Do you have cold and fever? Is it safe to breastfeed with fever?
Are you a breastfeeding mother with fever and worried about getting your baby sick too?
Are you in dilemma whether or not to continue breastfeeding while suffering from cold and/or fever?
Sit back and stop worrying.
This article will answer all your questions whether can you breastfeed with fever!
Should I continue breastfeeding if I have fever or cold?
Yes you should continue breastfeeding even if you have common illness like sore throat, cough, cold, or fever.
Most of the common diseases are less likely to be passed to your baby through breast milk. Close body contact can be a reason to pass on the disease, but the antibodies in your breast milk most of the time protects your kid from getting an infection from you.
7 reasons why it is safe to breastfeed even if you have fever or cold:
It is fine and best to continue breastfeeding in cold and fever conditions and in majority of the infections for the well being of you and your baby.
#1. Better immunity
In fact, you are infected few days before you start showing symptoms and thus your baby is exposed to your illness before you show illness. Hence it is recommended to breast feed as breast milk transfers antibodies (the proteins synthesized in our body against the foreign particles, here, against fever and cold viruses) to your baby and help boosting his or her immunity levels.
If you continue breastfeeding, your baby is unlikely to develop illness or in case if he/ she develops illness, the effect of it would be mild. You can also read about the benefits of breastfeeding you might not be aware of.
#2. Helps your baby to stay hydrated
Chances are your baby is also already infected. In case of even mild illness, your baby he/ she would most likely nurse rather than eating anything else. Thus, it is breastfeeding, which keeps your baby well hydrated.
Keeping your baby well hydrated also increases his/her chances of getting higher amounts of protection from your illness.
#3. Easily digestible nutrients
Breast milk is easily digested by your baby than any other food or even milk. So to provide your baby essential nutrients that can be absorbed faster, breastfeeding is essential.
#4. Provide comfort to you and your baby
Studies reveal that breastfeeding relaxes your body and keeps you free from depression as it triggers release of oxytocin hormone. Thus continuing breastfeeding will help you to be stress free and increase your comfort level.
#5. Helps to keep the breast milk supply normal
If you stop breastfeeding temporarily just because you have fever/cold, it can cause a decrease in your breast milk supply. So once you recover from your illness you can have a problem of low milk supply, which can in turn affect your baby.
#6. No early weaning
Sometimes if you decide to stop breastfeeding temporarily because of your fever or common cold, chances are there that your baby may not accept your breastfeeds after you recover from your illness. This can lead to early weaning and this can affect you and your baby.
#7. No risk of mastitis
Stopping breastfeeding all of a sudden can cause milk to build up in your breast and can cause inflammation and later infection in the breast. So continuing to breastfeed even if you have minor illness like fever, sore throat, cold or cough is good to reduce the risk of mastitis.
When not to breastfeed your baby?
Knowing all these benefits of breastfeeding, it is always good to continue breastfeeding even when having fever while nursing.
But there are certain conditions when you have to stop breastfeeding your baby. In conditions like septicemia (blood poisoning), HIV, or if you are undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment you should stop breastfeeding.
Also if you are under any medication for depression, anxiety, sleep problems etc. talk to your doctor to know if you have to stop or continue breastfeeding.
If you have highly contagious diseases like swine flu, untreated or active TB etc. which are not transferred through breast milk but is contagious through other means, you can talk to your doctor and decide whether to breastfeed directly or let your baby have your expressed milk given by an uninfected person.
If for any reason you have to stop breastfeeding temporarily, then make sure you express your milk at regular interval and discard that to prevent yourself from mastitis.
Precautions and tips for breastfeeding while having cold or fever:
Generally the common fever and cold subsides itself without taking any medicines. If your illness lasts for more than three days, you should consult a doctor and start medication prescribed by your doctor.
You should not forget to mention to your doctor that you are breastfeeding as there are many medicines, which may cause harmful effects to your baby as compounds in medicines transfer to your baby through breast milk.
With precautions taken in medication, you should also see that you take following measures:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap or sanitize hands using sanitizing gel
- Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing
- Eat healthy, stay hydrated. As the milk production decrease during sickness, staying well hydrated will keep you to maintain the milk production after recovery
- Maintain hygiene and do not kiss your baby while you are ill
If you take all these precautions, breastfeeding is the real blessing you can give to your baby to prevent him/ her getting contracted from your illness.
- Must Read: 25 Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
I hope now you are clear on whether it is safe to breastfeed while having fever, cold or cough.
If there are any doubts, please share your views with me in the comments.