17 answers

Allergy Meds That Won't Dry up Milk Supply

I have been suffering from the usual seasonal allergies lately. My doctor says that it's fine for me to take Benadryl, Claritin, or any Tylenol products while I am nursing. However, I took Claritin when my baby was first born in April, and it began drying up my milk supply. Does anyone have any experience with this? What is safe to take that will not dry me up and also be safe for my baby?

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All I could really take was Sudafed. My milk supply dropped when I took Claritin as well. I wish I had more advise.

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I had to deal with whether or not to take an allergy medication when I first delivered. I had an awful allergic reaction to something 2 days after delivery. I had just started pumping breast milk for my little one and noticed a rash developing from head to toe. I went to the doctor and they told me that could give me steroids but would not recommend antihistamines because it would dry up my milk supply. At that time my breast milk was very important as I had a preemie that needed to gain weight and he was having a hard time digesting formula. I needed to be able to produce breast milk. I suffered for about 3-4 weeks with this reaction but I did NOT take an antihistamine. I would not take any allergy medication while nursing. However if you feel you need to take something to get some releif, I would take a small dose of Claritin because I hear it is the one with the least drying effect. You will also need to drink more if you take it. I would increase my fluid intake by 2-3 more glass a day. I personally wouldn't do it but I'm not in your shoes and don't know how miserable you feel. Good luck.

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Anything that dries up secretions will have that effect on your milk, it's the nature of the beast. Try just using expectorants for some relief without the unwanted se. Or use a netti pot or some saline nose spray. Avoid mucus-producing foods like milk and cheese until you're better.

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Local Honey & Nettle tea will help your body build it's defense against seasonal allergies. Try to get honey produced as close to your home (or hometown) as possible.

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Very early on when your body is adjusting to how much milk your baby will need it's more likely that you will see a drop in supply. Once your supply is well established as it should be now it should be harder to impact your supply. That being said it still can happen. If you find you have to take meds but don't neeed them every day your supply should be OK and if you do need it more often and you see a problem make sure you are drinking enough fluids. Dehydration is a common cause of a dip in supply and take simple measures to increase your supply. Eating oatmeal daily can help and so can an herb called Fenugreek. (It is in the same family as peanuts so be careful if you have a sensistivity to peanunts) but it is considered safe and effective for increasing milk supply. (It is used as a food additive in things like syrup)
You can always visit the le leche league website for answers to questions about nursing.
Good luck. Hope you are feeling better soon.

1 mom found this helpful

All I could really take was Sudafed. My milk supply dropped when I took Claritin as well. I wish I had more advise.

I'd look over the kellymom.com page on allergy and cold remedies. Surely there's something in there you can try.


Hi Sue! I too had allergies with both my children that I nursed for over a year. I did not take anything with antihistamines, which can change your milk supply. I think I took Tylenol sinus. My local pharmacist was helpful(at Walgreens or CVS) and was able to recommend products. Also, saline nasal spray and the Neti Pot (a nasal saline all natural wash that helps with allergies) was great too. I know how hard it is to find help with meds when nursing. I found the pharmacist or my local hospital lactation consultant was a great source. I hope this helps. Hang in there, it will get easier.

Make sure your not taking clairton D cause it can dry up your supply. I take regular clairton every day and I have no supply problems

You may find that taking a lot of vitamin C can help with allergies. The problem with most allergy drugs is that they help dry up your nasal passages and everything else too! (which accounts for the milk supply issues). These things may be "safe" to take while b/f, but you may be more sensitive to the b/f side effects. If you need to take them, make sure you greatly increase your water/fluid intake, to help counter the diuretic effect of them. I'd also check out a health-food store or something for something herbal or natural to take for allergies, to see if that helps.

I believe I took Sudafed but check with the doctor to make sure it's safe. God Bless~

I had this same problem this spring when I was sick. My ob/gyn was the doc I happened to see so I was able to get good advice, and I also checked with the pharmacist. They both told me about the same as everyone has told you- any good allergy meds will dry your milk up, that is how they work. But of all of them Zyrtec is going to dry your milk up the least. But you have to take any allergy meds sparingly, only when you really need it the most, not on a regular basis. Hopefully Zyrtec is one that will work for you.

I take Allegra and Nasonex every day for my allergies and am still nursing my 7 month old. I haven't noticed any decrease in milk supply from the meds.

I have had friends that had allergies and they went to an acupuncturist and said it really decreased them tremendously and they had to take alot less to almost no meds. That could be a possible help?

Good luck,

Can you not just deal with it (no meds) till you get through breast feeding?

I took Zyrtec (but NOT Zyrtec-D) throughout my pregnancy and while nursing. My OB, my allergist and my primary care doctor said that it was fine to take while nursing. I had no problems with milk supply but it did make me sleepy. Since it works for 24 hours, I take it after I put my son to bed. I hope you feel better soon.

I bet you could use a nose spray. I use a spray that is presribed to me but I am sure the pharmacist would have suggestions. They told me it should not effect any other aspects of our health because it is topical.

I am looking through the Medications and Mothers' Milk book written by Dr. Thomas Hale and every pill for allergies that is safe warns that it could suppress milk supply. Nose sprays seem to be a better bet. A few that are safe (according to the book) are Vicks Sinex Ultra Fine Mist, Afrin, Dristan 12 hour Decongestant, and Zicam Intense Sinus Relief Liquid Nasal Gel. Hope it helps.

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