The World Health Organization recommends that babies be breastfed until at least six months of age. Breast milk contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, trace elements and vitamins necessary for the normal development of the baby.
These properties of breast milk make it an ideal food for babies. Breast milk can fully satisfy the baby’s need for food for up to six months. It meets half of a baby’s nutritional needs from six to twelve months.
Mothers are worried about whether their condition will affect the properties of milk and the well-being of the baby during illness. The pediatrician can explain under what diseases you can continue to breastfeed baby. It is important to seek the advice of a specialist when a mother feels unwell. Breastfeeding while sick does not pose a threat to the health of the baby in most cases.
Is it Safe to Breastfeed While Sick?
WHO recommends breastfeeding baby until the baby is two years old. Moms at least once get sick with the flu, colds and other diseases that cause viruses or bacteria during this period. Breastfeeding women fear that milk can harm the child by infecting him with the same disease.
Pediatricians expand this myth. Breastfeeding a baby while the mother is ill is safe in more than 90% of cases. The virus entered the body a few days ago if a woman observes symptoms of a cold. The child is already feeding on the milk of a sick woman.
The milk of an ill mother contains antibodies. The baby receives protection from viral and bacterial diseases along with food. Breastfeeding forms a natural barrier and gives the child immunity from the mother’s disease. Breastfeeding baby is necessary to protect him when the mother is sick.
Can Baby Get sick From Mother?
Refusal to breastfeed children during illness is motivated by the fact that the baby can become infected. Viruses and bacteria do not pass into breast milk. Breast milk contains antibodies that are passed from mother to child.
The baby’s body learns to fight pathogens by feeding on the milk of a sick mother. Pediatricians compare such a lesson in the body’s self-defense with a vaccination. It is irrational to transfer the baby to formula feeding during the period of the mother’s illness with viral diseases.
A child can become infected with influenza, chicken pox, herpes, etc. only from direct contact with mother. Touching, hugging and kissing is more dangerous than breast milk. Mom should limit tactile contact with the baby during the period of illness. It is better to use a medical mask during feeding.
When not To Breastfeed – Dangerous for Kids Sickness
There are circumstances when a mother cannot feed a child due to a difficult course of the disease or in case of hospitalization. Feeding the baby is not possible due to the type of treatment and medications taken in some cases. Women are advised to continue lactation by pumping and continue to feed the baby after the end of the course of treatment.
Breast milk is dangerous for babies if the woman is undergoing chemotherapy. The duration of treatment must refuse to feed the child. Taking iodine preparations also causes the need to suspend breastfeeding of the baby until the mother recovers.
Poisoning with mushrooms and pesticides is dangerous for the life of the mother. Breastfeeding is such cases carries a risk to the health of the baby.
Doctors do not recommend breastfeeding:
HIV infection. It is forbidden to feed the baby with breast milk when the mother is diagnosed with HIV. There is a high chance of passing the infection to the baby through milk. You cannot put the baby to the breast after birth to reduce the risk of infection of the baby to zero. It is necessary to immediately transfer the child to artificial nutrition in this case.
Hepatitis B and C. The risk of breastfeeding with hepatitis B and C is that the virus can enter the baby’s body with the mother’s blood and not with milk. Infected blood enters the milk if cracks form on the nipples. Recommendations for breastfeeding in case of infection of a woman with the hepatitis B or C virus can only be given by the attending physician.
The open form of tuberculosis. This is an absolute contraindication and a direct danger of infecting a child with tuberculosis. Mom is allowed to breastfeed the baby after the completion of the course of treatment. You can express milk to maintain lactation during this period, but it is forbidden to give it to a child.
Herpes on the breasts. It is necessary to stop breastfeeding for a while if there is herpes on the areola. Milk should be expressed. You can breastfeed baby on the other breast if there is no herpes on the areola. Breastfeeding does not pose a threat to the health of the baby after recovery.
Taking drugs and alcoholic beverages. Drugs pose a threat to the health and life of the child. Milk is dangerous for the baby in women who take drugs and alcohol. It is strictly forbidden to breastfeed the baby in this case.
Danger of Medication for Kids While Breastfeeding
Taking medication by mother while breastfeeding can harm baby’s health. There are drugs compatible and incompatible with breastfeeding. Self-medication during lactation and feeding is a threat to the health of the baby. Only a doctor can prescribe medication.
It is necessary to consult a doctor when taking medicines that are available without a prescription. They can also negatively affect the condition of the baby. They can cause allergic reactions, diarrhea, vomiting. It is necessary to check the number of active substances before taking the tablets.
Some types of drugs are excreted by a woman’s body relatively quickly. The older the child, the more extensive the list of drugs for use is.
What medicines are incompatible with breastfeeding
In many cases, there are no drug trials in lactating mothers. The recommendations for the use of medications for nursing women write ambiguous phrases such as “use with caution.”
Some medications are incompatible with breastfeeding. Their active substance passes into breast milk and enters the body of the baby. Mothers do not have to completely stop breastfeeding. You can express milk to maintain lactation for the period of treatment.
Do not breastfeed when taking:
Radioactive drugs and cytostatics. They are prescribed for the treatment of cancer. Medicines inhibit cell division and lower immunity. Breastfeeding will have to be suspended for the period of taking the tablets.
Some antibiotics. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases. Side effects of antibiotics on the development of the child are manifested in growth retardation, developmental disorders of bone tissue, bone marrow. Not all antibiotics are strictly prohibited for use by nursing mothers. Only the attending physician can prescribe the drug.
Hypertensive substances. Prescribed for hypertension. Medicines can be used with caution with the permission of the doctor and monitor the child’s condition. Substances containing inhibitors are contraindicated.
Antithyroid drugs. Assign mothers in violation of the thyroid gland. Medicines can affect the child’s thyroid gland, causing an increased heart rate and agitation. Breastfeeding is replaced with artificial if long-term treatment is needed.
Contraceptives. Oral contraceptives are prohibited for nursing mothers. The exception is tablets containing progesterone.
What Happens to Milk While Mother is Sick?
A woman fell ill two or three days ago if she observes symptoms of a cold. Runny nose, cough, sore throat appear sometime after infection with a viral infection.
Mother’s milk is made from blood and lymph and is 90% water. The mother’s body produces antibodies if she becomes ill. They pass into milk and the child immediately receives protection from the disease. His body learns to cope with the disease on its own.
There are many myths about changes in the properties and taste of mother’s milk. For example, that milk “coagulates” when the mother’s temperature is high. It is not true. The milk of a sick mother has the same taste and nutritional characteristics as that of a healthy one.