Medicine and Breastfeeding

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Concerned about which decongestants are safe while breastfeeding?

All medicine while breastfeeding that is taken, should be taken immediately after a breastfeeding session, so that it has time to leave your system before breastfeeding again. Always check with your doctor before taking any decongestants while breastfeeding.

Safe Decongestant Medication and Breast Feeding

The Best Decongestant Medicine while Breastfeeding

Best remedies:

  • Saline nasal spray.
  • Neti pot rinse.
  • A cotton ball with eucalyptus oil put under your nose can open the nasal passages. 
  • Using a humidifier with about 15 drops of essential oils such as balsam or eucalyptus. 
  • Eating Cayenne pepper in your food, will dilate the blood vessels and help with mucous drainage. 
  • Fenugreek tea is a natural decongestant and will help increase milk supply.

Warning on medication and breastfeeding:

As with any medicine, while breastfeeding, it is always best to keep an eye on your baby for signs of drowsiness, fussiness, allergic reactions or any change in eating habits. 

Factors that influence drugs found in breast milk

Other safe decongestant while breastfeeding:

  • Antihistamines and breastfeeding: Allegra, Claritin, Seldane, and Actidil are safe to be taken by breastfeeding mothers and has no effect on lactation. Benadryl is safe in moderation, but a mother should check her baby for signs of drowsiness when taking any antihistamines while breastfeeding. 
  • Multi-symptom medication treats more than just congestion and should be avoided, as they contain more than one active ingredient.  
  • Breastfeeding safe medicines nasal decongestant: Over-the-counter nasal decongestants that contain either Oxymetazoline or Phenylephrine.  These are actually preferred over oral medications and are found in minuscule amounts in the breast milk, due to minimal absorption. 

Other Specific Medications

Can you take Advil while breastfeeding?

Short-term use at doses prescribed by a "breastfeeding friendly" doctor is fine. 

Can you take Mucinex while breastfeeding?

Mucinex is the trade name for Guaifenesin. This medication helps to loosen mucus. This medication is safe to take while breastfeeding. 

Can you take Dayquil while breastfeeding?

Dayquil is considered safe while breastfeeding; it contains Dextromethorphan, which is also found in Tylenol, and NyQuil. 

Can you take Sudafed while breastfeeding?

Sudafed is the trade name for pseudoephedrine. It is a decongestant. This medication is safe to take while nursing, but it can reduce milk supply. It has also been reported for irritability in some babies. So, keep an eye on your milk supply and any behavioral differences in your baby. 

Can you take Benadryl while breastfeeding?

Benadryl may decrease your flow (let-down) of milk. It is easily passed through the breast milk. Benadryl has been known to cause drowsiness, excitability, and irritability in infants whose mothers take this drug. Newborns are especially sensitive to this drug. 

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