As we move into the winter months you may be wondering what you can do to stay healthy while breastfeeding. The most important thing is to frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Here are some additional strategies to stay healthy through the winter.
Discuss getting the flu shot with your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The seasonal influenza vaccine is safe for most pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. Recent studies have shown that babies are better protected from influenza when their mothers have been vaccinated during pregnancy.
Your milk is custom made to protect your baby from infection and to fight germs that are around you. Breastfeeding is especially important during the first six months to improve their ability to fight off infections.
Keep Baby Close
Immediate skin-to-skin contact with mother makes your new baby’s immune system stronger and supports their immune system.
Ask Visitors To Wait
Ask family and friends to help keep your baby healthy by staying away while they have a cough, fever or flu symptoms.
If Your Baby Becomes Ill
Keep breastfeeding! Your baby needs the infection fighting antibodies in your milk now more than ever. Your baby may need to feed more frequently, especially if they are vomiting or have diarrhea. Keep baby close and feed anytime baby gives you a feeding cue.
If You Become Sick
- Get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids
- Ask a friend or family member who is not ill to help.
- Keep breastfeeding! Flu is spread in the droplets that come from coughing and sneezing, NOT through breast milk. In fact, the antibodies your body makes to help you fight the flu are also in your milk, so breastfeeding helps keep your baby from getting sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before holding your baby.
- Contact a Lactation Consultant for help if you are too sick to breastfeed and if you are considering using Over The Counter medications. While many OTC medications are safe to use when breastfeeding, some may impact your milk supply.