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Can You Breastfeed When You Are Sick?

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That’s been my question as of late. My children have been abnormally sick over the past month or two, bringing home colds, coughs, fevers, stomach flu, pink eye, and just about everything else you can imagine. I’ve gotten colds and the stomach flu twice, that’s right, I’ve had the stomach flu twice in the past month. I’m actually still recovering and waiting for the return of my appetite. Not exactly the way I had planned to lose the baby weight and not so great for breastfeeding. My biggest concern through all of this illness was if breastfeeding is still safe for my baby. I mean, I’m running to the bathroom to hurl, that can’t be good for baby, right? Wrong.

I called my doctor and the pediatrician and they both informed me that it was actually important to continue breastfeeding through all the illness. Apparently your breastmilk has magical antibodies to protect the baby against all the sickness. When I found this out I secretly wanted to give all of the kids breast milk. Also, if you stop breastfeeding your supply will go down or dry up.

Both doctors told me to breast feed as I normally would and just make sure to thoroughly wash my hands and not touch the baby’s mouth or nose. When I had a fever I wore a medical mask for extra protection. They also told me to push the fluids on myself, the pediatrician actually said to drink as much as I could even if most of it came back up because at least some would get through. When things got really bad my doctor prescribed a zofran which is a prescription for anti nausea. That helped me to get down some soup and gatorade.

I was worried about the quality and supply of my breast milk so I’ve made sure to continue with my prenatal vitamins, drink as much water as possible and gulped down Mother’s Milk Tea. So far I’ve managed to continue breastfeeding and keeping up with the demands of my little dude, but if I were ever to feel that he was hungry and needed more I’ve got formula at the ready.

I’m not a doctor or expert, I’m just a mom with the same questions as many other moms out there so I recommend calling your own doctor and pediatrician to find out what’s best for you or your baby.

Read more from Macki on Family Kitchen and Babies First Year!

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