How to Deal with Seasonal Allergies While Breastfeeding

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Editor’s note: Any medical advice presented here is expressly the views of the writer and Red Tricycle cannot verify any claims made. Please consult with your healthcare provider about what works best for you.

April showers MAY bring flowers, but along with those beautiful blooming flowers comes allergy season for many! As a South Florida native, where the pollination period is longer and stronger than the rest of the U.S., I have found there are some appropriate ways to get relief during this time of year. If you are a nursing mother who suffers from allergies, here are a few things to keep in mind while combating allergy season.

Medicinal Myths for Mothers
“Many mothers are inappropriately advised to discontinue breastfeeding or avoid taking essential medications because of fears of adverse effects on their infants,” according to a study by the Academy of American Pediatric (AAP).  This may be an overly cautious approach given that only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated in breastfeeding mothers or associated with adverse effects on their infants. However, it is important to not only take into consideration harmful side effects, but also how these medications may impact things like milk production, as some antihistamines might.  So, your first step before heading to your local pharmacy and taking any further action should be to contact your physician or baby’s pediatrician for additional information on which allergy medications are recommended and which are the few to definitely stay away from as a nursing mother.

If it turns out that you need to stay away from your normal allergy medicine, there are several over-the-counter options available for allergy sufferers that won’t hurt you, your baby, or require you to stop nursing. For example, saline nasal spray is usually considered to be a safe product for breastfeeding women. Either way, consulting with a doctor is how you can make better, well-informed decisions about your breastfeeding health this Spring and beyond!

Educate Yourself
It may seem silly, but another way to outsmart allergies is by quickly checking the day’s pollen count on any weather app already installed on your smartphone. I know what you’re thinking, but prevention is key for those mothers who may have asthma, eczema, or other hereditary conditions. If you’re willing to do the extra credit, quickly research the plants in your surroundings as you’ll discover which ones produce more pollen than others.

These tips will greatly minimize your exposure to pollen-related allergy symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, trouble sleeping and congestion– all of which are not fun to experience while breastfeeding or keeping a strict pumping schedule.

This post originally appeared on Imalac.
Rachael Sablotsky Kish
Tinybeans Voices Contributor

Rachael Sablotsky Kish is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Imalac, a med-tech company which created Nurture, a hands-free breast massage system for nursing mothers that uses an attachable massage component to replicate hands-on pumping. Kish is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), educating and training women on breastfeeding.

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