Breastfeeding while sick

Breastfeeding while sick

With cold and flu season, many moms are worried about breastfeeding if they get sick. The good news is that in general, there is no need to stop breastfeeding unless you have a fever. Before you even develop symptoms, your baby has most likely been exposed to your illness from earlier feedings.

In fact, it's best to continue breastfeeding when your symptoms develop because your body produces antibodies to fight the infection. These antibodies get passed along to your infant through your breast milk. These antibodies can improve your baby's ability to fight future illness.

Serious Infections or Fever
Recommendations can change if you have a high fever or serious symptoms related to infections or illnesses.  Consult your pediatrician about breastfeeding your baby if you have any serious infections or fever.

Antibiotics and Medications

If you are on certain antibiotics or medications for an illness, you may have to temporarily stop breastfeeding until you are better.  Consult your pediatrician.

If you are advised to temporarily stop breastfeeding, do not save and store your breast milk.

Bottom Line: If you get a seasonal cold or mild flu, it's actually a good idea to continue breastfeeding your baby. If you have a severe illness, a fever, or are on certain medications, talk to your doctor before continuing to breastfeed.