Can I Breastfeed If I Have The Flu? It's The Best Way To Protect Your Baby
Being a mom is hard enough, but being a sick mom? Call in back-up. It can be incredibly difficult to take care of a little one when you aren't operating at 100 percent. And with cold and flu season coming up, this struggle will quickly become the norm for a lot of households. If you come down with the flu, you're probably worried about passing it on to your child, especially if you're nursing. Who wants to wonder "can I breastfeed if I have the flu?" when you're already nervous about getting enough sleep and running out of tissues?
Although I know you are a total supermom and can handle it, the flu is no joke. So don't feel guilty about asking for help so you can get well, but you don't have to reach for the bottles of formula or donor milk just yet. According to Medela, you can breastfeed your baby if you have the flu. In fact, it actually may be one of the best things you can do for your baby while you're sick.
Think about how your breast milk tailors itself to your baby's needs. When you're sick, it changes to help protect your little one. Kelly Mom noted that while you're sick, your breast milk has antibodies in it that are specific to your particular illness so that your baby is being protected from your germs. Although they could still become sick, there's a chance that they won't be as sick as you because of your awesome body producing such great milk.
You don't have to worry about your breast milk transmitting the germs either. According to Parents, your milk has been producing those antibodies from the moment you are sick, which can be 24 hours before you even notice any symptoms. Your baby has already been exposed to your germs at that point and breastfeeding simply gives them the protection they need.
Breastfeeding USA pointed out that if you're still worried about passing your illness on to your baby, you can take extra precautions by making sure you wash your hands frequently and that you sneeze and cough away from your baby's face. These steps, along with your breast milk, can keep your baby protected from catching the flu.