Safe Medication to Take While Nursing
By Sharon Waldrop
It’s that time of year—cold and flu season. You’ve come down with one of these minor ailments, but as a breastfeeding mother, you’re reluctant to take medication for fear it will cross into your breast milk. Rest assured, however, there are some drugs that are safe to take, as well as non-drug options available to help you get through these situations. For specific drug questions, be sure to consult your physician.
For a cold, it is considered safe to take Actifed or Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) to relieve nasal congestion, Robitussin DM or Benylin (dextromethorphan) to suppress a cough, and Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) for body aches. Non-drug alternatives include eating lots of garlic, taking the immune system booster echinacea, sipping hot tea with honey and lemon, and soaking up steamy showers.
If you can’t lose that headache, feel safe knowing you can take Tylenol or Advil.
If you can’t lose that headache, feel safe knowing you can take Tylenol or Advil. Other remedies to try include lying in a dark, quiet room, applying an ice pack to your head for 15 minutes and even accupressure.
Stomach and Digestive Problems
For bouts of diarrhea, give yourself a day or so to purge whatever might be causing your symptoms, then try Kaopectate (attapulgite). You can also try eating blueberries, or activated charcoal capsules (available at health food stores).
If your stomach is upset, try Tums or Maalox (calcium carbonate). Non-drug soothers include chamomile and ginger teas.
Allergies got you down? Zyrtec (certirizine), Claritin (loratadine), and Flonase nasal spray might be good choices. Other options to try include a household air purifier and accupuncture. Allergic rashes might be helped by hydrocortisone creams or calamine lotion. You can also try soaking in a tub with an oatmeal bath solution or a cup of baking soda.