Sick Mothers And Breastfeeding

If you are a new mother, you may have doubts whether you can breastfeed your baby when you are ill. You may have apprehensions if your baby will also be affected by your illness if you commit the mistake of breastfeeding.

The answer to your doubts is that you can certainly breastfeed your baby when you are affected by cold, flu or other common illnesses. But, you should take utmost care to protect your baby from infections. You should not forget that your baby may be affected by your illness even if you do not breastfeed. But, by breastfeeding even when you are sick, you will be making your baby more immune. You may wonder how this is possible. The reality is that when you are sick, your body produces antibodies to fight the infection. When you breastfeed, these antibodies enter your baby’s body also and these antibodies will do a world of good, by strengthening your baby’s immunity system.

A few mothers may worry if there will be any problem due to the medications they take for curing their illnesses. As a breastfeeding mother, you should discuss this with your doctor. But, researchers have proved that common medicines may not affect the babies even if the sick mothers breastfeed them. So, mothers need not worry about common ailments, symptoms or medications. In fact, some of the symptoms may affect the mothers more than they affect the babies. So, mothers can continue with their breastfeeding even if there are such symptoms or ailments. But, if they have serious ailments like Hepatitis or HIV, it is better they consult their doctors before deciding to breastfeed their babies.

If you have a common fever and take medications for getting relief from it, it is certainly safe to breastfeed your baby. But, if the fever occurs during the first few weeks after the birth of the child, it is better to consult your doctor because the child may get infected very easily.
As far as vomiting and diarrhea are concerned, you should ensure that you do not get dehydrated because dehydration may deplete the milk supply. If there is no such problem, you can continue breastfeeding your baby.

It is true that cough is highly contagious but you can continue breastfeed your child but you should take a few precautions. Your cough will not affect your baby through your milk but if you cough on the baby, the infection may affect the child. So, you should take small precautionary steps like not breathing or coughing on your baby, keeping your hands clean by washing them frequently and before you touch the child and so on. If you feel that you are taking unusual medications for getting relief from your cold and cough, you should consult your doctor about breastfeeding your baby.

Source – Snacks for breastfeeding

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