Breastfeeding While Sick, Is It Safe For Baby?

Breastfeeding While Sick, Is It Safe For Baby?Ahh! Do you smell that fresh, spring breeze? Rejoice because we’re over the worst of winter, but remember—we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to catching a cold or virus. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you might have heard that you should not nurse your child while sick. Whether you’re battling the sniffles or downright sick with the flu, you might be nervous about passing on the infection to your little one via breast milk.

Don’t worry, illnesses like colds, flus, or even food poisoning cannot be transmitted to your baby through breast milk. Pregnancy and Newborn magazine reassures nursing moms that breast milk changes daily, so mom’s milk does not hold onto the infection and will not endanger her baby.

That’s not to say that your baby isn’t susceptible to illness while you’re feeling down, so take extra precautions to wash your hands and avoid coughing around your baby if possible. The magazine also suggests breastfeeding directly from the breast while you’re ill instead of pumping and bottle feeding. The less you handle your breast milk, the better for baby while you’re sick. If pumping can’t be avoided, make sure that you’re sanitizing your breast pump even more so than usual.

Remember: your breast milk contains important antibodies and nutrients that help your baby fight infection, so your own body will fight any internal infection as well as work to protect your baby from sickness. Try to stick to your breastfeeding schedule as much as your health will allow and give yourself the chance to rest. Let your partner and older children help you out with some of the household tasks you usually accomplish until you’re feeling better again.

Keep you and your baby strong this spring by breastfeeding and washing your hands frequently.

Any tips for avoiding a cold? Leave them for other moms in the comments!