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Natural Ways to Fight a Cold During Breastfeeding

by Jennifer Cutler

In order to protect your baby it is best to avoid even over-the-counter medications when breastfeeding without consulting a doctor first. Several natural, safe options exist to fight a cold at home. If you develop a high fever, have a cold that lasts more than 10 days, have chest pressure or pain, or anything else that concerns you, consult a medical worker.

Hydration

Health.com states that it is critical to stay hydrated, for your baby's health and to moisten mucus membranes so they are better able to fight bacteria and allergens. Many people find that drinking warm fluids such as chicken broth is soothing. Hot water with lemon and honey can also help as honey has natural antibacterial properties and Optimal Health Consultant states that lemon can cut through congestion so the mix might help you get well faster as well as help sooth a sore throat.

Steam

If you are congested, steam can loosen mucus and help you breathe easier. Some time in a hot shower or making a steam bath by placing your face near hot water can loosen mucus. Keep your face at a comfortable distance from hot water, if using the latter method. Blow your nose gently after being in the steam to clear mucus away. A humidifier might help loosen congestion at night.

Diet

According to Natalie Bahadur of "Canadian Living," eating a healthful diet gives your body the nutrients it needs to fight the cold. Chicken noodle soup is packed with healthful ingredients and is soothing for many when they aren't feeling well. Foods such as garlic, pineapple, chili peppers, horseradish, and ginger have been shown to help as natural decongestants, but ensure that those foods won't cause gastric upset in your baby before consuming them. Some breastfed babies are quite sensitive to foods the mother eats, so choose what you eat wisely.

Rest

Your body needs rest in order to heal. Try to sleep as much as possible and to limit your activities in order for your immune system to best concentrate on fighting the cold virus. Your body works hard to fight sickness and getting enough rest can help you recover more quickly. It might be helpful to arrange extra help caring for your baby so you can concentrate on resting and getting better more quickly.

About the Author

Jennifer Cutler is a licensed educator in Virginia and has experience in both private and public schools. She has a Masters degree in Multicultural Education from Eastern University and a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with concentrations in early childhood, teaching English as a second language and anthropology.

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