Breastfeeding With A Cold or Flu

March 27, 2012
Breastfeeding With A Cold or Flu

Being sick can really put a damper on your breastfeeding routine; however, in most cases, you can continue breastfeeding with the flu or a cold. So relax. There’s one less thing you need to worry about.

Why is it safe to continue breastfeeding while sick?

Breastmilk gives your baby the best protection against sickness. The protective antibodies it contains help your baby’s developing immune system fight off infection and illness. In most cases, if you have a contagious illness like a cold, flu or minor virus, your baby was exposed to it before you showed symptoms. So, just think you’re giving your baby the best chance to fight it off. On top of breastfeeding, make sure you still wash your hands often, avoid coughing or sneezing near them and put those kisses on hold for a few days (we know that can be tough).

When shouldn’t I continue breastfeeding?

Very few illnesses can be passed on through breastmilk, however it’s always best to check with your doctor to confirm. Some of these illnesses include HIV and septicemia (bacterial infection that has entered the bloodstream).

It’s important to note that not all medications to treat the cold and flu are compatible with breastfeeding. When speaking with your doctor, be sure to inform him or her of your wishes to continue breastfeeding. Also, contact your doctor before taking any new over-the-counter medications.

My supply dropped while I was sick. What can I do?

It is common for a mother’s supply to decrease while she’s ill, but typically it returns to normal once she is well. While you’re sick, continue to practice common tips to increase supply such as eating well, staying hydrated and pumping or breastfeeding often. This will help you maintain your supply throughout your sickness.

What was your experience breastfeeding with a cold or flu? Share in the comments below.

45 thoughts on “Breastfeeding With A Cold or Flu

  1. I have the flue and my new born has a stuffy nose now and a cold what can I do to help her out ? I’m breastfeeding her but I’m scare that if I get a fever she will get one to .

    • Hi Petra,

      Sorry that you and your little one are under the weather. The best thing you can do is keep breastfeeding – your baby was likely exposed to your illness before you even started showing symptoms, and breastmilk offers great protection for her immune system. For treatment options, we suggest you reach out to your healthcare provider. They would be best suited to guide you.

      Thanks + hope you’re feeling better!

  2. I have the gi bug and haven’t eaten much and what do drink comes out. I am mildly dehydrated. My LO has become fussy after feedings. She want the boob more then usual which has made it rough with constantly needing to be in bathroom. I feel like my supply has dropped and she feels lighter then normal. What should I do?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Hang in there! We’re sorry that you’re feeling ill. The best thing you can do is keep nursing and try your best to hydrate and rest. We suggest that you reach out to your healthcare provider for treatment options, as they would be best equipped to help you out.

      Sending healing thoughts and hoping you feel better soon.

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