Not only is keeping up with the demands of a baby hard enough when you’re a healthy breastfeeding mother, when you get a cold it can really take its toll. Since most foods and beverages that you consume make their way into your breast milk, you need to be careful with what you take to battle your illness. By finding natural ways to fight a cold during this time, you can keep your little one safe while you nurse your own body back to health.
Saline is a salt-water mixture that is an inexpensive, non-prescription method to help you safely battle the nasal congestion associated with a cold. Saline is available in spray or drop form, as well as dry salt packets that can be mixed with sterile water and administered with a Neti pot. This salt-water solution is safe for anyone, including breastfeeding mothers and small children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Simply read the product’s instructions and apply the solution as recommended. Saline solution helps to thin mucus and flush out nasal passages. It has no side effects, and you can use it as needed.
According to MayoClinic.com, it’s vital that you get enough fluids to keep hydrated while your body fights a cold. Get at least eight glasses of water, clear broth, herbal tea or warm water with fresh squeezed lemon juice and a squirt of honey. One-hundred-percent fruit juice, such as orange juice, can help, too. MayoClinic.com advises you to stay away from fluids that will make you dehydrated, such as coffee, caffeinated soda and alcohol, as dehydration will only make matters worse. These you should limit or eliminate altogether while you’re nursing anyway.
It may seem like an old wives' tale, but according to MayoClinic.com, there’s some validity to the claims that homemade chicken noodle soup with vegetables helps you safely combat a cold. First off, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting your body’s natural inflammatory response to this illness, which causes stuffiness, pain and pressure. This warm comfort food also helps relieve congestion by temporarily increasing the movement of mucus, moving the gunk out so the virus doesn’t have as much contact with the lining in your nose. Although it’s not an all-out cure, it can help you feel better as the cold runs its cycle.
Not only does producing breast milk affect your energy level, so does an illness. Help your body reserve its energy for fighting the cold by making sure you get enough rest. When you feel tired or fatigued, lie down to rest or take a nap. It’s alright to take it extra easy while you’re a sick nursing momma. Don’t be afraid to ask for help during this time. Fathers, your parents, friends or babysitters can take over on the baby front for a bit so you can rest.
- MayoClinic.com: Breast-feeding and Medications: What's Safe?
- MayoClinic.com: Breast-feeding Nutrition: Tips for Moms
- MayoClinic.com: Cold Remedies: What Works, What Doesn't, What Can't Hurt
- MedlinePlus: Common Cold
- HealthyChildren.org: Children and Colds
- HealthyChildren.org: When Mom Gets Sick: Minor Illnesses and Infections While Breastfeeding
- Health Line: The Truth Behind Natural Cold “Remedies”
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