Breastfeeding Wednesday – Nursing while Sick

With flu season in full swing this question was asked via email

Dear Dawn,
I have recently started to feel sick and I exclusively breastfeed.  I have pumped milk but my 9 month old has never had anything other than my boob.  I have heard that I should stop breastfeeding but that doesn’t make sense to me.  What did you do and do you have any suggestions?
Thanks,
Mikella

Dear Mikella,

I nursed non-stop.  If you are feeling sick due to a common cold or sinus irritation I would continue to nurse.  I nursed even when I was sick.  When you breastfeed while you are sick you are passing your antibodies to your baby.  It is like giving your baby additional resistance to being sick.  If you are sick for a prolonged period and you need to see a doctor for your sickness I would make sure to ask them what they think you should do.  In some cases the Doctor will put you on medication that could pass to the baby through your milk.  In that event you want to make sure you pump as much as your baby would eat.

Check with your doctor to see what medications you can take while nursing but my one warning…  Don’t take Sudafed or anything that will “dry” up your sinuses.  If it will dry up your sinuses it could have a direct impact on the amount of milk you will produce.  Steam showers, vick’s vapor rub, Johnson & Johnson vapor baby bath wash, and hot tea were my go to items.  I hope you feel better soon and you and your little one stay healthy.

Sincerely,
Dawn

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