Breastfeeding Through A Sickness Bug

When Matilda Mae was just two weeks old our little family of five got struck down one by one with a sickness bug.

It was awful for all of us but it hit me the hardest and I am certain it was because I was breastfeeding Matilda Mae and I refused to give up.

When I had not eaten a morsel for 48 hours and was weak with fever I still continued to feed her. There was one moment of weakness when I thought I might have to admit failure and get Daddy to go and buy bottles and formula but having her there in my arms pulled me through.

At times I was literally throwing up whilst having Matilda on the boob. It was not a pretty sight and as always my husband was amazing and made sure that we were all alright.

Breastfeeding made the illness worse for me but my antibodies made the sickness significantly less serious for Matilda and I will always be grateful for that.

At 22 months old it was Esther and William’s first ever tummy bug and again I think we have the powers of breastfeeding to thank for that.

But what can you do when you are ill but still need to be nursing a newborn babe?

Here are my top tips:

Keep feeding! Breastmilk will provide Baby with antibodies and ensure they are hydrated. Continuing to feed will help to ensure that your milk supply is not affected.

Keep drinking. It is important to keep yourself hydrated to help your body produce milk and because everything feels worse when we are dehydrated.

Eat some dry toast or crackers as soon as you feel able to give yourself a little energy. I was so lifeless when I was ill because I could not bring myself to eat, as soon as I did I began to feel better.

Be extra careful with hygiene. Wash hands regularly, change clothes on you and Baby, change bedding especially if you are cosleeping.

Try to limit close face to face contact with Baby. This is easier said than done when breastfeeding.

Rest as much as you can.

I found that keeping Baby with me helped. We took to bed for 48 hours and both of us just slept and fed our way through.

Accept help. My husband was amazing taking care of our twins and our house to allow me time to sleep and recuperate and focus on feeding Matilda.

I do know that for some women being ill in this way can reduce their milk supply for a few days but on the whole things do go back to normal. Again the advice would be to keep on feeding as long as Baby is happy to suckle she will be stimulating the production of more milk.

Aren’t our bodies wonderful things?

This week BoobieMilk’s Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt is all about Mum to Mum sharing. This is my main post for this week but I will also be bringing you a Mama Jewels review, a Mama Scarf review and a Baba Sling review and giveaway. I will also be sharing with you how other mums helped me when I was breastfeeding the twins and sharing tips on amusing toddlers whilst feeding a newborn. I do hope that you will follow the blog and enjoy the posts.

Please also follow the main Scavenger Hunt site in order to read all the posts, get all the tips and be in with a chance of winning some fabulous prizes.

The hunt is supported by lots of lovely companies including the fabulous Baby’s First Calendar. Next week will see a review and giveaway of this super product here on Edspire.

Baby’s First Calendar Ltd was founded July 2009 after Danny Maddocks had an idea for a new baby product.

Baby’s First Calendar was officially launched at The Baby Show, Earls Court, London in October 2009 to a fantastic response from the public. We sold over 120 Baby’s First Calendars to expectant parents who couldn’t wait to record all their baby’s first milestones in one place – quickly and easily.

This family focused business sells a gorgeous baby keepsake calendar and through their sales support the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. They donate 10 pence from every sale to FSID to help fund ground breaking research with the hope that one day Cot Death will be a thing of the past.

I love the passion and ethos of this company and cannot recommend their product highly enough. You will not want to miss the giveaway next week.

The Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt is also supported by the following bloggers … do pop over and say hello.

Diary of a First Child
The Secret Life of Kate
Mummy’s Little Peeps
Where Roots Flourish
Tea with Felicity

Enter here for a chance to win the grand prize and leave a comment on this blog to verify your entry. Thank you and Good Luck!!

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12 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Through A Sickness Bug

  1. Thanks for writing this. I know how feeding through a bug feels. Luckily I’ve only done it twice, and both times my son got away very lightly (only vomited once each time) – I’m convinced this is because of the antibodies I was giving him through my milk. He’s hardly been ill at all. Interestingly, I wasn’t as sick as my husband on both occasions, which I also put down to my immunity, perhaps linked with breastfeeding, I don’t know. He was the one throwing up for the longest, and although me vomiting whilst feeding did happen, it wasn’t as prolonged as his. The advice I got at the time was to keep going, even though it’s hard, and I’m so glad I did.

  2. Great post, every time we’ve had illness in the family the baby being breastfed has either not been ill or has had a very mild version of the illness with quicker recovery than anyone else. Definitely a bonus! My top tip is to learn to feed lying down and take baby into bed with you , more sleep all round.

  3. Great post. I suffered terrible bug when DS was 4 months old. I was panicking about him getting it and how I was going to cope as hubby was at work and couldn’t take any days off. I think the worrying made me feel worse! DS was fine and never caught it! I do also believe that I was so ill because I was run down and BF. He was going through 4 month sleep regression – and i’d just had mastitis. Worth it all though :)

  4. Thanks for the great post. My top tip would be to set yourself up with everything ready next to you somewere nice and comfortable with a muslin for cleaning up and a drink and a snack to hand as you never know how long you are going to be there in the early days : ) Then you can relax and enjoy!

  5. Thanks for sharing:)

    My top tip would be to find your local support/peer supporters/breastfeeding group before baby is born so you can get to know them, this makes it much easier to contact them after baby is born; faces to names and voices. It good to know you have support from people who you know and are familiar with and that you trust.

  6. I am really lucky that it hasn’t happened to me so far but I have had some real bad colds. Survived though!

  7. My top tip would be to never be without a bottle of water while breastfeeding! If you’re ill, just get down any liquid you can, it’s better than nothing. I survived gastroenteritis on flat lemonade!

  8. I’m always glad that my little ones are breastfed whenever tummy bugs strike the household – even though it’s so draining to keep on feeding I always think that having to sterilise bottles and make up feeds must be so much more tiring! And knowing that breastmilk is much more easily digested so even if they are poorly, they are hopefully at least getting a little bit of goodness is a bonus too.

  9. Persevering is the key! Never give up (no matter how much you want to), tell your husband/partner to not let you give up when you scream that you’ve had enough – you’ll need all the support you can get!! But one day, one day,… It’ll just click, it almost always works out in the end! :)

  10. A top tip is enjoy every minute (even the numerous night feeds) as little ones grow so quickly and feeding times are a precious way of close contact with baby.

  11. I don’t have a top yet, I’m 37 weeks pregnant. Before this evening I had many questions and concerns, but after discovering breastfeeding week and loads of fabulous blog posts on breast feeding, I think I’m a lot more confident. Thanks!

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