While there’s no cure for the common cold, there is also no shortage of natural remedies that a breastfeeding mom can depend upon to help her feel better during the 1-2 week typical span of a cold. Talk to your medical professional about over the counter medicines and remedies (including anything herbal). Can breastfeeding moms get a flu shot? They sure can. It will also protect baby, too.
Here are some natural ideas to help ease your cold symptoms:
• Rest. Tough one for busy moms, but if a special someone hints about taking care of the baby for an hour while you lay down?
• While you take that nap? Run a humidifier.
• Drink fluids. We’ve heard this on every doctor’s pamphlet, every website, but one of the main reasons why a breastfeeding mom should drink fluids? Yup, dehydration doesn’t help with milk production, and it also worsens congestion. The rule of thumb: Just get enough, and include some naturally anti-inflammatory chicken soup, too.
• Steam treatments. It’s an old-fashioned remedy that does work. Either try for a nice hot shower or boil a pot of water and add a few drops of essential oils (either tea tree or eucalyptus works). Drape a bath towel over your head and, not getting too close, breathe deeply over the steam for five minutes. PS It’s also good for your skin!
• Hot tea with lemon and honey soothes a sore throat. Even though babies under one year cannot have honey, breastfeeding moms can. Interestingly, fenugreek tea is helpful for head and chest congestion, plus cough. It’s also handy, with many women, for milk production, but some babies discover they don’t like it, so talk to your pediatrician first, before brewing a cup.
• If your throat is terribly sore, use a gargle several times a day. Here are two: 1. 1 T table salt plus 8 ounces of warm water. 2. Apple cider vinegar (around 1 to 6 tsps., as much as your taste buds can take) plus 8 ounces of warm water.
• They’re not just for snoring! BreatheRight Strips will open up nasal passages and offer you respite from nasal congestion.
• Use a saline nasal spray, and if you are brave or have used this tried-and-true remedy before, try a neti pot.
• Feel like a bowl of ice cream to soothe your sore throat? Go ahead, it’s okay to have dairy with a cold.
• Although be wary of certain sore throat sprays, the extra menthol can work against your milk supply.