Is It Safe To Take Dayquil And Nyquil While Breastfeeding?

As a new parent, you're likely to do all you can to protect your child. That might mean giving up certain foods or medicines that could harm your baby during the nursing stage. Many new mothers breastfeed their infants, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that over 80% of newborns in 2015 were initially breastfed. Because the CDC recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, it's important to be aware of substances that can pass through breast milk and affect your baby's health.

Johns Hopkins Medicine mentions that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months has significant benefits for both the newborn and the nursing parent. The technique may reduce the risk of your baby developing long-term health problems later in life, such as diabetes. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) also occurs less frequently in babies who are breastfed for the recommended period of time. In both parents and babies, breastfeeding releases a hormone called oxytocin, which promotes emotional bonding, (via Verywell Family). It's believed the release of oxytocin during this process creates feelings of love and affection towards a baby, and motivates a parent to nurture their child. 

With all of this in mind, Verywell Health explains that some medications should be avoided while breastfeeding. Dayquil and Nyquil are common cold treatment options that may not be safe while nursing. 

Dayquil, Nyquil, and breastfeeding

Some common over-the-counter medications are unsafe for a breastfeeding mother to consume, and knowing what they are can help keep your baby safe. For example, Verywell Family points out that nursing parents should reconsider using Dayquil and Nyquil. Although these medications are a popular choice to treat cold and flu symptoms, some of their ingredients may interfere with milk supply during breastfeeding. Specifically, both Dayquil and Nyquil contain antihistamines and decongestants. The University of South Alabama's head of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility revealed to Verywell Family that decongestants can decrease breastmilk production in nursing mothers. Furthermore, long-term consumption of doxylamine (the antihistamine in Nyquil) can cause drowsiness and irritability in breastfed infants (per

Liquid forms of Nyquil are especially problematic to use while breastfeeding, as they contain alcohol as an ingredient (per Healthline). Products containing alcohol are not safe for an infant as they can pass through breast milk, contributing to uncomfortable symptoms for your baby. These might include sleep disturbances and hormone problems. Because of this, Healthline suggests waiting at least two and a half hours before breastfeeding if you've taken liquid Nyquil. 

If you have a bad cough and a sore throat, you should speak to your doctor before taking Dayquil or Nyquil. They can recommend the safest medication options for you and your baby.