Kids are germ bags. We send them off to school with a hug and a kiss and they bring home all sorts of nasty stuff….thanks, right? Well, if you’re a nursing mom and you picked up say, influenza, strep throat, common cold or some hellish virus, you can be thankful for your loveable little germ bag.
Our daughter is 4 and goes to kindergarten and until recently, I hadn’t been sick like this in nearly 12 years. Even the febrile tropical viruses in Costa Rica got nothin’ on what I got here in the US, while nursing our 8 week old son. And you know what, I am so grateful!
When we get sick, our bodies produce antibodies against whatever external pathogen has attacked our immune system. And we pass that onto our babies through our breast milk. I believe that my getting knocked down so hard with not one but what seems like 3 different bugs, is not in vain as our little boy will hopefully have protection through the antibodies in my breast milk. What great timing as the turn of spring often brings with it the worst bag of tricks!
While it is wise to pump when sick and avoid kissing, breathing into baby’s face, sneezing on baby, coughing, drooling or dripping mucus on baby, there is something magic that happens when baby’s tongue touches your nipple. It has recently been studied and proven that when baby’s saliva meets your milk ducts, mama’s body produces exactly what baby needs at that time. It could be more DHA or probiotics, perhaps baby needs more fat or magnesium… not to worry, your body knows what to do. The human body is AMAZING! Truly, amazing!
So, make sure to wash your hands before feeding and pumping. If possible, try to get at least 1-2 breast-feeds in while you are sick. Then let your significant other bottle feed the milk you pumped the rest of the feedings, while you go back to bed.