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Chemicals called Histamines are made when your body comes into contact with whatever triggers your allergies. It could be pollen, dust or even pet dander. This is why antihistamines are usually the first choice when it comes to treating allergies. Your allergies can cause various symptoms such as runny eyes and nose, an itching sensation around your mouth and skin, and can also cause hives, which is a very troublesome rash that develops on the skin. Antihistamines are able to block the histamines or reduce the amount formed and lead to relief from most of these symptoms.
Can You Take Antihistamines While Breastfeeding?
Most breastfeeding mothers are always concerned about taking any kind of medication as they are worried that it will be transferred to their babies through their breast milk. While there are warnings on most kinds of antihistamine medications cautioning nursing mothers, there are some that are safe to use while you are breastfeeding. Your doctor will know best and will be able to advise you on which one to take and how much of the medication you will need at this time so that you gain the benefit of the medication without it having any side effects on your baby.
Types of Antihistamines
Though there are many different types of antihistamines, they can best be divided into two main categories which are discussed below:
1. Sedative Antihistamines
These antihistamines are the type that will make you feel sleepy or drowsy. Some examples of the sedative antihistamines are hydroxyzine, promethazine and chlorphenamine.
2. Non-Sedative Antihistamines
These antihistamines are newer than the sedative ones, and they have a low probability of making you feel sleepy or causing drowsiness. Some of them are cetririzine, fexofenadine and loratadine.
What Antihistamines are Safe When Breastfeeding?
The best kinds of antihistamines to use while breastfeeding is discussed below:
1. Eye Drops
For itching eyes, eye drops that contain naphazoline or antazoline are found to be compatible during the nursing period.
2. Nasal Spray
If you are suffering from a runny nose or if you feel it is congested, go for a nasal spray instead as it is considered to be the best antihistamine while breastfeeding.
3. Oral Antihistamine
Non-sedating antihistamines are the more preferred kind to use while nursing as only a minimal amount of it will be allowed into the breast milk and it is highly unlikely to pose any threats to your baby.
Natural Antihistamines Which Can be Used When Breastfeeding
Natural antihistamine while nursing is often a better option to prevent the onset of allergies. Here we have some natural forms of antihistamines that you can consider while you are breastfeeding:
This Chinese herb is commonly used in Ayurveda and can be used as an antihistamine. It is also very commonly used in the treatment of tinnitus, bronchitis, glaucoma, blood circulation problems and asthma.
2. Stinging Nettle
Though the name may be off-putting, stinging nettle is an antihistamine that is natural and safe for breastfeeding mothers to use and it also aids in your overall good health. It is very useful as it hinders the activities of histamines, reduces the symptoms of seasonal allergies, is able to treat hay fever, gout, eczema and joint pain.
An ancient Native American remedy for the ill effects caused by Poison Ivy, Jewelweed contains corticosteroids, which are useful when dealing with contact dermatitis, bee stings and other allergic reactions.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is present in citric fruits, and when combined with bioflavonoids, which are also present in the same, they form a very powerful duo that is able to hinder the activities of the histamines in the body, while at the same time providing other health benefits such as a stronger immunity. Vitamin C by itself is a very beneficial nutrient to have and can be found in honeydew, asparagus, pineapple, papaya, watercress, mango, cayenne pepper and tomatoes.
6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It is common knowledge that Omega-3 Fatty Acids are very good for health, but not many are aware of how good it is as an antihistamine. It is very good at fighting off allergies and has anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are present in canola oil, walnuts, flax seed oil, grass-fed meat and cold water fish.
If you are on an antihistamine, breastfeeding milk supply may be negatively affected, causing a decrease in milk supply. Contact your doctor if this is happening to you.