You may be wondering if it’s safe to take Halls cough drops while breastfeeding
It’s not always easy to tell what’s safe to take while breastfeeding and what’s not. Some medications are considered safe, but others can be harmful to your baby.
Can Breastfeeding Mothers take Halls?
Halls cough drops are a great way to soothe a sore throat and they’re available in several flavors that taste great and are generally safe to take.
However, due to the inclusion of menthol it is not advisable to take this whilst breastfeeding, especially if you are suffering from milk supply issues or trying to establish breastfeeding.
What are Halls?
Halls are a popular brand of cough drops made from peppermint oil. They help to suppress the urge to cough by intensifying the flow of saliva in your mouth, which helps coat and protect your throat.
Halls active ingredients include:
Eucalyptus oil 0.04mg
The menthol in Halls is the ingredient that causes the cough drops to be not wise for breastfeeding women to take as it can cause some potential problems you could face if you take Halls while breastfeeding such as a drop in breast milk supply. If you are new to nursing then you do not want to reduce milk supply. Breastfeeding moms who are very established with an older child might find that this is not an issue.
Reduced Milk Supply – Menthol suppresses your urge to cough and can also have a mild soporific effect which can reduce your milk supply when taken in large doses. Menthol cough drops
Halls can also contain honey. Whilst there have been worries about young babies taking honey, honey is safe to take whilst breastfeeding.
What is safe to take for a cough whilst breastfeeding?
Other than Halls, there are other over the counter medications that are safe to take.
Products containing Dextromethorphan or Codeine are generally considered safe for breastfeeding mothers to take, but should only be taken after consulting your doctor first. It is not recommended to take products containing both Dextromethorphan and Codeine together.
Decongestants can help to reduce any nasal congestion you may be suffering from. Products containing Pseudoephedrine are safe to take, but should not be taken if you have high blood pressure or heart problems. Drugs containing Guaifenesin are also considered safe for breastfeeding mothers to take.
Are Other Cough Drops Safe for Breast Milk?
The issue with the cough drops is in the inclusion of menthol in the ingredients. Cough drops containing menthol should not be consumed in large quantities. Menthol in high concentrations might diminish milk production.
Look for cough drops that do not contain menthol but instead contain pectin as these are safer.
You may also consider lozenges such as Ricola and Halls cough drops that do not contain menthol, but we would recommend checking the ingredients list first to ensure that they do not contain any other ingredients which should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What else could you use for a cough?
You can look for a cough suppressant that is compatible with breastfeeding. Cough medicine or cold medicine have plenty of options that will not impact your breastfed infant. Avoid eating excessive amounts of menthol drops, especially if you have low milk levels.
Placing a garlic clove in your mouth and sucking on it as you would a cough drop could be beneficial.
Chewing on some ginger roots might also help to suppress a cough.
Honey can help to soothe a sore throat, but make sure the honey you use is pasteurized. Raw honey should not be given to children under the age of one.
Drugs containing Guaifenesin are generally considered safe for breastfeeding mothers to use, but you should check with your doctor first before taking any medication while breastfeeding.
Sucking on ice chips or sipping cold water may also provide some relief
What can I take for a sore throat while breastfeeding?
There are various sore throat remedies available in the market. Sore throats are mainly due to bacterial or viral infections. You can look for sore throat sprays or throat lozenges without menthol which may decrease milk supply. Throat sprays and cold medications should indicate if they are ok for nursing moms.
Sucking on ice chips or sipping cold water may provide some relief.
Avoid citrusy drinks such as orange juice, lemonade and grapefruit juice which might irritate your throat more and make it worse. Plain hot water is always the best choice for keeping hydrated.
Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen might come in useful if you are suffering from a very sore throat or high fever.
The Bottom Line on Halls and Reduce Milk Supply
If you have a cough and a lower milk supply then avoid anything with menthol included. Like allergy medications, cold remedies can include vitamin c and other medications for nasal passages which do not affect your breast milk supply. There is plenty that is considered compatible and whilst most lozenges are fine in small quantities if you have milk supply issues or are just trying to establish breastfeeding then avoid any drops with menthol in.
This article was written by Sandra Baker – full time writer and the mother of four amazing kids (including twins!)
She’s also a breastfeeding counselor and has spent years helping new parents learn how to care for their children. When she’s not writing or caring for her children, Sandra likes to spend time reading and taking walks with her husband.