Breastfeeding moms may wonder what medications are safe to take when they are suffering from a cold. Since some cold remedies may not be suitable for nursing mothers, it’s essential to know which ones are safe to take. This article will provide some guidance and information on what breastfeeding moms can take for a cold.

Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Medications While Breastfeeding

As a breastfeeding mother, you may feel concerned about taking medications when you catch a cold. You want to feel better, but you also want to ensure the safety of your baby. It’s natural to have questions and concerns about what medications are safe while breastfeeding. In this article, we will explore the risks and benefits of taking medications while breastfeeding and provide you with some helpful tips to help you feel better when you have a cold.

The Risks of Medications While Breastfeeding

One of the main concerns when it comes to taking medications while breastfeeding is the potential risk to your baby. Some medications can pass through breast milk and may affect your baby’s health. Some of the risks associated with taking medications while breastfeeding include:

  • Potential harm to your baby’s health
  • A decrease in milk supply
  • An alteration in the taste of breast milk
  • An increase in your baby’s risk of developing allergies

The Benefits of Medications While Breastfeeding

On the other hand, there are also benefits to taking medications while breastfeeding. If you are feeling unwell, taking medication can help you feel better and speed up your recovery time. If you are not feeling well, you may not be able to take care of your baby as well as you would like. Taking medication can help you feel better and allow you to take care of your baby properly.

Safe Medications for Breastfeeding Moms

When you have a cold and are breastfeeding, it is essential to know which medications are safe to take. Some medications are considered safe, while others are not recommended. Here are some safe medications that you can take while breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding mothers may feel concerned about taking medication when they catch a cold due to the potential risks to their baby’s health. However, some medications are safe to take, such as Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen, in recommended doses. It’s important to follow precautions, such as reading the label and consulting with a doctor before taking any medication. Natural remedies, such as rest, staying hydrated, using a humidifier, and gargling with salt water, can also help relieve cold symptoms.


Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers when taken in recommended doses. It can help reduce fever and relieve pain without affecting your baby. However, it’s essential to follow the recommended dosage and avoid taking more than the recommended amount.


Ibuprofen (Advil) is another medication that breastfeeding mothers can take to reduce fever and relieve pain. It is also safe to take in recommended doses. However, it’s essential to avoid taking it for an extended period and to follow the recommended dosage guidelines.

Nasal Saline Drops

Nasal saline drops or sprays can help relieve nasal congestion and make breathing easier. They are safe to use while breastfeeding and can be used as often as needed.

Honey and Lemon

Honey and lemon are natural remedies that can help soothe a sore throat and relieve coughing. They are safe to consume while breastfeeding and can be consumed in moderate amounts.


If you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Some antibiotics are safe to take while breastfeeding, while others are not. It’s essential to consult your doctor before taking any antibiotics while breastfeeding.

Precautions to Take When Taking Medications While Breastfeeding

When taking medications while breastfeeding, it’s essential to take some precautions to ensure the safety of your baby. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always read the label and follow the recommended dosage guidelines.
  • Avoid taking medications that are not recommended for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Consult your doctor before taking any medications.
  • Take medication after breastfeeding to reduce your baby’s exposure to the medication.
  • Monitor your baby for any signs of an adverse reaction to the medication.
Breastfeeding mothers may feel concerned about taking medications while having a cold due to the potential risks to their babies. However, taking some medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, in recommended doses, nasal saline drops, honey and lemon are considered safe. It’s crucial to consult a doctor before taking any antibiotics or medication not recommended for breastfeeding mothers. To reduce the risk of exposing infants to medication, take medication after breastfeeding, and monitor babies for adverse reactions. Additionally, natural remedies such as rest, hydration, using a humidifier, and gargling with salt water can alleviate cold symptoms.

Non-Medication Remedies

In addition to medication, there are some non-medication remedies that you can use to relieve cold symptoms while breastfeeding. Here are some natural remedies that you can try:


Rest is essential when you have a cold. It can help your body recover and reduce your symptoms. Try to get plenty of rest, especially when your baby is sleeping.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids can help relieve congestion and keep you hydrated. Try to drink water, herbal tea, and soup to keep your body hydrated.

Use a Humidifier

Using a humidifier can help relieve nasal congestion and soothe a sore throat. It can also help keep your skin moisturized.

Gargle with Salt Water

Gargling with salt water can help soothe a sore throat and relieve coughing. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with warm water and gargle for 30 seconds.

FAQs: What Can Breastfeeding Moms Take for a Cold?

Can breastfeeding moms take over-the-counter cold medication?

It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking over-the-counter cold medication as it varies depending on the kind of medication and the severity of the illness. Some common medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and decongestants are safe to use during breastfeeding when taken in the recommended dosage and for a limited period. However, some cold medications may not be safe for nursing mothers and their infants. Therefore, it is crucial to consult a healthcare provider before taking any medication.

What natural remedies can breastfeeding moms use to relieve cold symptoms?

Breastfeeding mothers can use natural remedies, including saline nasal sprays, steam, ginger, and honey, to help relieve cold symptoms. A warm steamy shower or using a humidifier can help ease the congestion in the chest and nasal passage. Saline nasal sprays can be used to wash out the nasal passageways and ease symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose. Ginger and honey have anti-inflammatory properties and can be added to teas or hot water to soothe coughs and sore throats.

Can breastfeeding moms take vitamin C to reduce cold symptoms?

There is no concrete evidence supporting that vitamin C can cure or reduce the duration of a cold, but it can help boost immunity and aid in preventing colds. Breastfeeding mothers can take vitamin C supplements or increase their intake of vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, lemons, and kiwis. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for breastfeeding mothers is 120mg.

Can breastfeeding moms take antibiotics for a cold?

Antibiotics are not effective against viruses that cause the common cold. Therefore, taking antibiotics for cold symptoms is not necessary. Antibiotics are only necessary when the cold progresses into a bacterial infection like strep throat or pneumonia. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medication.

Can breastfeeding moms continue to breastfeed while having a cold?

Breastfeeding mothers can continue to breastfeed while having a cold. It is even better for the baby as they get additional antibodies that can help protect them from getting infected by the same cold virus. However, it is essential to practice good hygiene, such as wearing a mask, washing hands often, coughing into a tissue, and avoiding close contact with the child’s face while breastfeeding.


By Samantha

Samantha is a dedicated mother, passionate writer, and the inspiring force behind As a young mom herself, she understands firsthand the joys, challenges, and uncertainties that come with parenthood. Fueled by her own experiences and a deep desire to help others, she founded as a safe haven for young mothers to connect, learn, and grow together. While embarking on her own motherhood journey, Samantha discovered the transformative power of shared experiences and the importance of a supportive community. With a background in journalism and a heart full of empathy, she set out to create a platform that would empower young moms and provide them with the resources, encouragement, and camaraderie they needed to thrive. Samantha is committed to delivering content that is both practical and inspiring. She works closely with a team of fellow mommies, as well as healthcare, education, and psychology professionals to ensure the blog offers a wide range of insightful articles and valuable resources. From navigating the ups and downs of pregnancy to tackling the complexities of raising a child, Samantha is dedicated to providing her readers with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions and create a loving, nurturing environment for their families. When she's not managing or writing her next heartfelt post, Samantha enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, exploring the great outdoors, and indulging in her love for photography. She is a firm believer in the power of self-care and makes a conscious effort to practice mindfulness and embrace life's simple pleasures. Samantha's unwavering dedication to her fellow young mothers is evident in every aspect of Her warm, empathetic nature and relentless pursuit of knowledge make her the perfect guide for young moms navigating the beautiful, messy, and rewarding adventure that is motherhood. Join Samantha and her vibrant community of young moms at, and become part of a movement that celebrates, uplifts, and empowers women in their most important role—motherhood.