding

Having a cold or suffering from allergies while breastfeeding can be very brutal.  It can be hard to focus on feeding and nourishing your youngster when you yourself feel miserable because you have a fever, stuffy nose, cough or itchy watery eyes and sneezing.

We get many questions everyday about how to make a mommy feel better and what remedies are safe to use or which may be harmful to baby or detrimental to breastfeeding supply.

Here are some tips/medications/recommendations to help.

Natural Remedies – We recommend you try these first!!  These won’t hurt your baby at all!!

  1. Rest as much as you can and drink lots of fluids, hot bath/shower and have a humidifier in your room.
  2. Take extra Vitamin C (safe while breastfeeding_
  3. Garlic – eaten raw, cooked or a supplement. Raw will work the best but not super appetizing.
  4. Hot drinks: lemon water with honey works well for sore throat.
  5. Salt water gargle. Mix 1 tablespoon of salt in 8 oz warm water, gargle (don’t drink it) as many times a day as you want.
  6. Apple cider vinegar (known as a natural anti-viral) drink a few tsp in a tall glass of water or gargle like the salt water gargle above.
  7. Saline nasal spray or nasal wash can be very effective in emptying out those stuffy noses.
  8. Steam treatments: boil water and pour into a metal bowl, drape a bath towel over your head and breath deeply for a few minutes.  You can do this as many times a day as you want.  Be careful not to burn yourself and don’t do this with baby anywhere nearby.

Always try medications with the least amount of active ingredients (only treat the symptoms you have), Always go for nasal sprays and eye drops before oral medications, take all medications AFTER you nurse and only as needed.

  1. Sore throat sprays or lozenges and cough drops are generally considered safe. Large amount of menthol can reduce milk supply
  2. Many forms of Robitussin, Delsym and Benylin are safe but there are many verisons so always check the active ingredients.
  3. Ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) are compatible with breastfeeding. Aspirin is NOT recommended
  4. Eye drops are compatible with breastfeeding. There are effective OTC eye drops for allergies (Zaditor)
  5. Nasal sprays (Flonase, Nasacort) are considered to be the most effective and safest to use by breastfeeding mom’s.

Decongestants and Antihistamines

  1. Pseudoephredrine and phenylephrine are considered safe for the breastfeeding mom but may reduce milk supply.
  2. Antihistamines (including Benadryl and Chlor-trimeton prodcuts) are compatible with breastfeeding but always check the active ingredients. Monitor your infant for possible drowsiness.  Claritin, Claritin-D, Clarinex, Allegra, Allegra-D and Zyrtec are regarded as safe but may also reduce milk suppy.

If you feel a decrease in milk it could also be because you are not feeling well.  Rest and liquids are always the best medicine!
You can always contact our in house Lactation Consultant, Maureen Mills, to discuss your specific needs.