what decongestant can i take while breastfeeding?

(July 22, 2010)

Decongestant While Breastfeeding

There has been growing concern among breast feeding mothers about what they ingest while nursing. Any medication that a mother takes while nursing her little one does pass into her milk. However, if taken at the recommended doses it is generally so small that several medicines are considered safe for breastfeeding mothers. Pseudoephedrine and Phenylephrine are two common decongestant used. Most studies reveal that,

pseudoephedrine does not cause any side effects in the baby, but there are a few cases of hyper and irritable behavior reported. So it is best avoided before bed time. Pseudophedrine is also known to reduce milk supply. So if you do notice a decrease in your milk supply then you should discontinue this medication immediately. Not many studies have been conducted on the use of Phenylephrine and its effects on breastfeeding so it is best avoided.  Since the main concern is a possibility of a decrease in milk supply, if you so take a decongestant then make sure to monitor your milk supply. Although some medications are considered safer during breastfeeding you should always try to take them immediately after feeding your child so you don't pass on a strong dose to her. Most doctors’ recommend that it is safest if you avoid medication during nursing, so if you can manage it, try to do so. If it is unbearable or it affects your ability to sleep or work, then you could try some of the natural remedies before you opt for an allopathic option. Make sure that you consult your doctor before you decide on any method of treatment. Self-medication when breastfeeding can harm both the mother and child.

If you are looking for immediate relief then you could get into a hot shower and try and breathe through your nose for 10 minutes in order to relieve nasal congestion. After that, mix a quarter teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and using a medicine dropper pour some of this saline solution into each nostril. Ensure that you breathe through your mouth and tilt your head back and a little to the side when you do this in order to avoid coughing. You could also place a towel over your head and inhale some steam from a bowl of hot water. You could add a few drops of eucalyptus oil as it will help give you immediate relief. When ever possible it is better to use nasal sprays and vapor rubs as these are not ingested so they don’t affect the child in anyway. You should also drink plenty of liquids and follow a healthy nutritious diet.

Submitted by P T on July 22, 2010 at 06:41

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