With cold and flu season right around the corner, breastfeeding mamas across this country and beyond will be asking themselves, “Should I still be breastfeeding while sick?” and, “Can I do anything to relieve my symptoms?”.
The answer to both questions is a resounding “YES!” though you will need to be more cautious about how you treat your symptoms. It is fine to continue breastfeeding if you have a mild case of sore throat, a cold, a flu, a fever or mastitis (just remind your doctor that you are breastfeeding before taking any prescribed medications).
For soothing what ails you, breastfeeding mums can do the following:
For Head Congestion
- If you still have fenugreek around from before or after you gave birth, drink some fenugreek tea to help relieve your head and chest congestion. It can also help your cough.
- Saline nasal sprays are safe and effective, and you can use steam treatments (boil a pot of water, put a bath towel over your head and breathe in the steam for three to five minutes). Bonus: steam treatments opens up the pores and can help eliminate toxins!
- Essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus are great and can be put on a cotton ball and held near the nose or added to water in a humidifier (never put the oil inside of your nose as it can cause the membranes to swell).
For Throat And Cough
- Strong black tea (i.e. use two bags instead of one) is said by many to work wonders.
- Hot lemon juice (one part) with honey (two parts) will soothe your throat, and both have properties that will help you combat infection and recover more quickly.
- Mix one tablespoon of salt with eight ounces (a small glass) of warm water and gargle. It can provide instant relief.
- Drink and/or gargle chamomile tea (especially if you don’t like black tea).
For Chest Congestion
- Try an anise steam treatment. Boil some water in a pot on the stove and, after removing it from the heat, add three teaspoons of dried anise to the water. Like the stream treatment, drape a towel over your head and breathe deeply. Doing this three times a day will help keep your chest clear.
Relaxation is the key to repairing your body and expediting its healing. Have water nearby always and wear comfortable clothes that make it easy for you to play, lie down, and breastfeed your bub.