Can I use Vicks while breastfeeding? 5 alternatives natural remedies

Can I use Vicks while breastfeeding

Are you one of those breastfeeding’s mommies that is tired of feeling like you have a permanent cold during the winter months? Do you miss the days of being able to breathe out of both nostrils without resorting to a mouth-breathing existence? Well, fear not, because Vicks Vaporub is here to save the day…or is it? While it may be tempting to reach for that trusty jar of mentholated goo, you may be wondering, “Can I use Vicks while breastfeeding?” And let’s be real, as a sleep-deprived and possibly slightly delirious mom, you’re willing to do just about anything to get some relief.

So, let’s take a deep dive into the world of Vicks Vaporub and breastfeeding, and see if this time-honored remedy is a friend or foe to your nursing journey. Grab your tissues and get ready, because we’re about to explore the pros, cons, and everything in between of using Vicks while breastfeeding.

What is Vicks Vapor rub?

Vicks vapor rub is a cold medicine that contains a combination of active ingredients, including camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. It’s designed to provide temporary relief from the symptoms of colds and respiratory infections, such as sore throat, cold symptoms, runny nose, and cough. The ointment is applied to the chest or throat, and the active ingredients are absorbed through the skin, providing a cooling sensation and helping to open up the nasal passages.

Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding?

As a breastfeeding mother, it’s understandable to want to seek out a quick and easy solution to the congestion that can come with the territory of being a new mom. And while Vicks Vapor Rub may seem like a no-brainer when it comes to otc medications, there is actually very limited research on the safety of using it while lactating. That being said, the general consensus among health care providers is that it’s generally safe to use in small amounts.

Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding
Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that the components of Vicks Vapor Rub are unlikely to cause harm to a breastfeeding baby when used properly. As with any product, there are some precautions to keep in mind to ensure your little one’s safety.

It is important to avoid applying the ointment directly on your nipples, as your baby may consume it while breastfeeding. It’s also a good idea to avoid applying it too close to your baby’s nose, to prevent any discomfort. It is recommended to avoid menthol products around the baby.

If you have any concerns about the safety of using Vicks Vapor Rub while breastfeeding, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice regarding over the counter medications. You may want to seek advice about recommended dose or any understand if there are any other safe options.

What to Consider Before Using Vicks Vapor Rub While Breastfeeding

Before using Vicks vapor rub while breastfeeding, there are several factors to consider. First, you should ensure that your baby is not allergic to any of the active ingredients in the ointment. It is believed that menthol is not good for a baby so it is essential to follow the recommended dosage and application instructions carefully.

If you’re uncomfortable using Vicks vapor rub while breastfeeding, there are several natural remedies for sinus infection that you can try instead. There are other cough medicine, pain relievers and fever reducer that could help in disease control.

Does menthol affect breastmilk supply?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that menthol, which is one of the active ingredients in Vicks Vapor Rub, if taken in small amounts has any direct impact on breast milk supply. However, some women may experience a decrease in milk supply due to factors such as stress, certain medications, illness, or inadequate breast stimulation.

Menthol is a common ingredient found in many products, including cough drops, cough syrups, and throat lozenges, that are often used by breastfeeding mothers. While menthol itself is not known to affect milk production, it’s important to keep in mind that some people may have an allergy or sensitivity to it, which can cause discomfort or irritation. If you experience any adverse reactions while using products containing menthol, it’s important to discontinue use and speak with your healthcare provider.

Overall, while there is no direct evidence to suggest that menthol affects breast milk supply, it’s always a good idea to monitor your milk production and speak with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns. They can help determine if there are any underlying issues that may be affecting your milk supply and provide personalized recommendations to help support your breastfeeding journey.

Natural remedies for cold for breastfeeding mothers
Natural remedies for cold for breastfeeding mothers

Natural remedies for cold for breastfeeding mothers

Decongesting your nose while breastfeeding can be challenging because many oral decongestants, flu medications and cough suppressant are not safe for nursing mothers. However, there are still several safe and natural alternatives to relieve nasal congestion while breastfeeding. Here are some options –

  1. Saline nasal spray: A saline nasal spray can help moisten and loosen the mucus in your nose, making it easier to clear. Saline nasal sprays are available over-the-counter at most drugstores and are safe to use while breastfeeding. Saline nasal sprays is one of the best ways to deal with stuffy nose.
  2. Nasal irrigation: Nasal irrigation, also known as nasal flushing or a neti pot, involves using a solution of saline and water to flush out your nasal passages. This method can be especially helpful for those with chronic sinus issues. However, it’s important to ensure the water used in the neti pot is sterile to avoid the risk of infection.
  3. Steam inhalation: Inhaling steam can help loosen mucus and relieve congestion. You can use a humidifier, take a steamy shower, or hold your head over a bowl of hot water with a towel draped over your head. Adding a few drops of essential oils, such as eucalyptus or peppermint, can provide additional pain relief.
  4. Elevate your head: Elevating your head while sleeping can help prevent nasal congestion from worsening. You can prop up your head with an extra pillow or elevate the head of your bed using blocks.
  5. Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your nasal passages moist, making it easier to clear them. Water, herbal tea, and warm broths are all great options.

It’s important to note that if your congestion is severe or accompanied by a fever, headache, or facial pain, you should consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it’s not a sign of a more serious condition. Additionally, if your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they worsen, seek medical attention.


The question of whether it’s safe to use Vicks Vapor Rub while breastfeeding is a common concern among many new moms. While there is limited research on the topic, the general consensus among medical professionals is that it’s safe to use in moderation when applied properly. When using Vicks Vapor Rub, it’s important to exercise caution and follow proper application methods to ensure the safety of your baby. This includes avoiding direct application on the nipples or too close to the baby’s nose, and using only a small doses of the product.

Overall, if you’re considering using Vicks Vapor Rub while breastfeeding and have any concerns, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. They can provide recommendations and guidance to help ensure the safety and well-being of both you and your baby.

Remember, every breastfeeding journey is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. By taking the necessary precautions and being mindful of your baby’s safety, you can find the relief you need while continuing to provide your little one with the nourishment and care they need.


Here are some sources that support the information presented in this blog post:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2012). The transfer of drugs and therapeutics into human breast milk: An update on selected topics. Pediatrics, 129(3), e827-e841.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Breastfeeding and COVID-19.
  3. (n.d.). Vicks VapoRub.
  4. Eglash, A., & Simon, L. (2014). ABM clinical protocol #28: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting maternal milk production. Breastfeeding Medicine, 9(6), 323-334.

It’s important to note that this blog post is not a substitute for medical advice, and it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before taking any medication or using any product while breastfeeding.

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Can I use Vicks while breastfeeding? 5 alternatives natural remedies
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