Hi, I have a nasty cold/sinus infection and am EPing for a 3 month old. I think my supply is pretty well established at this point, but as a FTM I’m not sure what my body is going to do moving forward. I keep reading that cold medication will dry up milk supply, and I wanted to hear what others’ experiences have been. If you took something while breastfeeding did it dry you up? Was it permanent or temporary? Or did you find something that helped without impacting your supply? I’ve been drinking lots of tea with lemon and honey and trying to sleep as much as I can with a young infant, but it isn’t making a dent in my cold. Any advice is welcome, TIA!
persimmon / 1196 posts
No experience with cold medicines, but have you tried a Neti Pot? That always helps when my sinuses are congested, and is safe during pregnancy/breastfeeding.
grapefruit / 4466 posts
I've been bf for the past two years, and one of the things I really miss is the cold medicine. Right there with you with a horrible cold now, and don't want to take anything since I'm bf a 1 month old.
My main strategy is just using a humidifier and drinking warm liquids, which I know is not very helpful. Hope you feel better soon!
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
YMMV but I've been ok taking (behind the counter) sudafed in limited quantities with all my kids. I usually take 2 (4-hour) pills upon waking and sometimes again in the afternoon (I can't take it too late because it messes with my sleep). So worth it to me to start the day feeling better and my supply was always fine (but it was good in general). It's a short acting medicine so if you see a dip you could quit (although being sick can dip your supply briefly anyway).
Also, you can definitely take a nasal steroid like flonase or rhinocort (both otc now). 2 puffs morning and evening while you are getting over it. This was recommended to me by a doctor when I was bf my first - it goes straight to the source, so fewer systemic effects.
Feel better, congestion like that is the worst!
clementine / 828 posts
I usually supplement the honey and tea with regular pain killers (tylenol, advil), and while it's no NyQuil, it seems to help reduce inflammation some amount with no effect on supply. Hope you feel better!
nectarine / 2458 posts
If it's a true sinus infection I'd head to the doctor and get some antibiotics - that should help a lot. Otherwise I used Afrin or Flonase (but I had an Rx) to clear up the congestion.
pomegranate / 3983 posts
I would not take cold medicine while bf that young of a baby. sorry.
Things that I would do: drink lots of water (that's sort of obvious but it does make a big difference).
Make homemade chicken soup (use raw bone-in chicken, cover with water, add veg for flavor- carrots, celery,onion-if you have, simmer for 2 hours). The reason this works is because of the gut-healing properties of the fresh meat stock, and a majority of our immune system is in the gut.
Probiotics- if you can get your hands on raw (refrigerated) that's best, but otherwise a capsule will do something too.
Elderberry tea or syrup- may help stimulate the immune system.
Fish oil/vitamin D- these again help your immune system. Fish oil is better in terms of bioavailability but any commercial vitamin D should help somewhat.
One more thing I just thought of- if you have oregano essential oil, you can put a couple of drops over a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.
Something for the future...when you're feeling better, make a jar of fermented garlic. Literally just a jar with peeled garlic that you cover with a salt water mixture (2 cups water to 1 tablespoon salt) and let ferment on your kitchen counter until the garlic is soft. The result is super potent. You don't even have to eat the garlic, just have some of the juice; it's like a natural antibiotic.
Hope that helps!
persimmon / 1064 posts
@karenbme: I have taken Sudafed (the *real* stuff from behind the pharmacy counter) a handful of times while nursing. Honestly it only took like 1 or 2 doses to dry up my congestion (but didn’t have any affect on my milk supply). Also second the NetiPot suggestion!
honeydew / 7235 posts
I had the worst cold of my life when my first son was born... he was about 5 or 6 months old and I was still exclusively nursing. My supply wasn't the greatest, but i was keeping up. I tried taking something to help relieve the mucus and I found I dried up a lot.... we ended up having to use formula for the first time and it took me a while to get back to normal. If you do have a sinus infection, I would get some antibiotics for that! but I would avoid cold medicine if you can....
honeydew / 7235 posts
@Baby Boy Mom: love your advice!
pear / 1767 posts
I haven't taken cold meds while breastfeeding but I did have a sinus infection while pregnant and was able to avoid antibiotics by taking the lowest possible dose of Sudafed (with just pseudophedrine) 1-2 times a day for 2-3 days (at the recommendation of my doctor). I also used a Neti pot twice a day. I was surprised that such a low dosage of Sudafed was effective to turn around a sinus infection I had been battling for 2 weeks by the time I went to the doctor. If you do end up taking antibiotics, remember to take probiotics afterwards. I ended up with thrush after a round of antibiotics when I was nursing my daughter (she didn't get it but she was on probiotics).