The answer to the question of how to treat a cough during breastfeeding depends, first of all, on what causes the development of the pathological process in the body of a nursing mother.

Treatment for women during breastfeeding is complicated by the fact that the choice of medications that are approved for use during these periods is limited. So, some drugs can have a negative effect on lactation, others can negatively affect the baby.

If a nursing mother coughs, stop lactation is not necessary, on the contrary, breast milk will protect the baby from infection

At the same time, the refusal of the mother from treatment during breastfeeding (HB) is impractical, since the progression of the disease can do more harm than taking medications.

If a cough develops, it is necessary to consult a doctor who will conduct an examination and select the optimal therapy.

The approach to treatment during lactation

Before using any medications, you need to make sure that there are no contraindications, carefully study the instructions for use and adhere to the prescribed dosage of the drug.

Depending on the type of cough, mucolytic, expectorant, antitussive drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs can be used for its treatment. During breastfeeding, herbal medicines are often prescribed.

For bacterial infections, antibiotic use may be necessary. If there is a high temperature, it may be necessary to use antipyretic drugs.

When coughing caused by diseases of the upper respiratory tract (laryngitis, pharyngitis), which is often accompanied by sore throat, gargle with antiseptic solutions.

Popular rinses:

  • a solution of table or sea salt;
  • baking soda solution;
  • infusion of medicinal plants (chamomile, sage, calendula).

With psychosomatic cough, you may need to take sedatives.

If a symptom occurs against a background of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, prokinetics, antacids, antisecretory agents can be used.

If the patient’s cough is caused by an allergic reaction, first of all, the causative allergen should be determined and contact with it should be eliminated or minimized. It may also require the use of antiallergenic drugs, enterosorbents.

A generous drinking regimen is usually recommended for patients. In the absence of contraindications to a nursing mother, you can drink tea with raspberries, infusions of chamomile, calendula, rosehip infusion, tea from viburnum berries, tea with lemon and / or honey, juices or fruit drinks from fruits and berries, dried fruit compotes, mineral water, milk.

For colds of a mother, doctors recommend continuing to breastfeed – so the baby gets the antibodies necessary to protect against infection.


In the absence of a fever in the nursing mother, steam inhalations can be performed, however, they are effective only for diseases of the upper respiratory tract. The procedure using a nebulizer can be carried out even at high temperature, as well as with diseases of the trachea and bronchi.

As a therapeutic solution for steam inhalation, some drugs, salt solutions, soda, saline, alkaline mineral water, honey, essential oils, solutions based on medicinal plants can be used. For the nebulizer, ready-made solutions are used – saline, alkaline mineral water, and liquid pharmaceutical preparations.

Inhalation is contraindicated in:

  • the presence of individual intolerance to the components of the solution;
  • tendency to bleeding (nasal, pulmonary);
  • arrhythmias;
  • heart and / or pulmonary failure;
  • myocardial infarction or stroke;
  • pneumothorax.

Folk methods

In the case of a cough during breastfeeding, folk remedies are often used, but they can not be used uncontrollably, since many of them can cause the development of an allergic reaction in the baby. In addition, if taken incorrectly, they can be ineffective or even harmful to health.

Black Radish Juice

In the absence of contraindications for coughing attacks, you can use a mixture of equal parts of liquid honey and black radish juice. The tool is taken 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day.

Infusion of medicinal herbs

To accelerate the elimination of sputum from the respiratory tract, you can use the infusion of mixed in equal parts of chamomile, oregano and coltsfoot. Dry raw materials (2 tablespoons of the mixture) are poured into 0.5 l of water, brought to a boil and left to cool. The drug is taken in 1/4 cup every 4-5 hours throughout the day.

Milk Products

Milk-based products are good for coughing:

  • warm milk with honey (1 teaspoon of honey per glass of milk);
  • milk with mineral water (in a ratio of 1: 1);
  • milk with soda (0.5 teaspoon of soda per glass of milk);
  • milk with figs (3-4 fig fruits per 250 ml of milk, simmer for about 2 hours), etc.

Means with milk can be taken throughout the day in small portions and / or consumed before going to bed.

Potato Steam Inhalation

With laryngitis, inhalation with boiled potatoes can be carried out. Boil the potatoes without cleaning, drain the liquid, knead the tubers, wait until the steam has cooled to an acceptable temperature (no higher than 60 ° C), breathe steam over the potato mass for no more than 10 minutes. A few drops of essential oil can be added to the potatoes.

The most effective are inhalations with a nebulizer

Warming compress

For some pathologies, compresses are used that can be placed on the back. So, you can make a compress of flour, honey and vegetable oil. A cake is formed from the mixture, which is applied to the skin, covered with cellophane and fixed. Compress can be left overnight.

During lactation, compresses are not applied to the chest, and breast rubbing is not applied.

Cough and related symptoms in various diseases

For colds

In addition to coughing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat and sore throat, sneezing, hyperemia of the mucous membranes of the pharynx, fever, chills, weakness and fatigue, muscle pain are observed.

Pharyngitis and laryngitis

With pharyngitis, breathing difficulties and symptoms of colds can develop. With laryngitis, hoarseness or temporary loss of voice, pain when swallowing, difficulty breathing, skin cyanosis may occur.


With bronchitis, a chest cough is observed. At the initial stage of the disease, it is dry, after a few days it goes wet. Patients may complain of fever (usually not more than 38 ° C), headache. Coughing may worsen at night, causing sleep disturbances and a deterioration in the general condition of the patient.


Allergic cough may be accompanied by:

  • liquid transparent discharge from the nasal cavity;
  • sneezing
  • lacrimation;
  • itching in the throat and nose;
  • nasal congestion;
  • pain in the eyes;
  • skin rashes;
  • angioedema.

Gastrointestinal diseases

In diseases of the digestive tract, in addition to coughing, nausea and vomiting, unpleasant odor and taste in the mouth, heartburn, bloating, and defecation can be observed.

Psychosomatic cough

usually a dry cough due to severe anxiety, stressful situations. It is repeated in such situations, it is absent at night.

Sputum in certain diseases:

Sputum CharacterizationPathology
Transparent liquid sputum, free of impuritiesAcute respiratory viral infections, allergies
Mucopurulent sputum, may have a yellowish or greenish tintBronchitis, pneumonia, bronchiectasis
Viscous (glassy) sputumBronchial asthma
Sputum with bloodTuberculosis, malignant neoplasms, pulmonary thromboembolism
Rusty sputumCroupous pneumonia

Why does a cough occur during lactation?

Often, the lactation period, especially its beginning, is difficult for a woman, caring for a child takes a lot of energy, a young mother does not always get enough sleep, full recovery after childbirth did not happen. A weakened body is easily exposed to infection, especially viral infections during seasonal epidemics. They account for the vast majority of cases of coughing.

The remaining cases are caused by allergies, asthma, diseases of the digestive tract (gastritis with high acidity, reflux esophagitis), endocrine pathologies, heart failure. Sometimes a cough develops against a background of stress, strong feelings.

You can get sick by inhaling too dry, dusty, hot or cold air, fumes of chemicals, passive and active smoking, the use of certain drugs, and hypothermia.

Tuberculosis and neoplasms of the respiratory system are rare in nursing mothers, but they also cannot be discounted.