This weekend has been a nightmare. I have been trying to cut down on nursing sessions since my son is rapidly getting closer to a year old. I was trying to nurse him only in the morning and before bed, while slowly transitioning to whole milk a little bit at a time during the day. The week I start this, he gets sick . So that plan had to be thrown out the window, and I was now dealing with a very clingy, needy baby who was just not feeling well at all. He started wheezing and not being able to breathe well. We had to rush him to the pediatrician, where he was put on a nebulizer, and closely watched so that he wouldn’t be hospitalized due to Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). To say the least, it was pretty scary. He wouldn’t eat or drink, all he would do is breastfeed.
Breastfeeding a sick child can be frustrating for both of you, especially during this horrid cold and flu season. There are a few different things you can do to help them get the nourishment they need during this critical time. Here some ideas from kellymom that might help make things easier.
- Try to nurse your baby as upright as possible. Sometimes they can get frustrated if they are congested and having trouble breathing.
- Nurse as often as possible. Your baby needs the antibodies from the breastmilk your body is making to help fight infection. This also ensures that your baby is getting enough nutrition and milk (since congested babies may not want to nurse as long because it is hard to breathe).
- Make sure to use saline drops and a bulb syringe before breastfeeding to clear the airways.
- Use a humidifier while breastfeeding.
Sometimes baby may not want to nurse. This may be due to pressure from an ear infection or trouble swallowing due to a sore throat. Here are some things you can do when your baby refuses to nurse.
- Use a dropper to feed your baby expressed milk.
- Momsicles are also a good idea to get your baby to consume the much needed breastmilk. Try feeding the frozen slushy breastmilk to them with a spoon.
When our babies get sick, it has to be of the most stressful and scary things we have to go through. Babycenter.com says that,
“Most children average between six and ten colds per year. In families with children in daycare or school, the number of colds can reach 12 per year! (The average adult gets two to four colds annually.)”
As a parent, we are constantly going through an emotional roller coaster during this time. No one wants to see their baby suffer, but fortunately continuing to breastfeed while you are getting through your child’s sickness is possible.