Sore Thoat and Cough Meds for a Breastfeeding Mom

Updated on February 25, 2008
Y.T. asks from Lake in the Hills, IL
6 answers

I am a Mom of a adorable 8-week old baby girl. I currenly had cough (with phlegm) and also sore throat. Do you know any meds that I can take that would not affect my breast milk? I am breastfeeding my baby full time.

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

I would say lozenges for the sore throat and plain Robutussin (not a combination formula) for the cough. Also a humidifier always helps and if you are having any nasal symptoms nasal sprays are best. Don't take anything with a decongestant in it, it will reduce your milk supply.



answers from Chicago on

Try Ginger tea add ginger to the tea when it is brewing, along with few dops of honey. I used it all the time when I was BF.

Having the warm vapor with vicks soothe your blocked nose..helps with phlegm



answers from Champaign on

Grease your feet up really good with Vicks medicated chest rub - not the greaseless one (Wal-Mart brand is cheaper)and put a pair of old socks on. This will help with the cough and make your feet soft:) Zicam nasal swabs are good for cough, sore throat and stuffy nose - they also can be found at Wal-Mart. My girls have had a lot of upper resp. issues and I have tried lots of things and these are a few that work for us.



answers from Chicago on

Also check the kellymom website - they have a whole list of what drugs and herbs are safe to take while breastfeeding:

I agree - tea with honey, etc is good. Actually honey is a pretty effective cough supressent too (It was just written up in JAMA as being AS effective as Robitussin). Just take 1/2 tsp and don't drink anything afterwards. It coats your throat and works for a couple hours. Not fun being sick! I hope you feel better.



answers from Chicago on

Here's a list for you of meds compatible with bfing (from
Medications generally regarded as safe
General guidelines
Treat only the symptoms you have: avoid a combination medicine when a single one will do the job.
Short-acting forms of drugs (6 hours or less) are generally better than the long-acting varieties (but see the info below on the nonsedating antihistamines).
Use nasal spray instead of oral medications when possible (see below).
Take any medication right AFTER you nurse and only as needed.
The 2004 edition of Medications and Mothers' Milk by Thomas Hale, PhD has information on many cold medications (including specific guidance on combination products) in the Appendix (p. 874-889). Many of the active ingredients in cold and allergy medications are listed below.

Cough & sore throat meds
Sore throat sprays or lozenges are generally considered safe, as are cough drops. Avoid eating excessive amounts of cough drops containing menthol. Large amounts of menthol can reduce milk supply.
Many forms of Robitussin, Delsym and Benylin are considered compatible with breastfeeding. Always check the active ingredients, as there are many versions.
Cough Medicines
Name of medication AAP approved?* Lactation Risk Category**
Codeine yes L3 (moderately safe)
Dextromethorphan not reviewed L1 (safest)
Guaifenesin not reviewed L2 (safer)
* Per the AAP Policy Statement The Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals Into Human Milk, revised September 2001.
** Per Medications' and Mothers' Milk by Thomas Hale, PhD (2002 edition)
And you can take both ibuprofen, tylenol and naproxen (aleve) while bfing. Just avoid aspirin. Hope you feel better soon!



answers from Chicago on

I LOVE the natural approach...

boil some cinnamon sticks on the stove top until it looks like fresh brewed tea...

add in honey and lemon to taste...

the honey will coat your throat and the lemon and cinnamon will help to boost your immune system and kick that cold faster...

Oh also if you don't mind mint it is GREAT to add it in and brew it with the cinnamon plus it will decrease the phlegm and open your nose up better too =)

Next question: Safe Cough Remedies While Breastfeeding