Mama's Turn to Get Sick

Nancy Horn

Posted By: Nancy Horn

After struggling with breastfeeding my first two children, I'm extremely optimistic about a more successful experience with my third and hope to make it to at least six months.

Right after Skylar recovered from his first cold and my 5 year old and my 3 year old had their colds, both my husband and I both finally got our colds. We both had coughs and nasal congestion. While my husband downed Nyquil without a second thought, I needed to research what I could take. I didn't want to take anything that would hurt Skylar or lower my milk supply. For example, I knew that pseudoephedrine will dry up your milk just as it dries up your mucus so I would obviously avoid that.

Going online, I was able to find names of over-the-counter drugs that were supposed to be safer for breastfeeding and took the list over to a local pharmacy for official confirmation. I'm so glad I did because the pharmacist didn't agree that the drugs on my list were compatible with breastfeeding and advised me not to take any of them. I ended up just taking good old acetaminophen for my various aches and the natural remedy of honey for my cough. I didn't use the saline nasal spray that I bought to loosen my congestion because luckily it cleared up quickly. In the future, I would also consider using a neti pot for nasal irrigation which is an ancient Ayurvedic method of using saline water to flush your sinuses. I'm told it sounds weirder than it is.

A day or so later, I noted that my milk supply was down. I was confused as well as annoyed because I nursed constantly while Skylar was sick and then while I was feeling lousy. I didn't want my supply to go down, I've worked too hard for this!

To get my supply back up, I started drinking my nursing tea, pumped and took fenugreek supplements again. Luckily, my supply went back to its normal level the next afternoon. I wasn't sure what happened as I still had nursed as much as usual. I turned to a friend who is a lactation counselor for advice who suggested that I probably hadn't been drinking as many fluids as I usually do, which makes sense. She also recommended power pumping which is pumping for ten minutes on and off for an hour once a day for a few days or a week.

Since then I have been trying to drink more water and trying to pump and nurse as much as possible. I'm also starting to bank some milk for when I'll be attending a convention in a month and will have to spend some time away from my little man.

12:00pm on Friday February 18
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7 comments

Comments



Kelli B
2:48pm on Thursday February 24

It's so hard to find products that are definitely safe for breastfeeding. I even worry about skin care products and that sort of thing. I may be being overly cautious, but obviously the last thing I want is for something bad to affect my baby--especially when I'm doing something that's supposed to be helping her, nursing. Good luck. I am sure you will bounce back quickly! I've also found that pineapple and oatmeal (even oatmeal cookies!) help with boosting supply.

Marie Pellerin
1:39pm on Thursday February 24

Drinking sufficient water is very important. Also, oatmeal is good for keeping your supply up. Just plain ordinary oatmeal, eaten during the day. And bonus: you can feed the other kids with it too!

Corinne Waldron
1:22pm on Thursday February 24

I'm really surprised your cold affected your nursing supply so quickly, I wonder if it was bc you were dehydrated slightly? And I highly recommend the neti pot!! So helpful if its just a cold!

Joanna Sargent
12:46pm on Thursday February 24

Keep going, you're doing great! I've found nusing easier with each child (and have nused longer).

Beth R.
12:30pm on Thursday February 24

We're dealing with this right now! Sick momma and two sick kids. It's hard...crappy sleep, bad appetites, snot everywhere! I especially feel for my babe, it's so hard for the wee ones to nurse when they're all stuffed up.

Carrie Wehmeyer
2:17pm on Tuesday February 22

Beef broth with lots of vegetables and barley will help keep up your supply while you're sick.

Lisa
1:38pm on Tuesday February 22

Try the squirt bottle version of the neti pot--way easier. NeilMed makes kits with the solution included. They help you avoid getting sick again too--daily use rinses out some of the bacteria & viruses that you've inhaled, keeping the population down to a level that your immune system can fight easily.

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