Absolutely, you can take certain types of cough medicine while breastfeeding, but remember, not all cough syrups are created equal.
Cough medicines often contain multiple active ingredients like dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), guaifenesin (an expectorant), and sometimes decongestants, antihistamines, or pain relievers. According to a review in the Journal of Human Lactation, dextromethorphan and guaifenesin 1 are typically safe for use while breastfeeding. They aren’t found in significant amounts in breast milk and are generally considered compatible with breastfeeding.
However, other components of cough medicines, like certain decongestants and antihistamines 2 , may not be as friendly to the breastfeeding duo. They can potentially lower milk supply or make the baby irritable or excessively sleepy.
So when the coughing gets tough, remember to check the labels and consult your healthcare provider.