7 Tips for Breastfeeding a Sick Baby

Having a sick family member is very difficult and stressful, no matter what family member it is. Once one person in the family is sick, it seems like everyone in the household gets sick. Breastfeeding your baby can help you help them avoid sicknesses. The first six months of a baby’s life are the most important when it comes to breastfeeding. This helps them build up an immunity to so many illnesses.

Breastfeeding your baby is not going to keep them from getting an illness completely, but it can help. When a baby is sick that breastfeeds then, they only need to breastfeed that much more. Breastfeeding a sick baby gives him a natural way of fighting off the sickness. It also helps to keep him hydrated.

1. Babies With Vomiting and Diarrhea

If your baby is going through an illness that involves vomiting and diarrhea it is important to make sure that you continue breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a great way to keep the baby from becoming dehydrated.

When a baby is going through something like gastroenteritis, breastfeeding can help them get through the illness without needing some type of additional fluid treatment. A lot of times when babies are formula-fed they need fluids when they get a disease that involves diarrhea and vomiting.

Breast milk is great when a baby is sick because it is very quickly digested. This means that even if a baby vomits shortly after eating, they will have been able to get some of the nutrients into their little bodies. Offering your breast more often when your baby is sick will allow them to eat less during each feeding, which will make it easier for them to digest.

2. Breastfeeding Through Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion can be very hard to deal with when it comes to your baby. It can make it hard for the baby to feed because they cannot figure out how to suck at the breast and breath at the same time. There are some tips that you can follow to help your baby through these tough times, and they include:

  • Making sure that the baby is sitting as upright as possible
  • Offering the breast more often which allows them to eat more often for shorter amounts of time which will help with breathing
  • You can place a saline solution or even breast milk inside of each of the babies nostrils which will help them to clear the congestion out
  • Breastfeeding in steamy bathrooms
  • Humidifiers in the baby’s room

If none of this helps your baby, then you may need to pump and feed the baby with a spoon. None the less, breastfeeding while the baby is congested can help them clear their congestion by offering a natural type of medicine.

3. Breastfeeding When Mom Is Sick

Breastfeeding when mom is sick is important because it gives the baby natural antibodies that will help them fight off not only the sickness that the mom has but also any illness that could come their way.

4. Breastfeeding Through Teething

When babies are teething, they can become congested, run fevers, and they will be uncomfortable. Babies need extra support when they are cutting those teeth. Breastfeeding during teething can help a baby fight through the pain. It can help them get through the congestion and fevers. Breastfeeding during teething will calm the stressful situation at least just a little bit.

5. Breastfeeding Through The Fevers

Babies can run fevers for so many reasons. When they run fevers, they become uncomfortable. They become irritable. Breastfeeding can help you fight off those fevers in many ways. Breastfeeding can help the baby feel more comfortable. Breastfeeding can help with the irritability because it allows them a sense of comfort.

6. Baby Refusing to Nurse?

A lot of times, when a baby is sick, they will not want to nurse. This especially happens when something is going on with their throat or ears. During this time, it is very important to keep offering your breast. You want to make sure that you are trying to feed your baby even if they are not taking to feeding.

Another thing that you should remember is that even though your baby is not eating, you are still producing milk,, and to make sure you keep your milk supply growing, you should be pumping and saving the milk. Saving the milk will allow you to have a stockpile if you ever need to be away from your baby for any reason. Also, you can offer the baby the milk in a different way, like a cup or even off of a spoon.

7. Getting Through The Sickness Together

When you breastfeed a baby, you grow a special bond. Breastfeeding your baby during sickness allows you to be able to get through the sickness together. It shows your baby that you are there to help and support them in any way that you can. Babies love to be comforted, and only a mother can comfort them in this way. It is a very delicate and special type of solution that only the mother can give to their baby during an illness.

Sickness is stressful no matter who is dealing with it but it is especially stressful when it is a baby that is dealing with it. It does not matter what the reason is that your baby is sick; it only matters that you are trying to promote breastfeeding and doing your best. Breastfeeding will help your baby stay hydrated and recover more quickly. You want your baby to get well soon, so it is essential to do everything that you possibly can to make sure that baby has everything they need to get them through their illness.