Breastfeeding Mom Having a Very Sore Throat

Updated on March 19, 2010
S.S. asks from Royal Oak, MI
18 answers

Hello moms,
I have a very sore throat, I can't even swallow, I think it is even cankerous... and I am nursing my four and a half months old daughter, so I wouldn't like to take antibiotics. Does anyone know any other remedy?

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So What Happened?

Thanks a lot everyone for the advice, I actually listened what most of you said and the next day I went to see my doctor. Lucky me, it wasn't a strep! So the doctor gave me some antibiotics, but told me to wait one more day and if I am not getting any better to start them.
Here is how I succeed not to take the antibiotics (thanks also to some of the advices who gave me some web sites and also some recipes for natural remedies): 10 oz warm tea ( i used mother's tea), 7 tsp honey, 7 tsp apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper - mixed it and gurgle every hour (the first day, even waking up a few times at night), so the next day believe it or not my throat was't sore any more, not at all!. I was gargling the mix the next day as well, but every 3-4 hours, just to make sure the pain won't come back :), and it didn't!
Thanks again everyone!

Featured Answers


answers from Provo on

If you are able to get on an antibiotic eat yogart!!!!!!! the meds take out all bacteria, even the good. So you want to replace it. A family friend of mine took antibiotics a couple weeks ago and it swiped everything, but there were dormant viruses that "awoke" which attacked everything since there was nothing there to stop it, and landed her in the ICU and half of some organ (I can't remember which) had to get taken out because it was dead from the virus. Not to scare you, but I don't want that to happen to anyone.

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answers from Lansing on

It would be best to call your family doctor and ask them that question, sometimes herbal remedies don't mix with nursing and newborns. Make the call and I hope you feel better :)


answers from Detroit on

If you don't have white spots on your tonsils - or in your mouth if tonsils are gone - it's not strep throat. This country over prescribes antibiotics. Stay away unless a culture comes back positive for bacterial infection - OK getting off the soap box.

Drink apple cider vinegar mulitple times a day. Drink 1 Tbs straight up - look out it's rough - or dilute in 1/2 c of hot water - sip like tea. I just got over sore throat, swollen lymph nodes and ACV 3 times a day for 2 days worked for me.

When you go to sleep, rub a good amount of Vicks on your neck and wrap a handkercheif or hand towel around your neck.

Like another poster said, gargling with salt water - heavy on the salt - also works.

Check out this site for more nautural remedies - use them even when not pregnant or nursing.



answers from Detroit on

Most antibiotics are fine while breastfeeding. Just ask your doctor and don't listen to any nonsense about weaning if it's given! Many nursing moms have to be treated for various things while lactating. No big deal. Good for you for breastfeeding, and please take care of yourself so you can Get Well!


answers from Dallas on

Antibiotics aren't going to hurt the baby. Call your doc tommorow. In the meantime, you might try some benedryl and some throat drops. Hope you feel better!



answers from Grand Rapids on

Apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water or warm apple juice works very well. I use organic honey with my cider vinegar, but babies are not supposed to have honey until they are a year old and it would probably show up in your milk. You can use a little sugar or more water to take the edge off. Works very well.



answers from Detroit on

Lile ~
Antibiotics that are likely to be prescribed for a sore throat (possibly strep) would be safe to take while breast feeding. You can always check with a lactation consultant.
D. ob nurse



answers from Detroit on

one it sounds like strepp. Two you need to see a dr if your breastfeeeding. third when you re antibiotics there is a such a small amount tht goes through the milk it doesn't even effect the baby. so call your dr.



answers from Detroit on

Try a warm salt water gargle.
Some antibiotics are safe (check with your dr. AND pharmacist) if needed. I've nursed 3 babies, and been on antibiotics (Z-pak, amoxicillian) with all of them @ one point.
I agree - you don't need to wean for any reason - you're giving your daughter your anitbodies by nursing.
Hope you feel better soon! It's hard when Mamas can't take "sick" days.



answers from Los Angeles on

honey! it coats the throat! try some lemon and honey tea or something. good luck!



answers from Detroit on

Sorry. It could be strep and untreated could turn into scarlet fever!



answers from Kalamazoo on

Hot tea with lemon juice added really helps me! Also try gargling salt water, or drinking some hot broth. Keep the fluids going, and limit sugar (so be sure juices are 100%, and don't do a lot of them). Eat as much citrus as you can.

My husband had a terrible sore throat and was scheduled to sing a solo at church. He ate a whole clove of raw garlic, and though it was hard to choke down and make him smell lovely all day long, it made a huge difference for his voice.



answers from Miami on

Benedryl can actually dry up your milk. Lots of antibiotics are safe while breastfeeding. Last time I had a sore throat, I used something called "magic mouthwash" that was prescribed by a doctor. It has medicine in it and will numb your throat. You gargle with it, but don't swallow it. You might have something like strep if your throat is that bad.

In case you do need to take something, I'll give you the link for Dr. Hale's website. You enter as a guest. Dr. Hale is a respected doctor who has researched many drugs and their affect on breastfeeding. He does have a book you might be able to check out at the library, but in a pinch you can look up most drugs on his website and see if he says they are safe. If you do need an antibiotic, it would be a good idea to also take a probiotic to help you avoid thrush. Feel better soon!



answers from Detroit on

1. you should see the dr to see if you have strep throat.. strep is danger ous for you and can be contagious to the baby..

2. if the dr prescribes antibiotics you should take them.. a sick mom cannot properly nourish a baby..

you can try to gargle with saltwater adn eat popsicles and cold drinks.. but you should see a dr.

I took several medicines while I was pregnant and nursing.. all prescribed by a a dr.. . I was fine and the kids are fine..there are safe antibiotics for babies.. they give infants antibiotics all the time..



answers from Victoria on

Anytime I have a sore throat, I dissolve 2 tablespoons of honey in some tea & drink and usually by morning next day it is gone or much better. I know infants can't have honey, but I don't think there is a problem with it otherwise as far as breastfeeding. The honey is a natural antibiotic, course so is your breast milk, but I couldn't drink that. LOL. :) the magic mouthwash another poster was talking about is motrin, benadryl & mylanta mixed, gargled, & drunk. Best of luck.



answers from Denver on

Antibiotics are fine.... you being sick is a way bigger issue. Being sick can actually dry up your milk because your body is working overtime to get better... so taking meds will get you healthy and back to full time mommy duties.



answers from Indianapolis on

Please see the doctor.

It could be any number of things - if it's strep, it's a bacterial infection that will need antibiotics. There are so many different antibiotics on the market, some are safe for nursing mothers, others are not. Your physician should know (and you should always check with your pediatrician to be safe).

Worse case scenario, you can pump while you're on the antibiotic and provide your baby either frozen milk or formula. I had to do that for a few days with my son while nursing to take naproxen which was not safe for nursing.

A bacterial infection that has gotten to this point is not going to be cured by a home remedy, and you're already contagious to your child. Strep in a baby is much more serious than it is in an adult because of their immune systems not having the appropriate antibodies to combat it.

Please call your doctor and get to feeling better soon.

Mary's Magic Mouthwash is usually for more mouth sores. It does have antibiotics in it depending on how the physician orders it to be made - it has to be compounded by the pharmacist based upon physician orders.



answers from Los Angeles on

If your throat is so sore you can't swallow it is very likely strep, which is very contagious. Have a doc check you out soon because you don't want to pass it on to your daughter (or anyone else) or you'll be even more likely to have breastfeeding issues. I'm sure your doc can recommend an antibiotic that will be safe for nursing. You might ask if the new 5 day antibiotics are okay, then it will be in your system a shorter period.

Also, I just learned from my doc that if you don't get antibiotics for strep that you are actually contagious for 2 weeks AFTER your sore throat goes away.

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