Hello pollen season! Nursing parents, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but did you know that decongestants like the ones found in many allergy medication can decrease milk production? Here are some tips for making it through allergy season without decongestants.
1. Look for an antihistamine without a decongestant. It may not completely take away your symptoms, but it should take care of the itchy eyes and coughing. An antihistamine without the letter D usually a safe bet, but for good measure check with you doctor. For a very comprehensive resource on the matter, check out the Infant Risk center’s article on over the counter allergy medications. They are the go to for all things medication and milk.
2. Skip the outdoor chores. If you can, ask someone else to mow the lawn and clean out the air vents. If these tasks are all you, however, wear a mask and gloves and shower right after. Do make sure those air vents get cleaned out and filters get replaced, though. Dirty filters will keep your home filtration system from doing its job.
3. Get an air filter. I am obsessed with the product review blog The Sweet Home and their recommendations are always spot on. When it comes to scrubbing the air in your home, they recommend the Coway AP-1512HH Mighty.
Modern air purifiers are not complicated, but they are very good at their job, which is removing particulate matter from the air—fine dust, pollen, mold spores, and so on. The process for most purifiers involves using a fan to draw dirty air through a dense fibrous filter in order to trap virtually all the particulates while letting the cleaned air itself flow out back into the room. "
- The Sweet Home
4. Acupuncture. This option could unlock some decongesting if are all stuffed up or on the verge of a sinus infection. Maybe you used acupuncture to assist conception or while pregnant, maybe the whole tiny needle thing totally freaks you out, but allergies might be the reason you find a great practitioner in your area. I do recommend looking for someone who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, so check credentials. Here is an article about acupuncture and allergies from the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.
And lastly: you might just have to wait out. As we often say in nursing: it’s a season of life.
And spring, for better or worse is a season of that season.