There are few things worse than trying to care for a baby while you’re sick. Chronic coughing, crazy high fevers, and constant fatigue makes chasing your kiddo harder than ever. Not to mention they also make you nervous about getting your baby sick, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby is considered a healthy choice, especially since your breast milk is full of antibodies and vitamins, but is it OK to breastfeed with a cold?
Despite your need for a tissue every time you turn around, breastfeeding your child while you’re a sneezing mess is absolutely fine. In fact, your baby was probably already exposed to your illness before you even knew you had it. Pediatrician Alanna Levine told BabyCenter that as your body is producing its own antibodies to fight the illness, those cold-busters are passed through your breastmilk to your child, keeping their immune system strong against your cold. Because of this, reducing the amount of breastmilk your child has can actually increase their chances of getting sick without those antibodies. For some mothers, breastfeeding more often puts their mind at ease and can also keep your supply up as some might experience a decrease when battling a cold.
Even though breastfeeding is totally safe, you still need to take care of yourself while battling a cold to keep everyone happy and healthy. Be sure to stay hydrated so your milk supply doesn’t decrease, and talk to your doctor about medicines that are safe to take while breastfeeding. Aside from your milk’s antibodies, there are also three tips to keep your baby healthy while you’re sick and nursing.
1. Wash Your Hands Frequently
Since avoiding contact with your baby isn’t possible, try and wash your hands as often as you can. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby and use it before a nursing session.
2. Cough And Sneeze Away From Baby
Breastfeeding means having your baby all up in your space, so coughing and sneezing can seem impossible. Try and keep tissues or even a burp cloth nearby at all times so you can cover your mouth and nose when you need to.
3. Limit Face-To-Face Contact
There are few things better than sloppy baby kisses, but if you’re battling a cold, it’s best to save those for when you’re healthy again. You can still show your baby plenty of affection, but avoid getting too close to their face or breathing directly on them.