I’m coughing and sneezing. Is it safe to breastfeed my baby when I am sick?
During the winter season I receive many phone calls about illness and
breastfeeding. When you are ill, your body starts to build antibodies to
fight off the infection. Those antibodies are also found in your
breast milk. When your baby breastfeeds he is actually receiving the
antibodies to help him from getting the illness that you have. Remember,
though, most infections are not transmitted through breast milk but rather
through other sources. Good hygiene is very important if you are ill.
Make sure you wash your hands for at least 15 seconds. Make sure you cover
your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing (with hand washing to follow
if you cough or sneeze into your hands). If you need to be on medication
during your illness, contact a lactation consultant or your baby’s doctor
to make sure the medication is safe with breastfeeding.
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