Can You Breastfeed While Sick?

Mother breastfeeding her baby.

Can You Breastfeed While Sick?

Let’s talk about whether you can breastfeed while sick. It’s a topic that is often brought up when momma is not feeling well, and many nursing moms wonder if getting close to baby and nursing is the best idea. Many moms also question if limiting nursing sessions to avoid exposing their little ones to their germs is best.

Let’s take a closer look at what to do if you face the conundrum of to or not to breastfeed while sick.

Can You Breastfeed While Sick?

Moms, you can breathe a sigh of relief because the answer is yes, and not only can you, you should! Breastfeeding while you are sick is a great way to transfer important antibodies to your baby to help prevent them from catching the germ that you have. These antibodies can also help protect your little one and help them fight off the bug if they do happen to get sick.

Another thing to know is that while you are contagious, you are often most contagious even before symptoms appear. So, this means that baby was exposed to whatever germ you have before you even knew you were sick.

What About Medications and Breastfeeding?

While it’s okay to breastfeed while sick, one thing to keep in mind is the medication you may be taking to help combat your germ. Some medications are not great for breastfeeding mommas, while others are totally fine. When you are at the doctor, be sure to tell your physician that you are breastfeeding and ask if the prescribed medication/medications are “breastfeeding-friendly.” The good news is that there are plenty of medications that are safe to take, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your options, so you can feel better and take care of you, too!

READ MORE
How to Properly Collect, Store & Prepare Breastmilk

How to Make Yourself More Comfortable if You Breastfeed While Sick

When you are sick, you may have very little energy, and just need to rest! A great way to breastfeed while sick is side-lying nursing. Lay baby in bed with you and nurse that way. Ideally have a loved one help you by bringing you baby whenever he or she is ready to feed, so you can get rest in between nursing sessions. This is also important to keep your milk supply up when you are sick without having to actually get out of bed.

You will also want to stay hydrated. Hydration is even more important when you are combatting an illness and ten times more important when you are breastfeeding and sick. Stay as hydrated as you can, and sip on some hot tea, or fruit infused water if plain water just doesn’t seem all that appealing.

Other Tips to Keep Baby Healthy

In addition to continuing to breastfeed when you are sick, here are some other steps you can take to keep baby healthy.

Hand Washing

Hand washing is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. Be sure to wash your hands often, and especially after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, and before holding or nursing your little one. This can mean a ton of hand washing, so to make your life easier, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy!

Wear a Mask While Nursing

While it may not be ideal, it’s a great way to help prevent the spread of germs, especially when you are in close contact with your baby. Wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you are dealing with a more serious illness like the flu can be helpful.

READ MORE
Navigating Breastfeeding and Pumping while Traveling

Take Probiotics

Probiotics are excellent for immune health and can help support your immune system, and pass through your breastmilk to help give your baby a boost too.

Pump if Needed

If you are extremely sick, or in the hospital, you may need to pump and let someone else feed your baby. This is another great way to help pass antibodies to your little one without directly exposing them to your germs.

Getting sick is never fun, and being sick with a baby at home can be brutal! Remember to take care of yourself, rest as much as you can, and continue to breastfeed if possible to help provide your baby with some immune protection as well. A little rest and self-care for mom and some breastmilk for baby can have you on the mend before you know it, while also giving your baby the immune boost her or she needs to hopefully stay healthy at the same time.

About the Author /

Rebecca is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant who specializes in women's health, healthy recipe developer, content writer, and momma to two under two.

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(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #selfcare #selfcaretoolbox #mumlife #mommylife #metime #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Instagram post 17866776847554303 Above all else, let us teach them to be kind. 💗⁠
(quote: @mommywinetime)⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
📷: @sarah_lit⁠
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Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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