North Baltimore, Ohio

June 6, 2023 7:07 pm

NEW # > 419-619-7318

Leave a message with sports scores or news 24/7/365

Breast Cancer Treatment Rail Ad
Weekly Specials
Fiber Locator
Briar Hill Health Update
OB You’re Expecting
Gerdeman Ins Jan 2016
Ol’ Jenny

BVHS: Weekend Column

Cold and flu season is right around the corner. Top that with the new risk of COVID, and many moms aren’t sure what to do when they or their baby get sick. Of course, our top priority as mothers is protecting this new little life, and we would do anything for them. So, here is the good news. Your body has superpowers!

Did you know that you cannot pass illnesses such as the cold, flu, fever, diarrhea, vomiting and even COVID through your breast milk? In fact, your body will actually start producing antibodies for those illnesses and pass those antibodies through your milk to your baby, effectively reducing the risk and severity of those illnesses to your infant and/or toddler.

It’s like a painless vaccine, accompanied by snuggles. Not only is it safe but breastfeeding during illness is also a good idea.

The CDC states, “A mother’s breast milk contains antibodies and other immunological factors that can help protect her infant from illness and is the recommended source of nutrition for the infant, even while the mother is ill. If a mother is too sick to feed her infant at the breast and another healthy caregiver is caring for the infant, the breastfeeding mother should be encouraged and supported to regularly express her milk so that the infant continues to receive her breast milk.

Prior to expressing breast milk, mothers should wash their hands well with soap and water and, if using a pump, follow recommendations for proper cleaning. Because breast milk supply could decrease for some mothers while they are ill, mothers may need additional lactation support from a lactation provider to address milk supply concerns, reduce the possibility of developing a breast infection, and support the breastfeeding relationship during this time.

In addition to good hand hygiene, as with any respiratory illness, it is recommended that persons over the age of 2, who are showing signs and symptoms or have tested positive for any respiratory illness, wear a face mask over the nose and mouth for the duration of the visit with an infant.

However, being sick and continuing to breastfeed can be exhausting. (I mean, more exhausting than normal new parenting.) You’ll need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby. Keep your clear fluid levels up (water, coconut water, juice, herbal tea, broth, etc.), eat when you can and keep in mind that your body needs extra rest. Ask family or friends to help with caring for your baby when possible so you can focus on recovering.

Many medications are safe during breastfeeding. However, you’ll want to avoid anything with a decongestant in it, as this can lower your milk supply. Before taking any medications you are unsure of, contact your local IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) to verify if the medication is safe while breastfeeding. An IBCLC can provide you with medication information to discuss with your physician.

Stay well, mamas!

Wendy Broadhead, BS, IBCLC, CBS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NBX powered by PANDA Technologies
NBLS Website