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.[+more+] 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.