If you are breastfeeding for an extended amount of time, there will likely be a day when you come down with an illness. Sadly, stress and exhaustion make moms even more susceptible to getting sick. Most moms continue to breastfeed with no problems if they have the common cold or allergies, but what if they catch the dreaded stomach flu? You have probably wondered, can I breastfeed if I have a stomach bug?
According to Kelly Mom, it is very rare for a mom to need to stop breastfeeding due to any illness. In fact, most illnesses are caused by viruses that are contagious before you even develop symptoms. When you're sick, your body fights the illness by producing antibodies. Those antibodies can then be passed on to your baby through your breast milk. Therefore, Breastfeeding Basics recommended continuing to breastfeed in order to better protect your baby from the infection.
You should contact your health care professional as soon as you start to feel symptomatic, so as to not prolong your illness. Additionally, if you need to take medication, make sure to remind the doctor that you are nursing so that you can be prescribed medications that are compatible with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Basics warned that it is never a good idea to wean abruptly, especially when you are sick, as it can put you at risk for mastitis. There is also an element of emotional distress for the baby that comes with weaning, and it may be difficult to handle if you are under the weather.
It's important for breastfeeding moms to take the same precautions you normally would to help prevent the spreading of illness. Kelly Mom suggested washing hands often, avoid sneezing and coughing on the baby, and limiting face-to-face contact. Finally, be sure to keep hydrated in order to maintain your milk supply and keep your body as strong as it can be. Your milk supply may decrease a little during your illness, but it will quickly build back up when are better.