Being sick on its own is bad enough, but being sick and trying to care for your baby without getting them sick is even worse! I talk to so many moms who had breastfeeding going so smoothly, and then they got sick and started supplementing with formula. Unfortunately, some doctors in the medical community recommend women to stop nursing when they are sick. There are numerous reasons why this is negative. First, feeding is a supply and demand system; your baby is the demand, you are the supply. If the demand goes down (ie, baby drinks formula), then your supply will go down. Second, breast milk is full of probiotics and antibodies that are custom-made for your little one. Your body is so amazing; it creates antibodies in response to the virus’ and bacteria that you come in contact with, so it actually keeps baby healthier to nurse them while you are sick.
One thing I’ve experienced while nursing through my cold, is to be cautious with the medications you choose to take. Kellymom.com has some great resources for nursing through illness:
Here are some things that I have tried:
- Homeopathic remedies – Cold Calm from Boiron is in my purse right now. Avoid coffee and mint an hour before and after using homeopathics to maximize their effectiveness.
- Humidifier – I like the warm air version
- Aromatherapy (eucalyptus essential oil in my diffuser)
- Neti pot – Great for keeping nasal passages clear- use once/day
- Drinking lots of water
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Guaifenesin (Mucinex) is typically ok to take while nursing, but in my experience it cut my milk supply in half when I pumped, so I opted not to take it again.
- Soft tissues! I am going to get some handkerchiefs soon; not only are they softer for your nose, but greener for the environment as well!
Hopefully all of you are healthy and cold-free, but if you do come down with a cold, remember to “Keep Calm and Carry on Breast Feeding”.