Breastfeeding While Sick: Mom or Baby

Breastfeeding when the mom or the baby is sick:

It is safe to breastfeed when the mom and baby are sick. Most mothers often worry about breastfeeding when they fall sick. They might come across many question marks during breastfeeding, as they don’t want their baby to fall sick. The moms are very conscious about their baby’s health.

breastfeeding when sick mom


You can heal your baby’s sickness by breastfeeding. Mother’s milk is the best medicine in nature, and it is made of antiviral and anti fungal elements. If the baby falls sick, then breastfeeding will help the baby to recover. Taking some safety precautions may help you and your baby to stay away from viruses. In this article, we are going to discuss pretty situations during breastfeeding.

Can I breastfeed when my baby is sick?

It’s a big yes. Feeding the mother’s milk is more beneficial for the babies. It helps the baby to recover fast and builds the baby’s immune system sturdy. If you stop feeding your baby when the baby falls sick, that might be a significant fault because the baby falls even more ill. A miracle is that as your brain senses your baby is sick, it raises milk production for the baby.

breastfeeding while sick mother

Breast milk is made of white blood cells, leukocytes, antibacterial elements, and protective stimulant. It can balance the proteins and nutrients supplement to the baby. These restrict the growth of the virus or flu in the baby’s body and helps for fast healing. If your baby is affected by cold, then wrap your baby in a thin blanket and feed. This may keep the baby warm and comfortable.

Can I breastfeed when I feel sick?

Absolutely. Breastfeeding will provide adequate nutrition to the infant. Do not interrupt breastfeeding when you are affected by a cold or cough because the viruses will not be transmitted through breast milk. Your body immediately starts making antibodies, which are transferred to your baby through your breast milk. Suppose you stop feeding when you fall sick and show interest in formula milk. Then the transition may affect your baby’s immune system.
In case your baby is affected by your illness, breastfeeding is not the cause for it. You may touch your baby with the infected hands, or you may sniff or cough close to your baby. So, wash your hands properly before holding the baby. Avoid coughing or sniffing on the baby; stay away from kissing or breathing close to the baby.

Should I avoid breastfeeding while sick?

If your doctor suggests you stop breastfeeding because of serious illness or medication, you should discuss the feeding procedure with the doctor.

When to call the doctor?

If you or your baby are in high temperatures, try to take medicines prescribed by the doctor. Observe and track the temperatures with an interval of 2 hours. If the temperatures are still high, contact the doctor immediately. The baby may not be comfortable with breathing or respiratory issues, immediately make an appointment.

What type of infections passes through breast milk?

The infections like HIV and brucellosis can carry their virus through breast milk. Hence the women with these illnesses should stop breastfeeding. If you are treated with this illness, discuss it with your doctor before breastfeeding.

Skin infections on the body and near the breast area may also transmit to your baby through contact with the skin. Hence contact the pediatrician and talk to him/her about the issue. Take necessary measures like pumping the breast milk and feeding or other, avoiding direct skin to skin contact.

Safety precautions for breastfeeding when sick:

  • Do not forget to take the flu vaccine during pregnancy.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently before approaching the baby.
  • Never skip the vaccines for the baby until six months.
  • Clean your home using disinfect liquids.
  • You may suddenly cough or sneeze on the baby, better to wear a mask when holding the baby.
  • Offer help from your partner or family member while you are not well.
  • Drink more glasses of water and stay hydrated during breastfeeding.

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