Babies are fragile, and a mother’s milk is everything to them. What you eat and your health directly impacts your baby’s health. As long as your baby mostly relies on breast milk, avoiding any medicine that can mix with breast milk is better. However, with fatigue, tiredness, and lack of energy, many women catch a cold in the postpartum period. While taking medicines for a cold is good, you should know which medicines are suitable during breastfeeding. So, we share what you can take for a cold while breastfeeding or stick to homemade remedies.
Should You Take Medicines While Breastfeeding?
In most cases, it is okay for mothers to take common cold medications during their nursing period. However, you should not check the internet and grab a medicine or use one already at home. Call your doctor and use the medicine they suggest, so it won’t affect your or your baby’s health.
Cold medications are mostly harmless, so you can take them without a prescription, but you never know which one will affect your baby’s health. Some medicines might look simple, but they can mix with your breast milk in small doses. On the other hand, some medications can reduce milk supply. This doesn’t mean you should not take medications for cold; you just need to be aware of the possible side effects.
Checking all the medicine’s active ingredients and matching them with the ingredients your doctor told you to avoid would be a better idea. Even better is to target the individual symptom as soon as you expereince a cold. Waiting for a dozen symptoms and then treating them all at once is not preferable.
Besides all the medications, keeping your baby from harm’s way should be your priority. For example, if you have a cold, you’ll sneeze and cough a lot and don’t want to contaminate the baby. It is better to wear a mask and gloves while breastfeeding.
A newborn is more prone to getting infected with a virus, which is hard to treat since doctors cannot use medicines on a baby. Unless your baby is six months old, you should take extreme precautions breastfeeding the baby during cold.
How to Take Cold Medicine Safely
One way to avoid issues is to check the feeding schedule and adjust accordingly. If you feel there is not enough gap in your medication and feeding time, use a breast pump to express milk for the baby. That way, you can feed the baby and still have more time to take the medication and wait for its effects to kick in.
Using a breast pump is extremely useful if you take medicines that go to your breast milk but won’t stay for long. You can express the milk before taking medicine and once the traces are gone, express it again. However, using a breast pump can have undesirable side effects, so use it when it is an absolute necessity.
On the other hand, if you have to take more than one medicine for your cold, it is better to check what effects they’ll cause and how they can affect your health. Remember, you can easily endure the side effects of such medicines; your baby might not. So don’t think about yourself; check how these medications can affect your baby’s health.
Typically, such medicines stay in your body for a short time (12 hours max) before you need them again. A baby cannot wait long, so if you are uncomfortable with a breast pump, use infant milk powder until your cold is gone. Remember that milk powder will increase your baby’s weight drastically, so don’t overuse it.
Home Remedies for a Cold
Most people might not believe that home remedies are that useful, but considering your baby’s health, they are the best option. The best part is that all home remedies for a cold are safe, and you can apply them anytime you want. However, some might not be good for your skin or tastebuds; be ready for some itching and undesirable taste.
This is a straightforward way to think and dislodge mucus in your nose. Just use some water, or you can even use force to throw out the stuck mucus from the nose. Ensure not to inhale the water as it gets a bit painful and can cause coughing.
The cheapest and most effective method is not good for sensitive skin, and the steam effect won’t last long. You might need to steam your face and nose three to four times daily to get good results. Pour boiling water into a bowl and grab a towel, cover your head and lean over the bowl so that no steam should escape. Inhale the hot smoke and let it hit your nose until you feel the heat and lift your face.
Follow this method three to four times a day; your cold will be gone in no time. However, check the smoke coming out of the water before taking the steam. If it burns your hands, wait for the water to cool down a little.
Hydration: We all know chicken soup is the best for cold; drinking chicken soup twice a day can do the job. Moreover, hot tea or warm water is also helpful in getting rid of the cold. You can also try beef soup if you need extra strength, but people don’t like beef taste in soup, so chicken soup is preferable. Make sure to create the soup using chicken bones and meat, do not get the ready-to-made soup from a store.
Honey: People have been using honey for ages to treat coughs and colds. Honey is the safest food on this list that you can use for colds while breastfeeding. You can add some black pepper to enhance the results, but only if you survive the taste.
What can I take for a cold while breastfeeding? You can take any cold medication as long as it has no side effects for ladies during breastfeeding. We recommend using homemade remedies to stay on the safe side.