What If I Have To Go Into Hospital
Whether you need planned or emergency treatment, there are ways to ensure your baby continues to receive the benefits of breast milk, and that you can continue breastfeeding once discharged.
Express and freeze your breast milk so a caregiver can feed it to your baby. Have a practice ahead of time, and make sure you tell healthcare professionals you are a breastfeeding mum when youre booked in, and again when youre admitted, suggests Sarah.
If your baby is small, they may let you have her with you. Ask whether theres a hospital lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist you can see too theyll be a great advocate for you, especially if youre on a general ward. If its an emergency, make sure the healthcare professionals know you have a baby its not something they might think about otherwise.
What Can You Take For A Cold Or Flu While Breastfeeding
Use safe home remedies before trying to take any medication. Mild symptoms of colds and flu-like nasal congestion, sore, scratchy throat, and cough can improve with hot teas with honey and lemon, warm broth, juices, and chicken soup. Gargling warm water with salt also helps. Generally speaking, acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, and ibuprofen could be used but it is best to talk to a doctor before using any over-the-counter or prescription medications.
However You Should Know That Some May Have Side Effects That Impact Your Breastfeeding Ability
Dr. Graseck says that medicines containing the decongestants pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine can impact your milk supply. I tell my patients that anything that can dry out your nose can also dry out your milk, Dr. Graseck says. For that reason, youll want to avoid medicines like Nyquil and Sudafed.
Dr. Graseck says that moms who are toward the end of their breastfeeding time are especially susceptible to having their milk dry up.
Still, if you just gotta have Nyquil to knock yourself out when youre sick, theres no way the medicine will affect your milk itself or pass any of the drug on to your baby. If you take some, theres no need to pump and dump.
If your PCP tells you that you should pump and dump when you have a cold, Dr. Graseck suggests getting a second opinion from your ob-gyn. Many doctors who dont deal with breastfeeding will suggest dumping your milk when its not necessary, just to be safe, she says. But theres really no reason to get rid of good breastmilk.
In the end, its your decision whether the pros of cold medicine outweigh the potential cons of messing with your milk supply. Either way, your milk wont be contaminated by the drugs, so theres no need to stress about anything impacting your baby. And taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do to take care of your child.
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What Cold Medicine Is Safe For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
The common cold can cause a variety of symptoms, such as runny nose, fever, headache, body aches, cough, sore throat, and congestion. Many over-the-counter cold medicines combine multiple medications that treat these symptoms into a single tablet or liquid. Its important to review the active ingredients in these products when youre pregnant or breastfeeding to ensure they are safe for both you and your child. In most cases, its best to avoid combination products and instead use single ingredient products to help relieve the symptoms you are experiencing.
Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
Acetaminophen is considered the preferred medication during all trimesters of pregnancy to treat fever, aches and pains, and is safe to use while breastfeeding.2,3,4 NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil®
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Cough And Cold Remedies And Breastfeeding
This information can also be viewed as a PDF by clicking here.
The information provided is taken from various reference sources. It is provided as a guideline. No responsibility can be taken by the author or the Breastfeeding Network for the way in which the information is used. Clinical decisions remain the responsibility of medical and breastfeeding practitioners. The data presented here is intended to provide some immediate information but cannot replace input from professionals.
Optimal treatment choice
Anaesthetic throat spray
For colds and influenza two paracetamol four times a day or 400milligrammes ibuprofen three times a day with plenty of fluids and rest may be the most effective cure. Other commercial remedies may help to relieve symptoms but the evidence of effectiveness behind many products is poor.
ORAL DECONGESTANTS should be avoided by breastfeeding mothers as they can dramatically reduce milk supply with just one or two doses e.g. pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine. Individual ingredients need to be checked as there are many products available with multiple drugs each of which should be considered separately for safe consumption during breastfeeding.
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Taking Medication While Breastfeeding
If you take medication while breastfeeding, it will be transferred to your baby through breast milk. In most cases, the amount passed to your baby is very small and unlikely to cause harm.
But some drugs can become concentrated in breast milk. A small number of these are not safe to take while breastfeeding. In most cases, there is another medication that can be safely used instead.
What Drugs Should You Avoid During Breastfeeding
As mentioned above, codeine should not be used during lactation. Use safer alternatives like ibuprofen or paracetamol instead.
Avoid sprays or lozenges that contain povidone-iodine. Iodine can accumulate in the breast and depress the thyroid function in babies.
Avoid cough and cold medication based on alcohol- they can cause drowsiness and other side effects in the baby.
Avoid cough and cold formulas that contain multiple active ingredients. It is easy to overdose on them, especially when taking other drugs too. In addition, some formulas contain codeine.
Other drugs that should be avoided during breastfeeding include medications containing phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine. These drugs can lower the amount of breastmilk, as well. Aspirin increases the risk of Reyes syndrome and potent drugs used for other conditions like cancer drugs and certain immunosuppressants should also be avoided. Sulphasalazine, acid blockers like cimetidine, and the antibiotic tetracycline should not be used during breastfeeding.
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Treatment For A Cold Or Sore Throat
Try the following to help the discomfort of a cold or a sore throat when breastfeeding:
Will Cold Medications Reduce My Milk Supply
Menthol, pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, and some antihistamines could potentially cause a drop in your milk supply. But just like all babies are different, all moms milk supplies are also different. What might reduce your milk supply might not reduce someone elses.
Talk to your healthcare provider when youre thinking about trying a medication. If you start taking it, you can always stop if you notice a reduction in your milk supply. Drinking more water should also help boost your milk supply.
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When Babies Have Colds
- Babies may want to feed frequently both for extra fluid and for comfort when they have cold symptoms.
- Babies with blocked noses may find it hard to feed and may keep coming off the breast. Sodium Chloride nasal drops used before feeds may help as may a manual decongester .
- Sometimes babies pull away from the breast and cry this may be because it increases in the pressure in their ears causing earache. This is particularly common overnight or after a longer sleep.
- Babies may have a croaky, hoarse cry which is different to normal, indicating a sore throat.
- Paracetamol can be given to babies older than 3 months .
- Ibuprofen can be given to babies older than 3 months.
- Historically paracetamol and ibuprofen were taken together but NICE recommended that this is not evidence based practice.
- Keep the atmosphere around the child moist by using vapourisers, steam generators or a damp towel over a radiator.
- If the parents have any concerns over the well-being of the baby medical advice should be sought urgently. It is better to err on the side of caution with young children whose condition can deteriorate rapidly.
Many of a babys symptoms can be taken to reflect a lower milk supply. Colds do not cause milk quality or quantity to diminish and breastfeeds can supply a great deal of comfort as well as nutrition to a child who is feeling poorly.
Breastfeeding When You’re Sick
Youre likely to feel tired, so listen to your body and get some rest when you can. Sleep when your baby sleeps and ask for help at home if you need it.
Breastfeeding your baby when you’re sick is generally safe. In rare cases, you may need to stop breastfeeding if you have a serious illness. Talk to your GP if you are worried.
For most illnesses, continuing to breastfeed will pass on immunity cells to your baby. This may help them to fight this specific infection. If your baby does become ill, your breast milk will help them to recover more quickly.
Practising good hygiene is very important to stop any infection spreading to others. With coughs and colds, cough into a tissue, bin it, and then wash your hands.
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Are Homeopathic Remedies Safe To Take While Breastfeeding
Homeopathic preparations are now available on most pharmacy shelves, and they often look like cough syrups and other over-the-counter medications. The good news is, theyre safe to take while breastfeeding. The bad news is, homeopathic remedies dont appear to work. Homeopathy has been well researched and has never been proven to work better than a placebo. The idea behind itthat very diluted ingredients can cure similar ailmentsdoesnt hold up scientifically.
Can I Take Robitussin While Breastfeeding
Guaifenesin, an expectorant found in over-the-counter medications such as Robitussin and Mucinex, loosens mucus and makes it easier to breathe. Its OK to take while breastfeeding, and it wont affect your supply, but expectorants generally dont work that well, says Ellen Giesbrecht, senior medical director of the maternal newborn program at BC Womens Hospital, so they might not be worth taking.
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How Can Caregivers Prevent Transmission Of Flu To Infants
- Immunization of pregnant and breastfeeding women pdf icon reduces the risk of flu to themselves and to their infants. To protect infants, especially those younger than 6 months of age who cannot be vaccinated, parents, siblings, other household members aged 6 months and older, and other caregivers should also receive an annual flu vaccination .
- Everyday preventive actions such as avoiding close contact with sick persons, covering ones nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing and throwing the tissue away immediately afterwards, practicing proper hand hygiene, and disinfecting surfaces can also help protect all infants from flu, whether they are breastfed or not.
- Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants and provides protection from infections through antibodies and other immunological factors. Infants who are breastfed are less vulnerable to infections, including severe respiratory illnesses, than infants who are not breastfed. When a mother has flu, her breast milk contains antibodies that can help protect her infant from flu and breast milk remains the recommended source of nutrition for the infant, even while the mother is ill.
Can You Take Cold Medicine While Breastfeeding
For the most part, its okay for nursing moms to take many common cold medications. Many of the individual ingredients you might reach for to alleviate your symptomslike decongestants, cough suppressants, and pain relieversare generally considered safe, and the ones that arent often have safer alternatives that provide the same kind of symptom relief.
There are a couple of caveats, though:Many of these medications do pass into breast milk in small doses, and some of them have the potential to decrease milk supply, as well. Neither of these caveats mean you cant take these medications while breastfeedingbut it does mean you need to be aware of the possible side effects and pay special attention to dosing instructions. If you are a breastfeeding parent, it is best to check with your primary care provider, OB-GYN, or lactation specialist before taking medications. Also, there is a free database, Lactmed, you can also use to look up medications. Read all labels for active ingredients, including vitamins, supplements, naturopathic, and homeopathic substances.
According to Dr. Mello, one of the best ways to choose breastfeeding-friendly cold medications and reduce side effects is to stick with single-symptom formulations instead of multi-symptom ones for example, takingSudafed and Robitussin separately if you have a cough and congestion, rather than Dayquil or Tylenol Cold.
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Cold Medications For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Selecting a cold medication while pregnant or breastfeeding that is going to be safe for both you and your baby can be stressful and overwhelming.
Here, you’ll find answers to your questions and information about common ingredients found in cold medicines that are considered safe for you and your baby.
Can You Take Medication While Breastfeeding
When it comes to breastfeeding, “the good news is most medications are fairly ‘safe,’ meaning there haven’t been bad side effects seen in babies,” says Jenelle Ferry, M.D., neonatologist and director of feeding, nutrition and infant development at Pediatrix Neonatology of Florida. Usually, if you got the go-ahead to take a medication while pregnant, you can continue using it while nursing.
The problem, says Dr. Ferry, is that experts have a decent understanding of how some medications affect babiesbut there’s very little information about others. For this reason, it’s always best to check with your pediatrician or lactation consultant before taking any particular medication.
Hali Shields, a certified IBCLC and lactation education counselor, and the senior doula at New Kind, explains that all mediations pass into breast milk, but usually the amount that a baby consumes is quite low. It’s rarely recommended that a breastfeeding parent give up breastfeeding to take medication, she says. Still, there are certain medications that are almost always off-limits when you are breastfeeding. “Cancer drugs, some beta-blockers, opioids, epilepsy and seizure drugs, radioactive drugs, and all illicit drugs would not be compatible with lactation,” says Shields.
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Here’s what to know about some of the most common medications you may take while nursing.
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A Guide To Breastfeeding While Sick With A Cold Or Flu
During cold and flu season, breastfeeding moms ask two questions: how do I keep germs away from my home? And can I still breastfeed while sick?
Its that time of year again cold and flu season. Breastfeeding moms may be asking two questions: how do I keep flu and cold germs away from my home? And can I still breastfeed with a cold or flu?
Should I Ever Not Breastfeed
There are a few situations in which its safest to stop breastfeeding temporarily and pump and discard your milk to keep up your supply until treatment is complete. These include if you have radiotherapy or chemotherapy for cancer, herpes lesions on your breast, or infections such as tuberculosis, measles or septicaemia, that could be transmitted through your milk.13,14 Seek expert medical advice about your condition and whether its best to continue or interrupt breastfeeding.
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Do Cold Medications Pass Into Breast Milk
Its possible. Its a great feeling to provide your child with the nutrition they need through your breast milk. Well, the same biology that allows your child to get nutrients that way also allows medications to be passed to them through your breast milk.
Almost any medication you take can enter your breast milk to some extent, but most of them only get through in extremely small amounts, and they wont affect your baby. On the other hand, some drugs cross over more and could pose a risk to your baby. When it comes to cold medications, many are probably safe to take, but some can be passed to your baby in higher amounts or affect your milk supply. Well talk about these next.
What Medicines Can I Take While Breastfeeding
Allergy and hay fever medicines: Antihistamines that do not make you sleepy are considered safe. Nasal sprays and eye drops are safe. Antihistamines that make you sleepy are not recommended because they may make your baby drowsy.
Antibiotics: Most antibiotics to fight infections are safe, but take your doctor’s advice. Tetracyclines may be used short term. Metronidazole can make the milk taste bitter.
Antidepressants: Some antidepressants are safe. Discuss with your doctor.
Asthma medicines: Most preventers and relievers are safe. It is very important that you do not stop your asthma medicines while you are breastfeeding.
Cold and flu medicine: It is best to use steam inhalations, saline nasal sprays and decongestant nasal sprays. Avoid medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
Cough medicines: Coughs usually go away without treatment. If you do want to take cough mixture, ask your pharmacist which one is suitable. Avoid medicines containing pseudoephedrine.
Painkillers: Ibuprofen and paracetamol are safe. Avoid aspirin.
Worm treatments: Most worm treatments are safe.
Sore throat medicines: Lozenges and gargles are safe. Avoid medicines containing iodine.
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