Most of the breastfeeding moms may experience very unpleasant experiences like strep throat. It is more important to know the common strep throat and equip yourself with a handful of home remedies. You will get an idea of how to deal with the strep throat by the end of this article.
Sore throat is more common during the episodes of cold, and cough. But any small change during breastfeeding is the biggest concern for the new moms. Most of the mothers worry about the assumption that their infection may pass to their baby.
This article discusses the causes and symptoms of strep throat while breastfeeding. It presents the home remedies to get rid of strep throat while breastfeeding.
What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is medically known as Streptococcal pharyngitis. It is a bacterial infection that makes your throat feel sore and scratchy. Strep throat can affect adults and children of all ages. It is an infection in the throat and the tonsils. This condition leads to pain, swelling, and inflammation of the tonsils and lymph nodes.
Strep throat is very similar to a sore throat with patches on the tonsils. It is just a sore throat without any cold-like symptoms including runny nose, cough, and congestion.
Causes of Strep Throat While Breastfeeding:
Here are the two main reasons for the strep throat while breastfeeding:
Bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes is the main source for the strep throat. The bacteria is also known as group A streptococcus.
This bacteria is highly contagious and they can spread easily through airborne droplets. It spreads when the food or drinks are shared with the infected person. This bacteria also stays on the doorknobs and other surfaces.
Strep throat flourishes when a group of people is in close contact. It can occur at any time of the year. It circulates more in the winter and in the early spring.
Symptoms of Strep Throat while Breastfeeding:
Here are a few symptoms of strep throat:
● Sore throat, rash, and fever
● Red and swollen tonsils. Sometimes you may experience white patches on tonsils.
● You may notice tiny red spots at the back of the mouth roof
● Nausea or vomiting
● Body aches
Is it safe to breastfeed your baby while having Strep Throat?
Breast Milk is powered with antibodies that help the baby to fight against the infections. When you have a throat infection your body releases antibodies that are passed to your baby through milk.
It is fine to breastfeed your baby as long as the symptoms confined to the gastrointestinal tract. Studies suggest that breastmilk keeps your baby away from the respiratory tract infections, and leukemia.
Treatment for strep throat while breastfeeding:
Strep throat is treated using antibiotics.
Amoxicillin: Studies suggest that this medicine is effective in fighting against the group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal pharyngitis (GABHS) which causes strep throat.
Studies also suggest that Amoxicillin is safe for lactating moms.
Ibuprofen: NCBI stated that ibuprofen is a great pain reliever.
NHS stated that only a small amount of ibuprofen may go into the milk which do not harm your baby.
Home Remedies for Strep Throat While Breastfeeding:
Here are a few home remedies for strep throat while breastfeeding:
1. Salt Water:
It is the best remedy for treating strep throat while breastfeeding. Saltwater helps to reduce the swelling in the throat. It is an effective remedy to flush out the irritants or bacteria by loosening the mucus.
Add ¼ teaspoon of salt to lukewarm water. Rinse your mouth with this water and gargle for 3-4 times a day.
2. Chamomile Tea:
Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces swelling and redness in the throat. It helps you to get relief from the symptoms of the cold.
Drink chamomile tea for instant relief from the pain in the throat. It fights against infections. You can also inhale the steam of the chamomile tea for the relief.
Studies suggest that humidifiers are a great way to reduce the soreness of the throat. For the dry and scratchy throat, a cool-mist humidifier can be helpful.
Place a humidifier in your room during the night for the continuous breezes of comfort.
4. Honey :
Honey is well known for its antibacterial properties and it is the effective remedy for the strep throat. It reduces inflammation and the duration of wound healing. Honey fights against bacterial and viral infections.
Mix two tablespoons of honey to a glass of warm water and drink it several times a day for the effective results.
Lemons help to loosen the mucus. Lemons are the rich source of vitamin C that boosts your body’s immune system to fight against bacterial infections. Lemon purifies the blood by flushing out any kind of infection.
Mix one tablespoon of lemon water to a glass of lukewarm water and drink it twice a day.
6. Warm fluids:
Warm fluids can help to cure the itchiness and the soreness in the throat. Start drinking warm water and other fluids that help to get relief from the pain.
7. Throat Lozenges:
Lozenges are the over the counter medicated tablets that can suck on for the relief from the throat pain. Seek your doctor’s advice before using lozenges.’
Inhaling steam is a traditional method to get relief from the pain. It flushes out the infections by loosening the mucus. This is the best remedy to make the respiratory passages clear.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is acidic in nature and can kill the bacteria in the throat. It soothes the sore throat.
Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of lukewarm water ang gargle it for 2 minutes. Repeat this procedure for several times a day.
10. Stay Hydrated:
Strep throat may offer uncomfortable situations that make it difficult to eat or swallow the food. Keep your body hydrated by drinking more amounts of lukewarm water, hot soups, and other fluids. It is easier to drink fluids than swallowing the food while having strep throat.
11. Have ample rest:
Proper sleep and potential sleep will help to get faster relief from the sore throat and unpleasant experiences associated with the strep throat. Sleep with your baby whenever you find some time.
12. Be cautious with your diet:
Acidic food, citrus fruits, and spicy foods may increase the intensity of sore throat. Pick the food that is easy to swallow. Prefer to eat the nutritious and the soothing foods like oatmeal, mashed potato, smoothies, soft and cooked fruits and vegetables. You can make a puree out of the vegetables so that you can easily swallow the food.
13. Stay away from the irritants:
Ensure to have minimal or no contact with the irritants. Stay away from the fumes or the cleaning products. Dust particles can irritate the throat and lungs. Dust and other irritants increase the probability of infections such as tonsillitis.
Precautions while Breastfeeding with Strep Throat:
Strep throat is a highly contagious infection. Lactating mothers should follow certain precautions to eliminate the chances of spreading the infection to your baby. Here are a few strep throat nursing precautions:
● Wash your hands properly before breastfeeding, touching, and after changing the diaper.
● Avoid cuddling or making close contact with your baby while having the infection
● Cover your mouth while breastfeeding your baby
● Cover your mouth while coughing and sneezing.
Tips to prevent Strep Throat while breastfeeding:
Here are a few tips that help to protect yourself from sore throat:
Wash your hands: Hand cleansing is the basic step to protect yourself from all the kinds of infections. Carry a hand sanitizer while you are going out for shopping or to the overcrowded places. Make your children wash their hands with hand wash or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover your mouth: Cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have any cloth nearby then cough in your elbow.
Don’t share: Don’t share drinking glasses and eating utensils especially with the infected persons.
When to see a doctor for strep throat?
Strep throat is not a major concern and can go away on its own in 3-7 days with proper care. But, it is recommended to consult the doctor if you have the following symptoms:
● If the symptoms last more than a week
● If the fever prevails even after using the medication
● Difficulty in sleeping as your throat is blocked by the swollen tonsils
● If you notice the red rash in the throat that can’t go on its own.
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, that means you have a bacterial infection. Under this condition, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
In conclusion, strep throat while breastfeeding can go on its own with the help of home remedies. Don’t make the infection a reason to stop breastfeeding. Certain precautions can help you to prevent the spread of infection to your baby.
Talk to your doctor before taking any over the counter medication for strep throat. Get a compatible medicine from your doctor by telling you that you are a lactating mother. You may notice the decrease in milk supply during after the illness which can usually build back soon after the recovery.