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Getting Sick While Breastfeeding

Should you stop breastfeeding if you are sick? The answer is no. According to experts, it’s better to breastfeed your baby even if you are sick than not to breastfeed him at all. A small amount of drug won’t be hazardous to your baby. Actually what’s harmful is if you stop breastfeeding for days just because you are sick. Breastfeeding interruption may result to permanent weaning or when your baby won’t take your breast again.

Except for some serious maternal illnesses such as HIV, doctors almost always never discouraged mothers to stop breastfeeding even when sick. Even when a mother has an infection due to viruses, she should not stop. The only way to prevent your baby from being infected is by continuously breastfeeding him. Though the baby may get sick when his mother gets sick, the risk of the baby acquiring the sickness is greater when breastfeeding stops. For mothers who have HIV, breastfeeding is almost always not recommended.

Breast Problems

  • Having Mastitis which is a common breast infection shouldn’t stop you from breastfeeding. In fact, your mastitis is more likely to heal faster if you continue breastfeeding.
  • Even a surgery does not require you to stop breastfeeding. Make sure the incision is not done around your areola so you can still continue breastfeeding even after the surgery.
  • Though mammograms are definitely useful it’s difficult to read it if a mother is lactating or breastfeeding. Consult with your doctor if an ultrasound or needle biopsy can be done instead of a mammogram. Remind your doctor that breastfeeding is important to you.

Illness in the Baby

  • If your baby has diarrhoea and is vomiting is it best to continue with breastfeeding.  Babies who are breastfed regularly rarely experience intestinal infections.
  • There’s a myth that says milk should not be given to babies or children with respiratory illnesses. Keep in mind that this is just a myth and not fact, so make sure that you continue breastfeeding even if your baby has respiratory illness.
  • Babies who are breastfed tend to be jaundiced. This is normal, and can last up to 3 months of age, however the yellow colour is hardly noticeable. If you are concerned about your baby’s jaundice please consult your doctor.

Keep in mind that a sick baby requires more breastfeeding. Instead of feeding him less, feed him more! If you do have any concerns though about breastfeeding your baby when you or your baby are sick please see your doctor.

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