Sunday, May 2, 2010

Breastfeeding and Managing Alergic Reactions

I have been lucky in that the last few years I did not have severe allergic reactions in the spring or my expected spring sinus infection. I have been breastfeeding for 31 months and I was pregnant before that, so I have been avoiding medications as much as possible. I have read that antihistamines might affect a mother’s milk supply, but the research is inconclusive. I was so grateful for not having to deal with this.

This year, I have no idea what has changed. We have been in the same neighborhood for two years, so living in a new area is not it. All I know is that my head feels like two strong hands are squeezing it. I cannot keep track of how many times I sneeze in one day! Needless to say, it is time to do something.

I started by doing some research on the La Leche League website. Unfortunately, that did not lead me to any useful information. That was unusual; the website has been very helpful in the past. For example, I found an article with suggestions for visually impaired mothers and many stories of adoptive breastfeeding moms, among many others.

Back to managing allergic reactions, good old Google is awesome! And so is this website:

I now know which nasal sprays and which antihistamines I can try. Even better, I have a list of crunchy things to try, as my husband puts it! If you are breastfeeding or simply want to try other options before trying medications, here are some suggestions I got from the website mentioned above:

Saline nasal spray. It worked for me when I was pregnant. Don’t put a few drops in your nose. Keep spraying until you start tasting the water.

Boil some water, cover your face with a towel, and breathe the water for five minutes a few times a day. I have not done this, but I have found hot showers to be helpful, so I will try this too.

My favorite, just because I won’t hear the end of it from my husband! Heat some apple cider vinegar in a pot until it begins to steam. Inhale the vapor.

Put a quarter tsp of cayenne pepper in a glass of water and drink it. Not looking forward to it, but one is willing to try many things when she is feeling desperate! Actually, I change my mind. I am having super spicy Indian food tonight! I will tell my husband it is part of my treatment! Should I tell him that chocolate might help make me feel better too?! Just kidding!

If you are in a similar situation, what helps you? What does not? If you tried antihistamines while breastfeeding, did they have an impact on your milk supply?

1 comment:

  1. These are great! The vinegar...try it first and tell me about it! I have a fancy saline/cayenne pepper spray I can spray into my nose to clear me up. Or I just eat really really spicy food. Works like a charm!