I think it was about two hours after I pressed "publish" on my blog post about none of my kids being ill, that both kids came down with colds. No big deal normally, but with an infant in the house I went on high alert. There is nothing worse than an infant that can't breathe through his nose (how would breastfeeding work exactly? Not sure). So I broke out the hand sanitizer and told the kids they CANNOT TOUCH THE BABY.
Given that Casey (my 3 year old), hasn't even really acknowledged that there IS a baby in the house, and that Braden is 5 and actually can listen (if he chooses), they have pretty much left the baby alone.
But I wasn't spared.
About 24 hours later I came down with the sniffles myself. Nothing major, but that kind of scratchy throat, I need to carry kleenex around in my purse, kind of illness. But the bright side is, unlike the last few times I have been sick, I am not pregnant anymore! I can take whatever medicine I want!
Well, not quite.
I am exclusively breastfeeding my six week old. So my body isn't really my own quite yet. Accordingly, I have to think about everything I put into my body, including any and all medication. Ugh.
I'm not a big fan of taking medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding. That being said, I did end up taking antibiotics during my pregnancy (after three miserable weeks of bronchitis ). And I am taking anti-depressants for PPD right now. Still, I like to use these medications only if I absolutely have to.
But does that mean I have to absolutely suffer through a cold? Not necessarily.
OTC Safety has some great tips for breastfeeding moms and over the counter medication, which I have found really useful. (You can find the link here). For example:
- Avoid aspirin.
- Only take as much medication as you need.
- Only take medication for your exact symptoms.
- Don't take extra-strength, long-acting, or sustained-release formulas when possible.
- Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
- Take the medicine right after you breastfeed (so that way a smaller amount will pass to breastmilk)
- Look for signs of a reaction in your baby (like irritability, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, sleepiness, rash, vomiting, or diarrhea, and let your healthcare provider know right away).
- Use antihistamines and decongestants sparingly (these ingredients may decrease milk supply), and always use non-drowsy formulas.
- Check with your doctor before using certain skincare products (especially benzyl peroxide and Retin-A).
Within the above parameters, I have taken some medicine and am feeling good. And the best news of all is that the baby, thus far, has been spared.
See, look how happy he is:
Happy holidays, and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!
Disclosure: I received compensation for this post as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program. All the opinions reflected here are my own.