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 you’re experience breastfeeding with a cold or flu? Share in the comments below.

24 thoughts on “Breastfeeding With A Cold or Flu

  1. Help…I have a cold…I feel terrible….I have a 4 month old and I’m breastfeeding him…I pray that he doesn’t get sick because I will feel bad for both of our pain…so far he’s ok and pray that it stays that way…but I just feel like running my head into the wall right now because I feel so miserable…I prob would even feel it. This is the second cold I had for the year. The first time I was pregnant and miserable, now I’m breastfeeding and miserable…I couldn’t even tell u the last time I had a cold before I was pregnant…(Sigh) :(

  2. Back in March my then 2 month old son got RSV that turned into bronchitis I nursed throughout and thankfully he never ended up in a hospital. I credit breastfeeding. Now at 5 months we are both sick with a cold. I’m hoping that once again breastfeeding does the trick and we are both able to come out of this with no complications.

  3. I had a cold each time when breastfeeding my two sons & even though it’s tough to not be able to take the good stuff (over-the-counter) that makes you feel better, I continued breadtfeeding & did as much as I could to ease up my discomfort the natural way. I used saline drops, vaporizer, took steamy showers, tea & honey or just lemon, ginger, & honey. My dr ok’d Tylenol for fever & achiness. Washed & sanitized my hands often, ate right, drank plenty of liquids…until the cold ran its course. Baby was fine :) the more baby nursed the more it helped maintain good milk supply while I had a cold. Just be patient, hang in there, & ask for help so you can get a bit of rest & TLC.

  4. Hello all. I have the flu and still have a fever. My 5month old (2months corrected) I am so afraid to be near her, more less nurse.
    my husband and I are looking for information that shows that it would be alright… As she is refusing formula :(

  5. I have a 18 day old baby and I am breastfeeding. I have tried all I can to keep me and the little from getting sick.
    I will continue to breast feed and just hope my baby does not get sick. It’s hard when I need to cough and sneeze but is feeding.
    I would regret it truly if I get her ill

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