Sick and breastfeeding? Should a mother continue to breastfeed while ill?
Can any Illnesses be Passed Via Your Breast Milk to your Baby?
1. Should I breastfeed, If I have a cold, flu or fever?
Breastfeeding whilst you are sick, is actually preferred against
not breastfeeding while sick.
Whether you breastfeed or not, your baby
will be exposed to your germs, but when you breastfeed, antibodies are
transferred to your baby that can help fight off the cold or flu.
These antibodies can actually benefit your baby right through life. Feeding your baby will be much easier, you won't need to make formula or wash bottles; you can lie down and breastfeed.
Your milk is also always available and at the perfect temperature.
If your baby is premature, it is recommended that you pump your milk during this time, as a baby can easily be infected just by being
in the same room.
Ask your doctor about safe medications taken while breastfeeding.
If you have flu while breastfeeding and are not feeling up to breastfeeding your baby, it would be best to pump your breast milk to prevent a low milk supply.
~ Breastfeeding while sick ~
If your baby is not breastfed while you are sick, he/she is at greater risk of getting ill. Many times a breastfed baby is the only one in the family that doesn’t get sick, and will usually experience a very mild cold, if he/she does get sick.
2. What about breastfeeding while sick, with a mental illness like depression?
Breastfeeding can continue with food poisoning, if a mother is only vomiting and/or has diarrhea and stomach cramps. If the toxins have passed into a mother's bloodstream, she might need to be hospitalized and
probably won't feel up to breastfeeding anyway.
Breastfeeding with stomach flu can not harm your baby in any way.
6. Breastfeeding with cancer?
A baby can continue to breastfeed with X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds and cat scans and mammograms.