A lot of new mothers who become sick often ask their doctors the same question. They want to know if it is safe for them to keep on breastfeeding their babies. They worry that the illness that they are suffering from will be transmitted to their babies through their milk. If you are one such mother, it is wise for you to learn as much as you can about this topic, before you stop breastfeeding all together.
Why Breastfeeding is Still Great Even When You Are Sick
Breastfeeding is actually still a great idea even if you are sick. For example, if you have developed a cold, flu, or any other type of common ailment, it is recommended that you continue nursing. With or without nursing, your baby is still highly likely to be exposed to what you have.
However, when you become sick, your body will begin creating antibodies that will help you fight off the disease. Your breast milk will contain these antibodies, which will then be passed on to your child. This then results in a significant boost in the immune system of your baby. So when you continue breastfeeding, you are actually increasing your baby’s protection from the disease that you have acquired.
Situations Where You Should Avoid Breastfeeding When Sick
As mentioned above, nursing despite of being sick is still recommended. However, there are a couple of situations wherein you should immediately stop nursing when you acquire an illness. The first one is if your baby is no more than 3 weeks old. Babies that are this young are most vulnerable to infections. So if you have developed a severe illness, your doctor is highly likely going to advise you to stop breastfeeding until after you recover. The other situation where you should avoid nursing is if the drugs you need to take are unsafe for babies.
Illnesses Where Breastfeeding Is Still Safe
Now that you know about the safety of breastfeeding when you are sick, you may be wondering about when to continue nursing your baby. One of the most common illnesses that you may encounter while lactating is fever. If you develop a fever, you can still continue breastfeeding. Also, most of the over the counter medications available today designed to aid in relieving fevers are safe for the use of nursing mothers. These include Advil and Tylenol.
Another common illness is cough. Coughs are actually one of the most common symptoms of flu and colds. While these may be contagious, acquiring them does not necessarily mean that you should stop breastfeeding. You should do your very best not to cough on your baby though. If you are thinking about taking cough, flu, or cold medications, you should first talk to your primary health care giver about the best drugs that you can use.
Diarrhea and vomiting are also two types of illnesses where breastfeeding is still recommended. These illnesses may result in dehydration though, which is something that you should extremely avoid at all costs, seeing that you are nursing. If you allow yourself to become dehydrated, this will affect your supply of breast milk. In the event that your diarrhea and vomiting have become uncontrollable, consult your health care provider as soon as possible.