This is the time of year when colds, flus and the like seem to be everywhere we go. The bad news is that sometimes between that and our struggle to sleep well, get proper nutrition, and keep up with the phsychological and physical changes of having a new baby, it’s not uncommon for a new mom to be the first one catching the yuck! And if you already have another little one at home, well…Good luck! But then sometimes moms wonder if they should be nursing their babe or if that is just going to pass the yuck onto their fragile little one. Let’s discuss!
Did you know that your amazing body actually produces antibodies to the EXACT virus or bacteria you are fighting when sick? And then passes them through your milk to your baby! Your baby was exposed to your illness before you even knew you were sick. Not passed by your milk but simply by natural daily contact. Your milk will help your baby fight the sickies. If your baby does get sick with the same illness, it will likely be a lessened degree of the yuck then they would have had otherwise and you are giving them the very best you can to help the, fight it by continuing to breastfeed.
If you need to head to the doctor for treatment for what ails you, do mention your breastfeeding to her. There are certain medications that may be contraindicative to nursing but when it comes to simple seasonal ailments, there is usually another option that will be perfectly fine for the safety of your little one.
Breastfeeding also is a way to soothe and comfort your baby. It gives him a chance to snuggle close to you while receiving a yummy snack and nurturing touch. It is the epitome of Mommy Cuddles to a sweet little one who needs you.
Now being a sick mom who is still trying to nurse a baby can be a challenge. I get it! When you feel sick, the last thing you want to think about is being touched and having to look after someone else. But it’s important! For you and your baby. So drink some extra water (or Gatorade or coconut water or whatever is going to help you stay hydrated) and try to take extra good care of yourself and as you lay down for some rest, take your baby with you. Be aware that if you do not stay sufficiently hydrated or aren’t getting around to nursing often enough, your supply can be lowered and this can become a real problem when everyone is healthy again. So even when you don’t feel like it, push forward knowing that if you don’t, there are long term consequences. It’s the best thing you can do for your little one. Hugs, and feel better soon!