Breastfeeding While I Have a Cold

Updated on May 19, 2008
J.B. asks from Marrero, LA
11 answers

Hey fellow mamas,
My little boy is 10 months and is just getting over some sort of virus that had him congested. Now for the past couple of days I have had a really sore throat to the point that I woke up several times during the night. I am planning to get some lime and honey so that I can make a hot drink for the pain, but does anyone know what I can take while breastfeeding? I just have a sore throat, no fever, and thankfully no congestion. Thanks!

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answers from College Station on

For what it's worth, if you do get congested, when I had a cold while breastfeeding my oldest, a pharmacist told me not to take a decongestant because it would make the baby's heartrate speed up too much.

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answers from Beaumont on

cepacol, chloroseptic or sucrets That is on my list from my DR for preg and bf moms... ask your babies dr to see if there is more



answers from Longview on

You can talk Tylenol and not much more. The best thing to do is ask your OB what you can take while breastfeeding. One natural remedy that does seem to help my sore throats and won't hurt the baby is suck on vitamin C pills. I recommend the flavored ones. Between the sucking action and the vitamin c coating your throat it seems to help me. I have had several colds since January and am pregnant, so there isn't much more I can take either.



answers from Austin on

When I was sick and nursing my daughter, my doctor told me to just treat the symptoms and stay away from the multi-symptom medicines. I would just take tylenol to relive the pain and keep drinking your warm liquids to help further sooth your throat. If other symptoms arise, treat those symptoms but don't take anything for symptoms you don't have. Hope you feel better soon.



answers from Austin on

Glad that your baby boy is feeling better...
Honey and lime are fine to take while nursing.
I second the recommendation for Traditional Medicinal Throat Coat tea. I drink a warm cup or two when my throat hurts, and it has always helped. It has a slight licorice flavor that I love. But if you don't care for licorice (like my mom), then it may not be for you.

As far as what you can take while bf-ing... if you're not congested, what are you wanting to take? I would shy away from Halls throat lozenges - they've been known to adversely affect milk supply.
There's a great book out there called Medications And Mother's Milk. Your local LLL leader would likely have access to a copy and be able to tell you what's 'safe' for you to take.

K., mama to
Catherine, 4.5y
Samuel, 16m



answers from Houston on

You need to take care of yourself while breastfeeding (and all the time, of course :) ). I had a sore throat w/ no other real symptoms a couple of weeks ago. I started to feel achey and went to the doctor and low and behold I found out I had strep throat. If your throat does not get better in a day or so I would recommend going to the doctor to make sure you don't have something more than just a cold. Take care and hope you feel better soon!



answers from College Station on

There is an herbal tea that always helped me alot. It is called Throat Coat. I always added honey to it. It is by Traditional Medicinals.

Hope you feel better soon!

Mom to 5 Wonderful Kids



answers from College Station on

I echo all of what you have heard so far. Let me also remind you that you are doing the right thing for your baby and for your health to continue breastfeeding. You may have heard that allergies are greatly reduced (your baby doesn't get as much allergies) when you breastfeed.

The same is shared about cold (virus) and bacterial resistance.

A local LLL leader (they get training and certification from the International organization) will have lots of good advice about what to take and what medicines not to take. The one thing I remember is that decongestants, which are made to help dry up the mucus in your nose and nasal passages, will also slow down, get dried up some. It's a common side effect.

You might ask your doctor about a pain reliever for your throat. I once got a prescription of a mixture of Milk-of-Magnesia, lidocaine and another ingredient (I've forgotten). I only gargled with it (heck, let a little touch the back of my throat is all) and spit it out. I knew a tiny bit would still get into the blood stream and into the breastmilk but it was worth the full night of sleep!

Good luck



answers from College Station on

For what it is worth my doctor told me Sudafed was okay while I was breastfeeding. She also okay'd Benadryl while I was pregnant, so I'd guess that would be okay. I'd check with either your OB or your baby's peditrician if you want to be 100% sure.



answers from Houston on

My grandmother (who lived on a farm until a couple of years ago) swears by a tea made of onion and potatoes. They are supposed to be good infection fighters. She says you just put them on the stove and boil them in water and drink the broth. She was adament about not adding other ingredients. I've never made it but my grandmother is extremely healthy and wise in her old age! She is nearly 80 and is working at Wal-Mart and my great-grandmother, who milked the goats on the farm until she was in her early 90's, lived to be 94! We really should take stock in what our elders have to say. Sometimes they are right on the money!

Now I breastfeed too and have heard that onions can cause gas in babies. My baby has never had a problem with it and I eat onions almost daily! Try the soup/tea and see if it doesn't help!

Good Luck and God Bless!



answers from Odessa on

You can take Tylenol (generic too) for the pain. They used to say Sudafed or Actifed for congestion, but I'm not sure if that's still the thought, check with your dr or pharmacist. Also, vitamin C helps with scaring off a sore throat & is totally safe for baby.

I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding for a total of eight years with all of my 3 boys. You are making a major difference in your child's health, so keep up the good work!

God Bless!

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