Coughing while nursing

I have a sore throat.  A really sore throat.  At first I thought it was due to my failure (read: laziness) to refill the humidifier in our bedroom after a night with the wood burning stove drying the life out of my respiratory system, but five days later, with no voice and the onset of nasal congestion, I now blame my friend’s twin toddlers who we saw last weekend only to find out on Monday that both had come down with fevers later that evening.

I happen to be someone with a terrible cough.  It is the bane of my husband’s existence and my usual way of dealing with it (after having been banished to the couch by my otherwise supportive spouse) is to get a prescription for codeine cough syrup and knock myself out for long enough for my throat to heal (post nasal drip causes cough, causes throat irritation, causes more cough, causes more irritation – the medicine breaks this otherwise inescapable cycle).  This method always worked within two days, with the added bonus that I’d give my husband a dose so he could sleep through my coughing as well.

Now that I’m breastfeeding, that option is off the table.  So instead of a narcotic, I’m relying on something as benign (both in harm to child and effectiveness) as hot water with honey and lemon.  Which resulted in my waking up every hour and a half all night and then getting up at 3 AM to put the kettle on.  Today I’m buying a 1 L thermos so I have the tonic at the ready and don’t actually need to leave my bed. 

For work, I attempted to do something as harmless as buy cough drops, but I read on Kellymomthat  menthol can reduce milk supply (of course, I read this while lozenge number four was already in my mouth… opps).  Even something as all natural as Fisherman’s Friend has a warning for nursing moms on the label.  I may just have to buy some plain jane life savers and see if that and my giant bottle of water can get me through meetings without sounding like I have TB.

The good news is the small one is showing nary a symptom of disease.  Yippee for the wondrous powers of breast milk.  Too bad it doesn’t work like that for the milk provider.


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