Do I Breastfeed If I’m Sick?

September 25, 2023

Do I Breastfeed If I’m Sick?

It’s that time of year. Kids are back in school, it’s the Fall, and that means we’re getting sick. One way or another, we’re picking up germs and spreading them to our families. But if you’re a breastfeeding mom, that may raise some concerns about whether you should continue. Whether you are sick, or your little one isn’t feeling well, here are some things to keep in mind as you navigate the sick season. 

I’m Sick. Do I Keep Breastfeeding?

Being a new mom is hard enough, but being a new mom and not feeling well is ten times harder. You want to fully be present and continue doing your super-mom routine, but it’s difficult. Be sure to care for yourself during this time. If you are feeling sick, have a fever, call your doctor to get treated and diagnosed. 

You can and should continue breastfeeding. This is the case if you have the flu, COVID-19, diarrhea, or a breast infection like mastitis. When you’re talking with your doctor, let them know you are breastfeeding. It’s important because most medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding, but some may not be recommended. Medications like: Afrin nasal spray, Kenalog shot, Robitussin DM, or Imodium could be a risk to your baby, or to your milk production. 

Your body will keep producing milk when you’re sick. You should make sure you’re getting plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Now, if you have to stop breastfeeding, talk with your lactation specialist about how you can keep your milk supply up.

My Baby Is Sick. Do I Keep Breastfeeding?

Seeing our little ones sick is so heartbreaking. But it should comfort you to know, breastfeeding can provide comfort and help keep your baby hydrated. It also boosts your baby’s immune system. Through breastfeeding, your antibodies are given to your baby, which then helps them fight infections. 

What’s also incredible is that your breast milk changes when your baby is sick. Your body will make antibodies to combat it and the amount of leukocytes, those good immunity-boosting cells, will increase to help them fight off the illness. 

What may get difficult is how your baby eats while they’re sick. They may want to feed more often, but for a shorter time. This could be because it’s comforting or because their little nose is plugged. If that’s the case, try out some different positions to help them out.

It might get frustrating, but stay confident that you’re doing the right thing for your baby, just like you do, every single day. 







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