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Can a Baby Catch a Cold From Breastfeeding – More Interesting Facts

Can a Baby Catch a Cold From Breastfeeding – More Interesting Facts

Becoming a new mother, irrespective of the baby number is an exciting time in a woman’s life. As a mother, breastfeeding your child is your primary role. Your baby depends on your breast milk for growth and development until he starts taking solid food. Your breast milk help to protect your body from sicknesses by passing important antibodies to your baby’s immune system.

 However, there are many questions that surround breastfeeding. In this write-up, we are going to address some of these questions. One of the biggest questions about breastfeeding passes sickness or not. Occasionally, a mother might fall sick. Should she continue breastfeeding? Read on to find out.

If the mother is sick, it is okay to continue breastfeeding. Common sicknesses such as cold, flu, diarrhea and fever cannot be passed to your child through breast milk. When you become sick, you pass antibodies to your baby to protect your child from contracting the same illness that you are suffering from. However, you need to exercise caution so that you do not pass the germs to your baby. It is advisable to avoid face to face contact with your baby. Your child is at a higher risk of contracting the cold or flu if you do not protect him.

So, if you have a common cold or flu and you are breastfeeding, you can protect your baby by:

  • Limiting face to face contact with the baby
  • Sneezing or coughing into a clean cloth or tissue and then dispose of it
  • Washing your hands often to avoid spreading the germ
  • Express your milk and let someone feed your child

If you are under medication, it is still okay to breastfeed your baby. This is because only small amounts of medicine can be passed via breast milk to a child. Your doctor will advise you when to stop breastfeeding when you are under medication.

Breastfeeding while you are feeling unwell can be beneficial to you and your child. When you have common illnesses like cold or flu, continue breastfeeding. Your baby will not become sick because of your breast milk. This is because your breast milk will be loaded with antibodies to protect your baby from becoming sick.

However, breastfeeding your child while you are ill can make you feel more tired. For this reason, you need to look after yourself well so that you can be able to continue taking care of your bundle of joy. Ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated, get enough rest and eat healthily. Ask someone to help you with the hard house chores as you rest to regain your strength.

Your breast milk production will continue as normal. So don’t stop breastfeeding because that can increase your risk of contracting mastitis. Ensure also that you observe high hygienic standards to prevent the possibility of infecting your child through contact.

According to pediatricians, a mother can continue breastfeeding when she has any of the following common illnesses:

  • Fever
  • Common cold
  • Flu
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sinuses
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Mastitis

When you have a common cold or flu, you may increase the chances of infecting your child by having close contact with him. It is good to continue breastfeeding him. However, to avoid infecting your baby, the following tips are important to remember:

•    Wash your hands often – ensure that you wash your hands before touching or breastfeeding your baby.

•    Use a piece of cloth or tissue when you are coughing or sneezing

•    Don’t use over the counter medications – do not use any OTC before you consult your doctor. There are some OTC that might be safe to take while breastfeeding. However, there are some medicines which can be passed to the baby through breast milk. Others can also affect your milk production.

•    Get enough rest – in order for the body to be able to fight the illness, it needs more energy. By having enough rest, it will ensure your body is strong enough to fight the infection.

•    If you go to see a doctor, ensure that you inform him that you are breastfeeding before he prescribes any drug for you.

•    Drink a lot of water – breast milk is made up of a large percentage of water. So to prevent dehydration, ensure that you drink a lot of water and other fluids to keep your body hydrated. If water is alkaline then it will be more good. In different ways, you can make water alkaline

•    Monitor your milk production – during an illness, it’s normal to experience a decline in the production of milk. However, this is temporary, it will go back to normal once you become well again.

•    Even your baby catches a cold, don’t stop breastfeeding, ensure he is comfortable, gets plenty of fluids and healthy food.

Can I Breastfeed With a Cold

It is under very rare cases that a sick mother should stop breastfeeding. When you are suffering from common illnesses such as cold and flu, it is okay to continue breastfeeding. Common illnesses do not pose any health risk to an infant if he breastfeeds. Even if you are using medications for the common cold which is compatible with breastfeeding, you should not stop breastfeeding your child.

Your milk is “custom-made” for your baby’s needs. It contains specific antibodies which your baby needs to fight any infection. Therefore, when you breastfeed your baby and you have a common cold, your baby benefits by getting these antibodies that will help him fight the illness.

However, when you have a common cold, you should protect your child from getting the bacteria or virus that causes the cold. Your baby is at a higher risk of getting the cold because of being in contact with him. But even if your child catches a cold, do not stop breastfeeding him. Only consider making him more comfortable, give him more fluids and enough rest.

You can protect your baby from catching a cold when you are breastfeeding him by wearing a mask. If you are coughing or sneezing, the face mask will prevent you from breathing into your child’s face directly. Also, you can protect your baby from the cold through:

  • Limiting face contact
  • Washing your hands before handling or breastfeeding your baby
  • Sneezing or coughing into a tissue or piece of cloth to avoid spreading the germs.

Can I Take Vitamin C While Breastfeeding

Vitamin C is an important nutrient in the body. It helps the body to fight attacks from the common cold and other common illnesses. According to studies, it is okay for a breastfeeding mother to take vitamin C. the normal recommended daily intake of vitamin C for a breastfeeding mother is 120 mg/day.

However, you should take care not to take more than the recommended daily intake. This is because high levels of vitamin C increases the rate of metabolism in the body. However, smoking while breastfeeding has been found to decrease the amount of vitamin C in breast milk. This is likely to cause your baby to suffer from oxidative stress. Therefore, if you are smoking, it can cause your baby to suffer some undesirable reactions.

Therefore, as a healthy mother, it is okay to take vitamin C. But studies have indicated that using vitamin C supplements can cause a reduction in milk production. but if you are taking it in the natural form then no harm hill be there.

Is It Safe to Eat Chocolate While Breastfeeding?

Chocolate contains a compound known as theobromine. If a mother takes a high percentage of theobromine, it is likely to affect the baby by making him fussy, easily irritable and lack of sleep. Taking a low amount of chocolate cannot have the above-mentioned effects on the baby.

Dark chocolate is found to have high amounts of theobromine as compared to white chocolate. Therefore, consuming high amounts of dark chocolate increases the risk of your child getting theobromine which is likely to affect him. Consuming more than 750 mg of theobromine per day is not good for a breastfeeding mother.

Is It Safe to Drink Green Tea While Breastfeeding

When breasting, what you eat has a great impact on your child as well. This is because milk is made from the foods that you eat.

It is a well-known fact that tea contains caffeine. Doctors don’t recommend children being given caffeine. This is because caffeine can stay for a long time in your child’s system as compared to an adult. Caffeine can be passed to the baby through the mother’s milk. While no permanent effects have been identified on children who take caffeine while young, it has short term effects such as sleeplessness, irritability, and fussiness.

Green tea, on the other hand, does not contain any caffeine. There are plenty of green tea varieties that do not contain caffeine. According to doctors, it is perfectly safe for a breastfeeding mother to take green tea. Therefore, taking one or two cups of green tea per day is okay.

Is It Safe to Take Antibiotics While Breastfeeding?

According to NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), it is safe to take most antibiotics during breastfeeding. Most antibiotics available in the market do not have any adverse effects.

However, even though antibiotics do not have any adverse effect on breastfeeding babies, it is paramount to take caution. Ensure you consult a doctor before using an antibiotic.

Almost anything that a mother eats is passed through the breast milk to the baby. But the number of antibiotics that will be present in the milk will depend on the dose and frequency of taking. To avoid the risk of passing antibiotics to your baby, take the following precautions:

•    Take the antibiotics after breastfeeding. This will allow the antibiotics to be broken down before the next breastfeeding

•    Use antibiotics that are safe for babies. Ensure your doctor is aware of any antibiotic you take.

•    Opt to use ointments and creams to oral antibiotics where possible. This way you will prevent passing the drugs to your baby through breast milk.

Can I Take Ibuprofen 800 mg While Breastfeeding

After delivering your baby, you are likely to be experiencing some pains, cramps, muscle soreness aches, and tissue swelling. To relieve these pains and aches Ibuprofen can be helpful.

According to research, Ibuprofen is perfectly safe while breastfeeding because only minute amounts get into your milk. Research has found that only 0.38 percent per body weight of the mother gets into the baby’s bloodstream through breast milk. However, it is advisable to avoid taking Ibuprofen during pregnancy because it can lead to the loss of the pregnancy. Also, if you must use it during breastfeeding, ensure that you take only in moderate doses.

What Medicines is Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

Exposure of babies and newborns who are either unstable, premature or with kidney problem to medications through breastfeeding have adverse effects. The risk is low to normal babies. The effect and quantity of medicine that can be transferred to a baby via breast milk depend on various factors. Such factors include:

  • Type of medicine
  • Age of the baby
  • The dose of the medicine
  • The method of taking the medicine

Some of the possible effects that a drug can have on your baby include:

  • Unusual sleeping
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability

There are lots of medications that you can use and they will not harm your baby. However, your baby will get small amounts of the drug through your breast milk. Some of the medicines that you can take while breastfeeding includes the following:

  • Cold medicines
  • Most antibiotics
  • Birth control medicines
  • Painkillers such as Ibuprofen and paracetamol. However, aspirin is not safe

Before taking any of these drugs, ensure that you consult your doctor or pharmacist.

The drugs that you cannot take while you are breastfeeding include:

•    Aspirin

•    Codeine phosphate(Generally one kind of cough medicine)

Breastfeeding Vitamins to Increase Milk Supply

If you consume a healthy and well-balanced diet, you will not have to use supplements to increase your milk supply. According to research, there is no need for vitamin supplements for lactating mothers who eat healthy food.

The following are some of the vitamins that you can use to increase milk production.

•    Fenugreek capsules – it is a simple and easy way of increasing milk production. It helps to increase milk from 24 to 35 OZ of milk per day. You should take 2 to 3 capsules per day.

•    Oatmeal – it is an easy and effective way of increasing milk production. It helps you to increase 1 to 2 oz of milk per day.

•    Blessed thistle – this is a plant that helps to increase milk production. Its capsules are made from leaves, flowers, and stem. You should take 3 capsules three times a day. It increases milk within 2 to 48 hours of taking it.

•    Majka lactation protein powder – the powder is made of a mixture of fenugreek, turmeric, blueberry, and oatmeal. It helps to increase milk production great and support your lactation without a problem.


If you are worried that you will infect your baby with the cold, express your milk and let someone healthy feed your baby. Besides that, you can protect your baby against contracting the cold by getting flu shots. During the flu season, babies above 6 months can be given flu shots to increase his immunity against flu infection.

Breastfeeding your baby is the best thing you can do. Your breast milk contains antibodies which will help your baby to fight infections and potentially protect your baby from other diseases such as asthma and allergies. Breast milk is a living substance. It is made up of living cells and stem cells (undifferentiated cells) which when they get into your child’s body can be differentiated into different body cells such as bone marrow, kidney, brain cells to mention just but a few.

Breastfeeding your baby even when you have a cold help to lower your child’s chances of contracting a common cold, respiratory infections, ear infections, gastroenteritis among other diseases. Apart from protecting your baby, breastfeeding is also beneficial to you. Breastfeeding lowers your risk of getting breast cancer, type II diabetes, heart disease, postpartum depression, ovarian cancer, and stroke. The longer you breastfeed your child the better.

However, as you treat your cold, ensure that you avoid strong painkillers such as aspirin and codeine. Avoid also medications that will make you feel drowsy. Before you use any medication while you are breastfeeding, ensure that you ask a medical practitioner.