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Thread: Being sick and breastfeeding
27th September 2012 12:04 AM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Being sick and breastfeeding
Hi! I'm just curious about this issue. Is it safe to breastfeed when a mum is sick or having a fever? I've experienced this twice. On the first instance, I was afraid that my daughter might contract the influenza which I was having at that time, so I didn't offer my breast. Instead, I let her feed through her bottle. On the second occasion, I was having a fever at 39 degrees Celsius, but because my son was very fussy when drinking milk from the bottle, I still breastfed him.
27th September 2012 07:15 PM #2
Yes it is safe, and recommended, to continue breastfeeding when a mum is sick. In fact, in most countries it would only be if a mum had HIV or HTLV-1 that they should stop breastfeeding.
It is best for your baby if you continue breastfeeding if you are unwell because the breast milk will help to protect your baby from any infectious illnesses you have. If you have a cold or the flu, you should try not to sneeze on your baby or to kiss their face (and make sure you frequently wash your hands) but continue to breastfeed them. Another good reason to do this is to maintain your breast milk supply. You may need to drink extra water when you are feeling unwell or to feed your baby whilst you are laying down. You should also continue to breastfeed if you are unlucky enough to get normal food poisoning (i.e. gastrointestinal symptoms) unless it becomes septicemia (which is very uncommon).
If your doctor gives you any medication when you are unwell you should mention you are breastfeeding to check it is still ok to take, or you could take a natural alternative.
Thanks for posting this interesting question - it's something many breastfeeding mums come across.
Last edited by ljmarsden; 27th September 2012 at 07:17 PM.
7th October 2012 02:56 AM #3
During my 9 years or more of breastfeeding, I definitely had times when I had fever or a cold, and I just snuggled my baby down next to me in bed, while she/he fed. Those babies never got sick when they were fully on breast milk and exposed to what I had. Breast milk is amazing.
Also, we can now purchase colostrum online or at the local health store. This is the substance produced when baby is first born, before the milk comes in, which is full of immune boosters. The colostrum for sale is from cows but can still benefit humans. It's sweet and you can give it to young babies or take it yourself. It comes in capsules, but if giving to a small child, just open the capsule up and empty it into some applesauce, then mix to dissolve.
Really wonderful to take if you are sick or feel a cold coming on.
10th November 2012 05:13 AM #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
It is totally fine to breastfeed while you are sick, as the others said. Even if you have an illness that requires medication, most antibiotics and other meds, are approved for breastfeeding.