Written by Editorial Team
Being a mom when you are ill can be quite challenging. You cannot take the day off, and there is no quiet time or opportunity to rest and recover. When the mother contracts infections, her illness might not even be a top priority for her. As a breastfeeding mom with a cold and fever, you may be worried about getting your baby sick too. This is the time when your mind is filled with a whole lot of doubts, particularly for new moms.
Many new mothers need to know whether they can breastfeed their babies when they are sick. This article will help you with your dilemma of breastfeeding your baby while you have a cold or fever. Continue reading to get answers to all your questions.
In This Article
Yes, definitely! You can breastfeed your baby while suffering from a cold, flu, or fever. Stopping breastfeeding while you have a fever or are sick is not a smart idea unless you are particularly advised to do so by your doctor. In fact, being sick provides more reasons to breastfeed the baby often.
Barring a few illnesses, breastfeeding is encouraged. Some of the benefits of breastfeeding even while you are sick are:
If you have a normal cold, flu, fever, or stomach infection you probably might have exposed the baby to the illness the day before you experience the symptoms. In addition, your body starts to produce antibodies to fight the infection as soon as the microbes infect you. These antibodies will be present in breast milk in considerable quantity. Allowing your baby to have this breast milk alone will help your baby build immunity to fight off the infection.
Breast milk is more easily digestible by your baby than any other milk or food. So, it is essential for you to breastfeed your baby even while you are sick in order to provide them with the necessary nutrients.
The baby can catch a cold and fever from the same source you get it from as they are highly contagious. So, no point in stopping feeding the breast milk as this is the time when your baby would not like to eat anything else, and breastfeeding will help keep them well hydrated.
If you temporarily stop breastfeeding your baby when you are sick, then it can decrease your breast milk supply, and once you recover there are chances that you can suffer from low milk supply which can affect your baby. Also, if you are sick and decide to temporarily stop breastfeeding, there may be a possibility that your baby may not accept your breastfeeds after your recovery. This can lead to early weaning which can affect you and your baby.
Suddenly stopping breastfeeding can lead to mastitis where milk can build up in your breasts and may cause inflammation and infection in your breast. So, it is advisable to continue breastfeeding even if you are sick to reduce the risks of mastitis. In short, with so many benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby, it is not advisable to stop breastfeeding your baby even if you have a cold or fever.
It is quite rare for a mother to stop breastfeeding for any illness. There are just a couple of serious sicknesses that may force the mother to stop breastfeeding temporarily or permanently.
The breast milk of an HIV-positive mother carries the virus that can be transmitted to the baby. Therefore, it is wise to quit breastfeeding if the mother is tested positive for HIV.
Septicemia is an infection of the blood. This infection occurs when a bacterial infection that happens somewhere else in the body, such as in the lungs or skin, enters the circulatory system. It is a life-threatening condition. This can be transmitted from mother to baby through breast milk.
c. In case you are infected with HTLV-1, you should not breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding can transmit the HTLV-1 infection from mother to infant. The more you breastfeed, the more the danger of passing the infection to the baby.
Yes. Generally, food poisoning will not get into the bloodstream of the mother. Therefore, as long as the gastrointestinal tract alone is affected by the food poisoning there is no harm in breastfeeding the baby.
Similarly, genitourinary infections are also not considered a reason to stop breastfeeding. However, for some reason, if the infection gets into the mother’s bloodstream, breastfeeding should be stopped, at least temporarily until the infection is eliminated from the blood.
The biggest fear for breastfeeding mothers while they are sick is not essentially the illness, but doubts about the medications they might need to take.
Here are a few things to be taken care of, if the mother falls sick during the nursing period:
The majority of drugs have been discovered to pass in to the human breast milk. When the mother takes the drug in therapeutic amounts for short periods of time, the levels of the drug in breast milk are usually low enough to pose little risk to the infant.
If you’re trying to fight off a cold, the first thing you should do is relax as much as possible. Some common home remedies for breastfeeding mothers suffering from a cold or fever include:
Hope this article helped to clear all your doubts about breastfeeding while having a cold or fever. Did you breastfeed your baby while you were sick? Please share your experience in the comments section below.
If you are a baby’s sole caregiver, it may be impossible to stay away while sick. If you have to care for a baby while you’re sick, exercise extra caution. Frequent hand washing is a must. Try to limit touching the baby’s mouth and hands and kissing the baby around the face.
Babies that are breastfed inherit all or a portion of their mother’s resistance to the diseases to which she has been exposed. The reality about viruses is that, even before you experience symptoms, they are typically quite communicable. Also, the baby may contract the infection from the same source as the mother.
Most cold medicines, including those that were prohibited during pregnancy, are safe to use while breastfeeding. This is due to the fact that, while all medications reach the fetus while pregnant, not all of them pass through your breast milk. However, always consult your doctor before beginning any new medications or natural remedies during breastfeeding.
Since just a negligible amount of menthol from lozenges really enters breast milk, nursing mothers can feel safe taking these products. However, menthol is derived from peppermint oil, which may lower milk production in some women. Thus, taking in plenty of menthol or peppermint cough drops during breastfeeding is usually not a good idea.
During breastfeeding, no adverse events connected with the use of Strepsil’s basic range of products (Amylmetacresol/Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol) have been recorded. The safety of the basic range of Strepsils products during lactation has not been demonstrated either. However, they are not expected to pose a risk during these times.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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