If you are a breastfeeding mom and you get sick, the question of whether or not you can drink your own breast milk is likely on your mind. The good news is that in most cases, it is safe to drink your human milk if you have flu or a cold.
In this blog post, we will discuss the guidelines for drinking your own milk when you have a cold, as well as some common illnesses and health conditions that may require you to stop breastfeeding your baby altogether.
What Happens to My Breast Milk When I’m ill?
When a mother has a cold, her body produces antibodies to fight the infection. Many peer-reviewed studies have confirmed that these antibodies are passed through breast milk to the child, which then allows her baby to gain protection from the health condition.
Additionally, breast milk is packed with nutrients and antibodies that can help boost a mother’s immune system as well as the babies.
So, if you’re feeling under the weather, there’s no need to worry about giving your baby formula or pumped milk. Your own milk is the best thing you can give your infants so that they remain healthy.
Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before nursing and avoid getting sick milk on your breasts.
Breastfeeding mothers can continue breastfeeding while sick. The antibodies that they will pass on to your breastfed babies can also boost their immune system and helps fight off ear infections in some cases.
Can Moms Drink Their Own Breastmilk When They’re Sick?
The short answer is yes sick moms can drink breast milk. But there are a few things to consider before doing so.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that when you take breastmilk, you may benefit marginally from the antibodies and nutrients found in your milk.
And while breast milk does contain antibodies that can help fight off infections, it’s unlikely to be enough to completely cure you.
Several lactation experts have said that there are a few potential benefits if you drink breast milk when you have a cold.
Benefits of Drinking Your Own Milk
It can help to boost your immune system, help speed up the healing process and prevents dehydration.
So if you’re considering drinking your own breast milk when you’re ill, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, make sure that you’re only drinking expressed breast milk and not colostrum. Women leak colostrum or clear fluid from their breasts when they’re pregnant and after giving birth and it’s full of antibodies that can help protect newborns from infection. However, it’s not necessarily beneficial for adults.
Second, consider the benefits and drawbacks of drinking your own breast milk before making a decision. While there are some potential benefits, it’s important to weigh them against the likelihood that drinking breast milk will actually help you recover from your illness.
For example, milk has been used can help minor burns and small wounds heal faster.
Finally, if you do decide to drink your own breast milk when you’re ill, be sure to stay hydrated. Breast milk is mostly water, so drinking it will help to keep you hydrated.
Is It Okay to Breastfeed if You’re Sick?
It is only normal for a breastfeeding mother to worry about her baby’s health if she’s ill. The good news is that you can continue feeding your baby even if you’re ill because your baby will not catch the same bug.
In some cases, where your ability to breastfeed is affected, you can always make sure that your baby continues to get her proper nutrition from milk expressing and storing milk. You can also pump your milk and freeze it. We’ve done a guide to breastfeeding with food poisoning.
Early research suggests the novel coronavirus will not pass through breast milk from the infected mother. However, she might transmit the virus to the baby through droplets.
When to Stop Breastfeeding Temporarily When You’re Sick?
There are some diseases and infections where continuing to breastfeed may pose a risk to your breastfed babies.
In these cases, it’s best to discontinue breastfeeding even if temporarily and pump and dump your milk until you have recovered. Some examples include:
- Chickenpox. You can continue to breastfeed as long as you don’t have any open sores or lesions. However, if you do have open sores, you should wash them thoroughly before each feeding and avoid direct contact with your baby.
- Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infections: These are serious infections that can be passed through breast milk. If you have a staph infection, you will need to pause breastfeeding until you have recovered.
- HIV/AIDS: If you are HIV positive, breastfeeding is not recommended as there is a risk of passing the virus to your baby.
If you’re not sure whether or not you should still feed your child your milk, it’s always best to consult with your doctor or a lactation consultant.
Does Being Sick Affect My Breast Milk Supply?
The short answer is, no. Your milk supply will not be affected if you catch a cold or the flu. And you can breastfeed as normal.
Even if you have a more serious illness, you will continue to produce breast milk that you can feed to your infant. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods. This will help your body create more milk and also help you recover from your illness more quickly.
Second, use over-the-counter medications sparingly. Many cold and flu medications contain ingredients that can dry up your milk supply. Choose a medication that can’t interfere with your ability to nurse your child.
Finally, take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and try to clear your nasal passages if you have a stuffy nose before breastfeeding. This will help you feel better and be able to breastfeed more easily.
Being ill is never fun, but it doesn’t have to make breastfeeding harder than it already is. Just take a few extra precautions and you and your baby will be just fine and you’ll be back to being healthy in no time.
And breastfeeding a sick baby is just as important. It’s the best treatment your newborn can get and it helps her recover faster from a disease or ailment.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about drinking your own breast milk when you’re ill. While there are some potential benefits, it’s important to weigh them against the likelihood that drinking breast milk will actually help you recover from your illness.
If you do decide to take your own breast milk when you’re ill, be sure to stay hydrated. And if you’re not sure whether or not you should continue breastfeeding, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.