When breastfeeding a sick baby remember, IF BABY CAN DRINK ANYTHING, HE SHOULD BE DRINKING BREAST MILK.
Should I continue to breastfeed if my baby is sick?
Definitely, if your baby is sick, then this is the best time to
continue to breastfeed as breast milk contains antibodies that can fight
infections & illness and on top of that breast milk is easily and
Breastfeeding a sick baby is also very calming and part of baby’s healing process.
Things that your baby will be getting if you continue to breastfeed…
- Antibodies that actually fight the infection and will help baby heal faster
- Hydration through fluids ~ Breast milk will help keep baby well hydrated.
- Nutrients that are absorbed faster than any other.
- Comfort during nursing
Congestion (baby is struggling to breathe while breastfeeding)
Here are a few suggestions…
- Nurse as often as possible. This will ensure that baby is getting in
enough milk and protective antibodies that will get rid of the cold
- If a sick breastfeeding baby has an
it could help a lot if mom carried him in a sling during
- Breastfeed baby in an upright or semi-reclined position. This will
ensure that baby’s airway stays open more easily, allowing him to
breathe with no trouble.
- Use saline drops or a few drops of breast milk. Put them in a dropper
and put two drops in baby’s nose, let it sit for a minute or two, then
use a rubber suction bulb to suction some of the mucus out of baby’s
nose. This should always be done before baby nurses, not afterward as
baby might spit up if you do it after he has breastfed.
- Close the door and put a humidifier on. This should open baby’s
passages enough for a good breastfeeding session. Mom can also boil some
water and add some essential oils that can help open up nasal passages.
NEVER PUT ANY MENTHOL OILS OR LOTIONS DIRECTLY ON BABY’S FACE. This
could make the breathing problems worse.
What if baby is refusing to breastfeed
This can occur if baby has a sore throat or ear infection which
makes it difficult for him to nurse. Here are some suggestions on
breastfeeding a sick baby who is refusing to breastfeed…
- Also breastfeed in an upright or reclined position.
- If baby is refusing to breastfeed you can use an alternative feeding method like
- Try giving your baby your milk as an icicle
- Mix your breast milk with all baby’s foods if baby is older than six months.
- Breastfeed exclusively, this will help give baby as many nutrients and
antibodies as possible. Breastfeeding has also been found to keep
babies well hydrated.
- Breastfeed more often, but for short intervals at a time so that baby can absorb the milk instead of spitting it up.
- Sometimes moms are advised to stop breastfeeding because they see her
breast milk as a dairy product. BUT breast milk is actually not
considered as a dairy product…it is completely different to cow milk.