Medicine Ok While Breastfeeding

Updated on August 28, 2009
J.B. asks from Central Point, OR
10 answers

I am a new mother, and have a very sore throat. I was wondering what is safe to take while breast feeding, are cough drops ok? Also my little guy seems not to be eating much since I started feeling sick, could he also have a sore throat? What are signs to look for? Is there anyway to tell other than taking him into the doc? Thanks in advance for the advice!

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answers from Portland on

Unfortunately, not much you can take, and the stuff you can is not very effective, in my opinion. Honey and lemon juice helps. Talk to a pharmacist, I would take him in and maybe you can ask the pediatrician.

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answers from Seattle on


I would call and check with your doctor or nurse practitioner or whomever you use first but I think like Halls cough drops are OK. And I do remember that Robitussin was on the short list of OK meds to take. But check with your doc first.

Hope this helps,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

first, i wouldn't take anything without talking to your doctor first. Tylenol is safe for babies if you knoe the exact dose to give. you need to call the doctor. they should be willing to give you advice over the phone without you havibg to go in.



answers from Eugene on

You can take cough drops but they should not have zinc. I take Halls Breezers Cool Berry. (I've been pregnant or breastfeeding since Jan. 2006!) I have an almost 3-yr-old and a 5-month-old, plus a miscarriage in between there. If you have access to the Internet, which it appears you do, see if you can go to a medical site and look at your symptoms. Also, I have a medical self-care book I reference called Take Care of Yourself by Donald Vickery. It helps me compare symptoms. The best thing you could probably do is call your advice nurse. We go to the Millers here in town and I'll call their advice nurse with concerns about myself and/or my kids.

Your son could be feeling sick. Look for restlessness and change in his sleeping patterns, a disinterest in nursing, general crankiness, check his temperature under his arm (unless you have a good ear one). It's hard to tell with babies because they're changing every day!! If you're breastfeeding 8-12 times in a 24-hour period, he's getting tons of your immunity defenses and won't likely succumb to what you have. It's tough being sick with a baby, because you have to be so close to him while you may be contagious.

I hope you recover quickly. I have found that the pharmacists at Sisters Drug and Gift are helpful in knowing what medicines are safe while breastfeeding. The advice nurse also consults a book for me when I call in.

--R. N



answers from Seattle on

Remember the best thing to do when you're sick is to continue nursing. As your body fights the infection, you'll give the antibodies to your baby through your milk and he won't get nearly as sick. I wouldn't worry about anything like cough drops or tylenol, but limit things like Ny-quil that contain alcohol or benadryl.



answers from Seattle on

You can also gargle with warm salt water. It tastes gross, but really does help if you do it several times a day. Also, decaf lemon tea w/ honey helps. Other than that, check w/ your doctor or pediatrician.
Good luck, get well soon!



answers from Seattle on

Yes cough drops are ok. Other meds may not be so check with your dr or le leche. Generally I've found single symptom meds like decogestant are ok for nursing but not nyquil.

Does your baby start eating and then act in pain? Just give him what comfort you can. If eating less seems to persist definitely take him to dr.



answers from Seattle on

In my opinion (which I have a lot of), I think unless you are in pain, unable to sleep, don't take anything.

Here was my medicine taking thoughts while I was breastfeeding (and still is):

If I am uncomfortable, I don't take meds.
If the pain is so bad, I can't heal, I take meds.

I've learned what is pain for me and what is uncomfortable.

They've proven years later what meds have done to people, even though people were "told" it was safe to take while pregnant, breastfeeding, etc.

Why take the chance on something that is uncomfortable.

Try some hot water with lemon...I like that.




answers from Seattle on

When I was pregnat the doctor gave me sudafed, but there is also a natural syrup called Broncolin, you can get it in any mexican store, this is very good for sore throat. It is safe to drink as it is made with natural plant extracts. For the little guy give him 2 or 3 times Chamomil tea, it will help and it will also help for his tummy in case he has disconfort. Try if he drinks it with out any sugar first if not just put very little in it, like a tip of a teaspoon. 1 or 2 oz is fine, give it warm like if it was breast milk. You can continue to give him this tea even if he is not sick. You can also drink this your self it helps alot. The Broncolin is about $10.00 only. Hope you two get better.



answers from Seattle on

Call your pediatrician, they can tell you what you should take. In the mean time try gargling with warm salt water and drinking warm peppermint tea to sooth your sore throat.