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A woman’s body is in the recovery phase post delivery. During this time, your immune system is weak and is susceptible to all kinds of infections. One of the most common types of infections that affect women during this time is a sinus infection. To treat this infection, first, you must learn about it.
What is a Sinus Infection
An illness to the sinus cavities caused due to any kind of viral, fungal, or bacterial infection is commonly known as a sinus infection. A sinus infection is commonly characterized by a runny nose, sneezing, coughs, inflamed nasal cavities, headaches, and a sore throat. One of the common types of a sinus infection that affects a new mother is a bacterial infection which is particularly due to a build-up of fluid and mucus inside the cavity that allows bad bacteria to breed. This can be treated with a course of oral medication that includes antibiotics and antihistamines.
Causes of a Sinus Infection in Breastfeeding Mothers
A sinus infection may be caused because of the following reasons:
- A sudden change in weather
- Common cold
- Bacteria transmitted through the air
- Bacteria transmitted from one person to another
- Fluid build-up with fungi present in the nasal or sinus cavity
- Extremely cold weather
- The influenza virus
Signs and Symptoms of a Sinus Infection
Identifying a sinus infection can be quite easy as most of the symptoms are fairly visible. However, here are a few of the symptoms of a sinus infection to help you understand if you are suffering from one:
- A runny nose
- A sore throat
- Inflammation around the throat leading to pain when swallowing saliva, water, or food
- Tooth pain
- A feeling of pressure or pain all over the face, particularly the upper nose, cheeks, and eyes
- Bad breath
- Mucus build-up
- Blocked nose
How to Treat Sinus Infections in Nursing Moms
A sinus infection can be treated with oral medication, however, you must consult your doctor first to find out if taking oral medication while breastfeeding is safe for your baby or not. Here is a list of treatment options for mothers who are nursing.
The most common method of treatment for a sinus infection is antibiotics, however, some medication can have severe side-effects on your child, so it is important to discuss the medicines with a doctor while breastfeeding. It is also recommended that you complete the course of the antibiotics as the infection can mutate and become resistant to the medication if you do not.
One of the most effective ways to relieve inflammation and fluid build-up during a sinus infection is a decongestant. Be warned, taking some general over the counter decongestants can cause lactation problems, so consult your doctor to know which ones are safe while breastfeeding.
The most effective treatment for a sinus infection is rest, this infection tends to dissipate on its own. Take plenty of rest and don’t exert yourself during the day if you are breastfeeding. Ask your partner or the caregiver to look after your child when you feel tired and take mid-day naps.
Sinus infections can be very painful in general, whether you breastfeed or not, it is recommended that you take precautions while taking painkillers during this time, however, as some potent painkillers can have adverse effects on your child while breastfeeding.
A sinus infection is known to heavily dehydrate you, so make sure you drink enough water. Drinking orange juice can also help you fight infections and reduce inflammation. Drinking certain teas can also provide relief from a sore throat. Contact your doctor to better understand what fluids help you during the infection and how they help.
Important Tips to Follow
Here are a few tips to help you manage a sinus infection while you are breastfeeding.
- Drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.
- Take rest as much as possible.
- Never take any medicines without your doctor’s approval, this includes general medication and over-the-counter medication.
- Apart from when you are breastfeeding, keep a distance from your baby, sinus infections can be contagious.
- Follow your doctors’ instructions.
- Eat, even when you don’t have an appetite, as you need to keep your energy levels high.
When to Consult a Doctor
There is no need to consult a doctor for a sinus infection as it is very common. But if you are a new mother, your immune system is still weak and your body is recovering from the delivery phase. Your baby’s immune system will be weak too, hence, it is recommended that you consult a doctor if you feel any of the symptoms afflicting you. Seek another appointment with the doctor if the infection is hard to manage or if you feel it isn’t alleviating even after a week.
A sinus infection is one of the most common types of infections affecting a woman post pregnancy. If it spreads to your baby, it will not result in long-term dangerous side-effects. However, it is best to consult your doctor for the same. Follow his instructions, take rest, eat well, and drink plenty of fluids.