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Nursing While Sick With Stomach Flu

Updated on July 17, 2017

Breastfeeding with Stomach Flu

Breastfeeding has a whole lot of health benefits for both the mommy and the little one, but as many mothers believe, when the mommy gets sick, she might be worried that her breast milk will pass on the virus to the baby when she continues to nurse. The baby fortunately cannot acquire the stomach flu from the mother through her breast milk. It is rather essential to carry on breastfeeding as it provides the baby the necessary antibodies that protect her from the mother’s stomach flu.

Nursing through the stomach flu is the absolute best thing the mother can do for the baby, but it can definitely be hard on a mom who is not feeling well. The journey of breastfeeding is not at all times a smooth road to ride on. It has its own humps and bumps too, but in every difficulty there is always a solution. Here are some tips and advices on how to help the mommy get through breastfeeding while dealing with the stomach bug.

Use Some Help

Everyone could always use some help, particularly those who are in need and are not in good condition. Try to have somebody, perhaps your husband or your mother or a caregiver, with you to help in taking care of your baby and just bring your baby to you when it’s time to nurse. Have somebody do the household chores for you or possibly some of those tasks can wait for another day. Take all the support and assistance you can get. Staying in bed and getting lots of rest can make dealing with this situation easier.

Drink Lots of Fluids

As a common effect of getting sick, stomach flu can possibly cause dehydration. Intake of lots of fluids can help in preventing this from happening. Aside from avoiding dehydration, drinking lots of fluids can likewise help in keeping your breast milk supply up which actually may temporarily take a dip because of the flu. There are times when you just don’t feel like drinking even a little amount of water while you’re sick. Taking a few sips of fluids every once in a while can maybe work for you. Adding a little flavour to your water like fruit juice might help you manage absorbing the water. You just have to continuously stay hydrated.

Nurse Frequently

As previously stated, your breast milk supply will generally take a dip in the meantime when you’re not feeling well. Aside from the suggestion on drinking lots of fluids to maintain your supply, nursing as often as possible will certainly keep your supply up. Even so, a drop in supply should not be a worry because it normally recovers once you are feeling better. Worrying about your milk supply might only make you feel bad and hinder your supply from recovery.

Co-Sleep with Your Baby

Co-sleeping does a lot of benefits for you and your baby. Keeping your baby in bed with you or close to you will free you from frequently getting out of the bed. This way, your body will be able to get the rest it needs as you won’t have to move around so much anymore.

Rest Well

Rest is the most important thing to do for you to completely recover from your condition. No matter what age, rest is a necessity and is always a part of a healthy lifestyle. If you get plenty of rest, you definitely won’t be suffering from the stomach flu for a longer period of time.

Pump It Up

If in case you are just too ill and you are not capable of breastfeeding your baby, do not forget to pump or better yet hand express to sustain your supply and avoid the possibility of having mastitis and plugged ducts. It is very significant to keep the milk flowing because when you are sick, you are more prone to infection. Getting mastitis and plugged ducts is not very nice and would just make you sicker.

Medicate Carefully

Taking over-the-counter medications is sometimes the quickest and easiest way to handle sickness. Nursing mothers should be very careful with OTC medicines. Some of those medicines are not recommended as some of their contents may be passed on through your milk and might not be good for your baby. Aside from their possible effects on your baby, they can also possibly affect your milk supply. If you do observe any adverse effects, it is best to discontinue the medication and seek advice from your doctor. And, if you do go on a medication, you can pump and dump your milk so you can still keep your milk supply up.

Observe Proper Hygiene

As much as you keep your baby close to you even if you are sick, you may want to keep yourself clean to prevent your baby from catching any virus she might possibly get from you. Always wash your hands and keep them sanitized before holding your baby.

Keep Breastfeeding

It is, under most situations, always safe and always best to breastfeed even if you are sick. Your baby, in fact, was most likely already exposed to your sickness even before you have observed symptoms. Since your body is getting an immune response ready, those special antibodies will be transmitted to your baby through your milk when you breastfeed and those will help protect your baby.

Take good care of yourself– and don’t stop breastfeeding.

© 2017 Manielle Cudal-Maramara

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