A Sore Throat While Breastfeeding – Remedies and Precautionary Measures

A Sore Throat While Breastfeeding

 

It is very normal for a nursing mother to feel sick and fatigued, but when she is sick, she may wonder whether she should continue nursing her baby or not. Breastfeeding mommies may catch infections and are prone to medical ailments too. A sore throat is a kind of infection that can either be caused by bacteria or viruses, and can affect the health of a nursing mother. The medications you take to cure the infection may enter your milk and pass on to your baby while breastfeeding. So what should you do then? Read on, as we discuss various remedies, precautionary measures and other important information related to a sore throat while breastfeeding.

What are the Causes of a Sore Throat?

If you experience pain, irritation, or scratchiness in your throat, which worsens when you swallow food, you might be having a sore throat.  Here are some things that may lead to this condition:

  • It may get triggered due to exposure to certain irritants, dryness in the throat, straining of the throat muscles, allergies, GERD, etc.
  • It may spread due to bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes. A sore throat may sometimes be one of the symptoms of other bacterial infections too, such as diphtheria or a whooping cough.
  • It may be caused due to viral infections like a common cold or influenza.
  • It may also be one of the symptoms of other viral infections such as chicken pox, mononucleosis, etc.

What are the Symptoms of a Sore Throat?

If you exhibit a few or all of the following symptoms mentioned below, you may be suffering from a sore throat:

  • Pain while swallowing
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • A severe headache
  • A fever
  • Chills
  • General pain and ache
  • A hoarse voice
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing

How to Diagnose a Sore Throat

The symptoms of a sore throat are very evident, and  by conducting a physical examination of your throat, jaw, nose, and ears, your doctor will be able to tell you whether or not you have a sore throat. However, sometimes in order to determine the exact cause of your condition, your doctor may expect you to take allergy tests and a throat swab  culture. He may also  check your blood count.

How to Treat a Sore Throat While Breastfeeding

Wondering what can be taken for a sore throat while nursing? Well, the method of treatment may largely depend on the severity of your condition. However, some of the treatment measures that your doctor may suggest are as follows:

  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen are some of the medicines that are safe to be taken for a sore throat while breastfeeding. Your doctor may prescribe you these if you also have a fever and body pain.Your doctor may give you a spray for your throat, to help you get relief from the throat pain, and also advise you to take cough drops.
  • Avoid using decongestants as they may hamper with your breast milk supply.
  • While breastfeeding, you can take antibiotics or anti-allergic medicines occasionally, if suggested by your doctor.

These are some measures you can take to cure a sore throat while breastfeeding. However, it is suggested that you  consult your doctor before taking any medication.

Home Remedies for a Sore Throat While Breastfeeding

If over-the-counter or allopathic medicines don’t work for you, then you can resort to  some home remedies. Here are some effective home remedies for a sore throat:

1. Chamomile Tea

Drinking chamomile tea can provide you relief from the pain in your throat and help fight infections. This fragrant tea works well for reducing throat irritation and pain.

2. Liquorice Root or Mulethi

This is an age-old remedy for curing a sore throat. Wash the root properly to get rid of the dirt and grime, then crush it gently. Keep chewing on it to let the juice of the root flow down to your throat to ease the pain you feel.

Liquorice Root or Mulethi

3. Warm Soups and Other Fluids

Drinking warm liquids can  cure the itchiness and pain in your throat. Keep drinking soups and other warm fluids to ease your irritation.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Gargling with apple cider vinegar mixed in water may help in relieving the symptoms of a sore throat.

Apple Cider Vinegar

5. Steam Inhalation

To get rid of nasal congestion and throat dryness, you can try steam inhalation.

6. Throat Lozenges

You can use throat lozenges to moisten your dry throat. You can even drink ginger tea or black tea or suck on ice cubes to lubricate your throat.

Throat Lozenges

7. Salt Water Gargle

One of the most effective ways to ease your throat pain and discomfort is by gargling with salt water 4 to 5 times a day.

8. Elm Bark

You can make a  decoction by infusing elm bark in boiling water. Sip this tea a few times a day to ease throat pain and irritation.

Elm Bark

9. Honey and Lemon Water

Add one tablespoon of honey to a glass of warm water and squeeze the juice of a lemon into it. Stir well and drink while it is warm to ease your discomfort.

Precautions to Take While Breastfeeding With a Sore Throat

Because you are a nursing mommy, you need to be extra careful about what you  eat or drink. Here are some precautionary measures that you should keep in mind:

  • Include foods rich in Vitamin C in your diet.
  • Keep sipping warm water as often as possible.
  • Gargle with salt water three to four times a day.
  • You can drink warm turmeric milk before going to bed.
  • You can eat raw garlic to improve your immunity.
  • Wash your hands often to get rid of germs.
  • Do not sneeze near your baby.
  • Cover your face while coughing or sneezing near your baby.

Additional Tips for Breastfeeding Moms to Feel Better

Being sick is not a  good feeling in general, but for a breastfeeding mom, it may cause a lot more discomfort. But if you follow some of the tips mentioned below, you may feel better soon:

  • Take ample rest to ensure a speedy recovery.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in your house and try to keep it free from any kind of dust and smoke.
  • Consume raw garlic or garlic supplements to feel better soon.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking ample fluids.
  • Take hot water baths and inhale steam.
  • Avoid dry indoor air as much as possible. Ensure that your room is not too hot or too cold.
  • You can take zinc supplements for a faster recovery.
  • Refrain from going to places that may expose you to allergens, pollution, or dust.
  • Cover yourself well if you stay in a colder region.
  • Cover your ears if you are travelling on a two-wheeler.

When to Consult a Doctor

A sore throat is not a serious condition that may require you to seek immediate medical assistance. However, if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned below, it may require you to meet with your doctor:

  • The symptoms of a sore throat last for over a week.
  • You have a high fever, which is of4 degrees or more.
  • Your fever does not subside even after consuming medicines.
  • You are consuming anti-thyroid medicines.

A sore throat can be easily treated at home; however, if you exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should call for medical help.

Also, if you experience any change in your milk supply after taking medicines for a sore throat, bring it to your doctor’s notice. If medication is the culprit, you may be told to discontinue it.

We hope that this article helps you  deal with your sore throat and its symptoms!

Also Read: Sore Nipples: Causes, Treatment and Prevention