It’s that time that year again. It seems that everyone you know has a sniffle and a cough. Wonder which treatments and remedies space safe because that breastfeeding mothers? wonder which points to continue to be away from? My surname is Carrie Bews and also I’m the lactation coordinator in ~ Confluence Health. Read on for part remedies that space safe because that breastfeeding moms and also babies.

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General Tips:

1. REST. Getting enough rest can be practically impossible when you have small ones to care for, but make this her #1 priority. Also if you can’t get enough SLEEP, try to discover time because that extra rest. Lay down while your baby is nursing. Spend extra time snuggling in bed or ~ above the couch as soon as baby is awake. Give yourself permission to speak to out because that pizza, use document plates, and let the toddler/ preschooler/ school-aged youngsters watch extra TV! getting yourself well again is peak priority for you to go on caring for your family.

2. RELAX. Shot to squeeze in part extra be safe to nurture your body. Run a humidifier to assist ease the dried air for her sore nasal passages. Ask one of your kids or your support human being to obstacle your feet or head because that a couple of minutes. Take a warm, steamy shower head or bath. Breath or diffuse some important oils (see “herbs to stop while breastfeeding.”) take deep breaths and try to visualize your body acquiring stronger and healthy.

3. DRINK many OF FLUIDS. You can never drink enough fluids to keep up with a breastfeeding baby and a sick body! Drink numerous water, juice, Gatorade, tea…whichever non-caffeinated beverage you’re most likely to remember come drink. “Traditional Medicinals” brand renders a mom Milk Tea and also Throat cloak Tea. You deserve to drink these freely — both are soothing come sore throat, assist ease nasal congestion and also thin mucous secretions, and also they taste good, too! Therapeutic herbal teas such together these must be brewed long, strong, and covered in order to acquire the many potent benefit from the herbs (see instructions on the box). Other great choices for warm tea room chamomile, and any other organic tea (other than peppermint, or sage — see “herbs to stop while breastfeeding.”) also drinking warm water v a part of lemon and also a spoonful of love husband is delicious and beneficial.

4. Take VITAMINS/SUPPLEMENTS: These may not be essential to acquire well, however may be valuable as part of your as whole treatment. Continuing to take a Prenatal Vitamin while breastfeeding is a good idea to nourish your body. Acquisition extra Vitamin C (from foods, juices, or supplements), is safe. Echinacea is usually recognized to be safe for breastfeeding mothers. Garlic is supportive to the immune system, and also can be taken life or in supplement form.

Head/Chest Congestion:

1. Saline flush. Among the gentlest and also safest methods to relax nasal/ head congestion is saline sleep spray. You can purchase a prefilled bottle, such as just Saline, or much better yet- mix your very own at home and also save money! NeilMed brand makes a refillable nasal spray bottle and Netti Pot sinus rinse system that are very effective and easy come use. These also come with pre-made saline solution packets that you simply mix v filtered water. Sinus flush can be uncomfortable at first, till you number out just how to execute it, then it’s easy! Look because that a video tutorial top top YouTube for how to usage a Netti Pot…it will certainly make a big difference in sleep congestion.

2. Nasal /sinus massage: This method works finest in a warm, steamy shower. Massage her forehead, temples, and sinus areas, stroking downward toward your nostrils. This motivates decongestion and flow of mucous.

3. Steam treatment: cook a pot the water, eliminate from the stove, and add a few drops of vital oil, if desired, such as lavender or lemon (see “herbs to avoid while breastfeeding”). Drape a bath towel over your head, and also breathe deeply for 5 minutes. Repeat numerous times a job to help keep head and also chest clear. Heavy steam treatment pairs well through sinus massage.

Sore Throat/Cough:

1. Drink strong herbal tea come soothe sore throat. (see previous section for safe teas).2. Drink warm water v lemon juice and honey to normally soothe a cough.3. Zinc gluconate lozenges have the right to be taken, but avoid large amounts of zinc ingestion for more than 7 days.4. Cough drops can be used, however avoid autumn with large amounts of menthol, as it can decrease milk supply.5. Salt water gargle: mix 1 tablespoon that salt in 8 oz. Of warmth water. Gargle the whole mixture- nothing swallow. This deserve to be repetitive several time a day, and also helps death bacteria in the throat.6. Gargle with warm chamomile tea…you deserve to drink the tea, too.

Medications normally regarded together safe:

The adhering to information is derived from the 2017 version of Dr. Cutting board Hale, PhD’s, book: Medications and Mother’s Milk.

1. Treat only the symptoms you HAVE. A solitary medication will certainly be much safer than a mix medicine.2. Short-acting medications (6 hrs or less) are generally better than long-acting varieties.3. Usage nasal sprays instead of oral medications when possible.4. Take drugs only together needed.5. It might be ideal to take medicines right ~ nursing, to offer your body the many time come utilize and metabolize the medication before the following feeding conference (depending on how long your baby breastfeeds at a session).

Pain Medications: 

1. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) and also Advil (Ibuprofen) are thought about safe if breastfeeding. Take these medicines for fever, headache, nasal swelling/ stuffiness. Take together directed.2. Aleve (Naproxen) is considered “less-safe” for breastfeeding, as result of its much longer half-life and feasible effect on baby’s cardiac system, GI tract, and also kidneys. If you choose to usage Aleve, take into consideration short-term, infrequent, and occasional use only.3. Aspirin usage is discouraged in youngsters due come the risk of Reye’s syndrome. Return the danger is most likely low, the use of aspirin is additionally discouraged in education mothers as such potential risk.

Cough/Throat Medications:

1. Sore throat sprays or lozenges (such together Chloraseptic) space generally thought about safe, as are cough drops, (but avoid excessive quantities of cough drops comprise menthol, together it deserve to reduce milk supply).2. Cough medicines such as Robitussin, Delsym, and also Benylin are thought about safe while breastfeeding, but always check the details active ingredient on every brand. The following details ingredients may be included:a. Dextromethorphan (Safest- choose this ingredient 1st)b. Gaafenesin (Safer- pick this ingredient 2nd)c. Codeine (Moderately safe- select this ingredient 3rd)

EYE DROPS designed for cold/ allergy symptom are considered safe and also compatible with breastfeeding.

NASAL SPRAYS OR GELS space generally thought about safe and also compatible through breastfeeding. That the nasal medications accessible for treatment of allergy symptoms, nasal steroids (such together Flonase) are considered to be the many effective and also safest to use while breastfeeding.

Short-acting sleep decongestant sprays space preferable (such together those include Phenylephrine). Long-acting ingredients such together oxymetazoline, are not the first choice for breastfeeding mothers.


The adhering to information is adapted from the website Cold and Allergy remedies Compatible with Breastfeeding, update November 2016.

Both pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are generally taken into consideration to be for sure for the breastfed baby, yet pseudoephedrine might reduce milk supply.

Pseudoephedrine & milk supply: thomas Hale Ph. D., a renowned breastfeeding pharmacologist (Breastfeeding Pharmacology), notes that “breastfeeding mother with negative or marginal milk production must be exceedingly cautious in making use of pseudoephedrine” and that “it is evident that mothers in late-stage lactation might be much more sensitive come pseudoephedrine and have better loss in milk production” (Medications and Mother’s Milk, 2012 edition).

Dr. Hale is introduce to this study: Aljazaf K, et. Al. Pseudoephedrine: results on milk production in women and also estimation of child exposure via breastmilk. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Jul;56(1):18-24.

If you execute take pseudoephedrine and notification a autumn in milk it is provided (many moms perform not, yet research shows that it can decrease milk supply by as lot as 24%), merely stop the medication and also take measures to rise milk it is provided – the problem should resolve reasonably quickly.

Be very cautious about taking pseudoephedrine ~ above a consistent basis, together it has actually the potential to permanently decrease her milk supply. Continual use of pseudoephedrine (120 mg/day) has occasionally been offered to to decrease milk manufacturing in moms with overproduction, wherein the usual approaches to control milk production were no working.


Mom’s usage of sedating antihistamines (including Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton products) are generally regarded to it is in compatible with breastfeeding, but always double-check the active ingredients together they can vary greatly. Monitor your infant for feasible drowsiness if you use this kind of antihistamine. The non-sedating antihistamines (below) are generally preferred and also are much less likely to sedate baby.

The ingredient of Claritin, Claritin-D, Clarinex, Allegra, Allegra-D, and also Zyrtec are usually regarded to it is in compatible v breastfeeding (again – always double-check the active ingredients). Loratadine (Claritin) has actually been studied and the lot of loratadine that passes into breastmilk is extremely low. Claritin-D and Allegra-D have the decongestant pseudoephedrine included (see above about possible effect top top milk supply). Dr. Hale has actually said the he prefers the non-sedating antihistamines (even despite they are long-acting) over the sedating allergy medications.

Milk supply: A common concern is the the sedating antihistamines might lower milk supply but, per Dr. Thomas Hale, over there is no current research supporting this id – only some anecdotal reports. If you feel the your supply has actually decreased, it might simply it is in a byproduct of reduced nursing frequency or dehydration due to your illness.

If you feel the a medicine is the reason of a sudden drop in milk supply, then prevent taking (or diminish your usage of) the medication – if the med is without doubt the cause, then supply should increase again shortly after you stop taking it. Once using an antihistamine, it have the right to be valuable to step up your fluid intake fairly a bit. As with any medication, take it it only as needed, and also discontinue usage as quickly as friend can.


*Herbal remedies, specifically essential oils, have obtained popularity in current years. This oils have actually been considered to be beneficial by numerous people, but should be used with fist in the breastfeeding mother, and with young children in general.

*Many dependable brands of essential oils are thought about to it is in “Certified pure therapeutic grade,” definition that they are very potent and also strong. Vital oils should always be diluted prior to use on kids or babies. Constantly check through your children doctor prior to using a new type of treatment on your child, also a natural treatment.

Herbs that might decrease milk supply:

The complying with information is native the website

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Using big amounts that the following herbs and other natural remedies should be avoided while nursing because they have been recognized to to decrease milk supply. The amounts of this herbs generally used in food preparation are unlikely to be of concern; it’s largely the larger quantities that can be supplied therapeutically that might pose a difficulty (the complying with bold herbs have been most typically seen used by mother without realization that they may influence milk supply). However, some moms have actually noticed a decrease in it is provided after eat things like dressing with numerous sage, sage tea (often recommended as soon as moms space weaning), lots of solid peppermint candies or menthol cough drops, or various other foods/teas with large amounts the the certain herb. This herbs are sometimes used by education mothers to treat oversupply, or as soon as weaning.

Black WalnutChickweedHerb Robert (Geranium robertianum)Lemon BalmOreganoParsley (Petroselinum crispum)Peppermint (Mentha piperita)/MentholPeriwinkle Herb (Vinca minor)Sage (Salvia officinalis)Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)SpearmintThymeYarrow

Herbs that may be harmful to mom and/or baby

Other herbs need to be avoided while nursing due to their potential because that harming mommy and/or baby. Here are a few herbs that space generally considered to be contraindicated for nursing mothers. This is through no way a finish list:

BladderwrackBuckthornChaparralColtsfoot (Farfarae folium)Dong Quai (Angelica Root)ElecampaneEphedra / Ephedra sinica / Ma HuangGinseng (Panax ginseng)Indian SnakerootKava-kava (piper methysticum)Petasites rootPhen-fen, herbalRhubarbStar aniseTiratricol (TRIAC)Uva UrsiWormwood

(Want to learn much more about lactation solutions at Confluence or exactly how to donate your chest milk? check out this short article from last year.)