I wrote a post over a year ago about breastfeeding while sick. I mentioned how it is perfectly safe to breastfeed while sick:
The truth is once you start to feel ill you have already exposed your baby to whatever you are coming down with. Viruses and most common illnesses such as colds, flu or stomach viruses cannot be passed on through breast milk. The best thing you can do is continue to breastfeed your baby. In fact, as your body creates antibodies to the virus or illness those antibodies are passed to your baby through your breast milk. Your baby is actually more protected if you continue to breastfeed.
So while I knew it was safe to breastfeed while sick, I did not know that breastfeeding your baby also helps them fight infection in other ways too. Recent articles have come out discussing an immune response in which baby's backwash gets sucked back into the mother's nipples telling her body which antibodies to create to help the baby fight infection. Amazing!
But back to breastfeeding while you - the mother are sick. It is safe and it can help protect your baby from getting whatever it is you are fighting. If they do get sick nursing may help lessen the severity or duration.
I have breastfed through mastitis twice, the stomach flu twice, and more colds and other common viruses than I can remember, while breastfeeding two babies for the last 3 plus years.
Well now I can add a new one to my list. I recently went to the ER with walking pneumonia. And, I am pregnant. And, I am still breastfeeding my two year old. So yeah that was pretty rough. I am still recovering and decided to put together this round up blog post of breastfeeding while sick articles I have written.
Now this time around my two year old is sick. My breastfeeding did not protect him, but I am pretty sure we all picked up the virus somewhere else outside of our home around the same time. I will say that at even two years old I can tell a big difference in how sick he gets and the duration of his illnesses and I like to attribute it to breastfeeding. Maybe I am lucky and it's not because of nursing, but at least I know I am doing what I can. While my kids are both recovering from a cough and cold I got it much worse.. go figure.
My advice from my old breastfeeding while sick article still sticks:
Try to rest and drink lots of fluids.
Have someone help you out if possible so you can rest.
Keep on breastfeeding frequently. If you can, have someone bring your baby to you to breastfeed while you rest.
If you do not have any help try to rest with your baby in bed with you.
More articles on the subject of breastfeeding while sick:
Recently Bravado Designs published an article on breastfeeding while sick and quoted me too which is pretty exciting!
I hope these articles and tips help!