5 Medicines You Can Take for a Cold While Breastfeeding


You’ve done it: you got through your pregnancy without a cold. But something happened, and now you have a cold while breastfeeding. While your body is on the mend and breastfeeding is less intense than carrying a child, this doesn’t mean you can take just any medication.

If you’re breastfeeding, your baby will be getting the nutrients from you, so medication may seep into your milk.

The good news is that you have more leeway now, so you can find some relief.

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Safe Cold Medicine While Breastfeeding

The woman is suffering cold in bed.
Source: https://www.breastfeedingbasics.com

Most cold medicines are safe when breastfeeding, and while this is good, this doesn’t mean you can just start taking any medicine you have in your home. There are some medicines that need to be avoided.

A few of the safe medications to take include:

  • Tylenol– most experts state that Tylenol is safe to take.
  • Sudafed– most experts find that Sudafed is safe to consume as well as any pseudoephedrine, but milk supply may decrease.
  • Mucinex– mostly safe, as well as Robitussin.
  • Vicks considered safe along with most dextromethorphan medications.
  • Advil – along with any form of ibuprofen is safe.

Mucinex while breastfreeding is safe as well as cough drops and breastfeeding, but you need to be very careful with any type of medication that contains too much alcohol. Nyquil, for example, does have alcohol content, which may make it unsafe if it finds its way into breastmilk (it will).

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Phenylephrine is safe when breastfeeding, too.

Moms will need to remain diligent and watch for any signs or symptoms that something is amiss while they’re breastfeeding. If you find that your milk supply has dropped, this is a sign that you may want to change medications.

A decrease in milk supply may go unnoticed, leading to a malnourished child that seems to be feeding but isn’t.

Can You Take Antihistamine While Nursing?

Antihistamines are known to make a baby drowsy if they seep into the milk supply. You want to be diligent with this type of medication, too, as you’ll find that antihistamines can cause a child to be overly tired.

You’ll also be tired, too.

The best case scenario is to use an antihistamine that is non-sedative.

While you can take Benadryl or other antihistamines, you’ll find that they will make you tired. If you talk to most medical professionals, they’ll recommend non-sedating medications over sedating medications 100% of the time.

There are anecdotal reports of milk supply being lowered by taking antihistamines, but there are no scientific studies backing these claims.

Can I Take Zicam While Breastfeeding?

There are debates over whether Zicam is allowed while pregnant due to a potentially high level of zinc, but most doctors that that Zicam, when taken as directed, is safe for consumptions while breastfeeding.

If for some reason you go above the recommended amount, this is when it’s time for concern.

Can You Take Sore Throat Medicine While Breastfeeding?

A box of sore thoat medicine on white background.
Source: http://medimply.com/

Yes, most forms of sore throat medication are deemed safe for consumptions while pregnant. You’ll want to note that menthol, when taken in large amounts, can reduce the amount of milk in the mother’s milk supply, which is always a concern.

But you can safely take most:

  • Lozenges
  • Sore throat sprays

Delsym and Robitussin are both safe for consumption and are shown to help a person with a sore throat.

Can You Take Allergy Medicine While Breastfeeding?

Yes, but try to take non-sedating allergy medicine while breastfeeding. If you find that you have a cold while breastfeeding, you can choose to take allergy medications that will alleviate many of the congestion issues that you have.

3 Cold Symptom Categories and Medicine Recommendation

Colds are so common that doctors can easily pinpoint the symptoms that a cold will produce. And if you’ve ever had a cold before, you know that in most cases, your immune system will fight off the cold, allowing you to remain medicine-free.

But if you suffer from the following severe symptoms, you can choose to take medicine to alleviate the symptoms.

The symptoms that most people experience include:

1. Congestion

If you feel congested, changes are that you’ll have trouble breathing – I had congestion, too. The good news is that you can help decongest by using:

  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Phenylephrine

You always want to consult with your doctor before taking any medication on this or any list online, but a few of the medications that fall into this category include:

  • Aleve D
  • Claritin-D
  • Mucinex D
  • Theraflu
  • Zyrtec-D

Just make sure to take all of these medications as directed and to watch for any other symptoms that may occur as a result.

Nasal sprays will work, too.

A woman is using nasal spray.
Source: https://www.babble.com/

If you have a humidifier, you can run the unit while sleeping or even on the couch relaxing. The added humidity in the air will help to alleviate congestion and open the nasal passageways.

Chest congestion can also be alleviated by:

  • Fenugreek Tea– a few cups a day will help to alleviate congestion and sore throat.
  • Steam Treatment– boil water with 3 teaspoons of anise and breathe in the steam (can place towel over your head to funnel the steam in).

These two natural remedies are often more than enough to clear up congestion and allow you to breathe better. I highly recommend doing both of these treatments before bed to ensure that you have a good night’s sleep – it will help you feel much better if you sleep the night through.

2. Aches and Pains

Aches and pains are part of the process, and you may feel more aches and pains than another person. The following medications can be used for aches and pain:

  • Aleve
  • Tylenol
  • Advil
  • Motrin

You want to avoid aspirin, as this can cause Reye’s syndrome in children.

A nice warm bath will work well, too, to alleviate aches and pains. Feel free to add some peppermint oil or mint to the bath to help open up your nasal passageways and help alleviate your cough.

Hot water is a great way of relaxing muscles and melting away tension.

But be cautious when entering a hot tub or sauna. If you’ve recently given birth, your body may not be able to withstand extreme heat just yet, so you’ll want to remain cautious and listen to your body.

3. Sore Throats and Coughs

A sore throat and cough is common when a person has a cold, and finding relief is as simple as sucking on a lozenge that will help coat the throat and ease the pain, too. A few of the recommendations that will help with a sore throat and cough areL

Any form of lozenges will work well, but try to avoid menthol whenever possible, as this can reduce your milk supply.

If you want to use a few natural remedies, you can eat:

  • Honey– Local honey is especially good for coating the throat, alleviating allergies and helping with coughs or a sore throat.
  • Salt Water– Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a warm cup of water and mix well. Gargle the salt water to alleviate soreness.
  • Tea– Black tea with honey works very well to coat the throat. Also, throat-specific teas are available to help with a sore throat and coughing, too.

Honey and syrup have been shown to be as effective as most cough syrups in alleviating sore throats.

A cold while breastfeeding doesn’t have to be miserable. The tips above will guide you to cold relief while allowing you to perform your motherly duty of breastfeeding.


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