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A member asked:

Should i breastfeed if i have a cold?

15 doctor answers26 doctors weighed in
Dr. Melissa Arca
Specializes in Pediatrics
Yes: Yes, breastfeeding while you have a cold is completely safe. In fact, since you were contagious prior to coming down with symptoms, your baby was already exposed. However, the good news is, you will pass antibodies to your baby through breastmilk that will likely prevent him from catching your cold. So, continue breastfeeding, but always check with your doctor before taking any medications.
Dr. Josephine Ruiz-healy
Pediatrics 40 years experience
Yes: There are very few reasons to stop breastfeeding. The common cold is not one of them. Even though you may have a cold, you are still providing your infant with precious immunity via your breast milk. I.
Dr. Daniel Rudolph
Pediatrics 30 years experience
Yes: Breastfeeding when you have a cold can actually be beneficial to the baby. When you are sick, your immune system will make antibodies to the cold to help get rid of it. These antibodies will also get into the breastmilk and therefore will help protect your baby as well.
Dr. Holly Maes
Pediatrics 37 years experience
Yes: Absolutely! this is one of the more important times to breast feed, as the antibodies your body is making to fight off the germs are also transmitted to your baby to protect them. Try to get a bit more rest, and really push your fluids, because your milk supply may drop otherwise. Also, be careful with medicine that can "dry up" your nose - these can dry up your milk as well. Fluid, rest, cuddle!
Dr. Laura Webb
Pediatrics 14 years experience
Yes: Its best to keep breastfeeding to keep your supply up. If you are taking any medications during your illness make sure to clear them with your doctor before breastfeeding. Wash your hands thoroughly before feeding to help keep as many germs away from your baby as possible. Follow good hygiene measures such as turning your head when coughing, and blowing your nose regularly.
Dr. Julia Sundel
Pediatrics 19 years experience
Yes: Sure you can! make sure to wash your hands frequenty. Most over-the-counter medicines are safe to take while nursing but check with your doctor anyway.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Yes: Yes, keep nursing, but remember to keep yourself really well hydrated! check with your baby's doctor before taking any kind of cough and cold medicine, even if it's "natural" or over the counter.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Yes: A woman should continue breastfeeding, while she has a minor illness. Most illnesses are transmitted by touching, or through the air by sneezing/coughing. During the illness, a breastfeeding mom can decrease the chance of passing the illness onto the baby if the mom wears a mask over her mouth & nose, washes her hands and forearms before touching the baby, and washes her breasts before feeding.
Dr. Richard Lippmann
Pediatrics 24 years experience
Yes: Breast feeding helps boost your childs immune system and your milk contains antibodies that will protect your child from that cold.
Dr. Jay Park
Dr. Jay Parkanswered
Pediatrics 51 years experience
Yes: Breast feeding is entirely safe. "cold" virus is not transmitted to infants via breast milk nor any significant amount of cold medicine mom takes is excreted into milk. It will be prudent to have a frequent hand washing and to take enough fluid.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 26 years experience
Yes: The antibodies that your body produces will help prevent similar infections in your baby. Just wash your hands well prior to nursing.
Dr. Sarah Kohl
Travel Medicine 36 years experience
Yes: You may breastfeed your infant if you have a cold. In fact you will transfer antibodies for that particular cold to your infant in the breast milk! of course you will wash your hands often and try to avoid spreading your cold to your infant. You can relieve symptoms of the cold with nasal sprays, acetaminophen, and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) if needed. Avoid oral decongestants as they may affect your infant.
Dr. Irwin Berkowitz
Specializes in Pediatrics
Yes: The "cold" is spread both through coughing and sneezing and hand contact often several days before the symptoms appear. The breast milk may have some immune factors that may actually protect the baby.
Dr. Michael Klein
Family Medicine 22 years experience
Yes!: Breastfeeding with a cold provides no harm to the baby, where as stopping breast feeding in a baby who has done well with it can cause significant discomfort to you and a major stressor to the baby. More importantly, if anything, the baby may be getting some beneficial antibodies to the cold from your breast milk which can reduce the chance of them getting cold. Feed on!
Dr. Oscar Novick
Pediatrics 59 years experience
Wear a mask: Continue to breast feed. You may want to consider wearing a mask. Also be sure you wash hands with soap and water when handling baby.
Last updated Nov 27, 2017

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