Is It Safe To Continue Breastfeeding While Suffering From Flu?

Written by Palak Shah
Last Updated on

We know as a doting mother, you are worried more about your infant’s health, when you are sick, more than your own well-being. But relax! , Even if you are suffering from cold and flu while breastfeeding you can continue to breastfeed and care for your baby.

There are very few circumstances in which you might be asked to stop breastfeeding your baby. These are when you are down by some serious diseases, which affects your bloodstream.

Why Continue Breastfeeding With Flu?

It is important to understand that the flu virus affects your body even before you know that you are ill. It means that your baby is already exposed to the virus.

  • Under such circumstances it is necessary to breastfeed your baby and pass on the antibodies generated in your body to her.
  • Your milk will not pass the virus when you breastfeed your baby as the virus does not affect your bloodstream.
  • Thus breastfeeding will, in fact, ensure that your baby does not get sick.
  • Always continue to breast feed your baby and do not deprive her from essential nutrition and comfort.

[ Read: How To Increase Breast Milk ]

Precautions To Be Taken When You Are Suffering From Flu:

Of course, your virus will not transfer through your breastfeeding, but there are other ways in which your baby can be affected. So it is better to take the necessary precautions and preventive measures:

1. Hygiene Is Important:

In order to avoid infecting your baby with virus:

  • Make sure you always wash your hands with soap and warm water, before touching or holding your baby.
  • This will ensure you are germ free.

2. Opt For A Mask:

If you are constantly coughing and sneezing, then:

  • It might be necessary that you wear a clinical mask.
  • This will avoid passing of the virus as they transfer easily through air.

3. Use Tissue Or Disposable Napkins:

If you cannot wear a mask every time you are near your baby, then:

  • Make sure you use tissues and napkins and dispose them away once used.
  • Sneezing or coughing near your baby is risky as she can easily catch virus.

4. Clean Your Breasts:

When you breastfeed your baby, always

  • Ensure that you have washed your breasts with mild soap or cleaned them with lukewarm water.
  • Use a clean blanket or a cloth between you and your baby to avoid direct contact.

[ Read: Baby Flu ]

5. Keep Your Utensils Separate:

Till the time you are under the flu, you should:

  • Try to keep your utensils, clothes, glasses, bottles, towels, etc. separately.
  • Ensure this until you find yourself completely symptom free.

6. Medications To Be Taken:

Make sure that the medicines you take to get over your flu are:

  • Confirmed by your doctor as compatible with breastfeeding.
  • Do not take any OTC drugs as it might cause harm to your baby.

Are There Nursing Problems When You Are Sick?

Yes, there are few problems, which you may face, while down with flu. These are temporary and you need not be over concerned about them, but its better to know about them and stay alert:

1. Too Sick And Weak To Nurse:

Sometimes the flu can be harsh and make you extremely weak to even sit.

  • In such a case you can ask someone to bottle feed your pumped breast milk.
  • In this way your baby will still get the nutritional requirements.

2. Diminishing Milk Supply:

Sickness may make your appetite less and reduce your fluid intake less fluid.

  • This results in less or no milk supply while feeding.
  • To overcome this, you have to eat healthy, so as to continue proper breastfeeding to your baby.

[ Read: Advantages Of Breastfeeding ]

Exception For Breastfeeding With The Flu:

There is only one exception in breastfeeding during flu.

  • Your doctor will prescribe you to discontinue breastfeeding when your baby is less than 3 weeks old.
  • As during this phase babies are prone to infections.

In majority of cases, your flu should not hamper your breastfeeding. Visit your doctor immediately as soon as you feel discomfort. Take your diet and medications properly to recover quickly.

We hope you find this information on what precautions to be taken while breastfeeding with flu useful. Do share with us if you know of other ideas to keep babies infection free.

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