Breast milk is one of the most important sources of nutrition for babies. It has the right proportion of nutrients, which are readily available and easily digestible. There are tremendous health benefits of breastfeeding. However, one of the common dilemmas that many mothers face is how to breastfeed the baby when they are sick.
Here are some expert tips on breastfeeding a sick baby:
Find the cause of sickness: Nursing or breastfeeding a sick baby requires lots of patience. First and foremost, mothers need to find the root cause of sickness – whether the baby is infected with cold, stomach ailment or is just allergic to breast milk.
Look out for any signs of milk allergy in a breastfed baby: Breast milk contains antibodies that are made up of proteins. Though, it helps to protect against infections and increase body’s immunity, some babies develop breast milk protein allergy. Consult a pediatrician and take an informed decision in such cases.
Continue breastfeeding for faster recovery: Breast milk contains proteins in the form of antibodies. This implies that mothers can continue breastfeeding a sick baby as the antibodies ensure faster recovery from illness.
Breastfeed the baby even if they are infected with jaundice: It has been found that frequent breastfeeding can help to enhance the mother’s milk supply. Also, it is advisable for mothers to maintain a moderate supply of milk during this time.
Breastfeed the baby to meet their fluid requirements: Sometimes babies are infected with stomach flu and there is a lot of fluid loss from the body in the form of loose motions. In such a scenario, breast milk acts as a medicine as the high requirement of fluids in the baby is met by breast milk and it is a known fact that breast milk is a much better form of fluid than any other water or juice.
Use a breast pump to feed the weak baby: Sometimes a baby becomes too weak due to sickness and is unable to latch for sucking breast milk. Then what should a mother do in such cases? Mothers can express their milk with the help of a breast pump and then feed their babies with the help of a spoon or dropper.
Increase the frequency of breastfeeding the baby at this time: It will ensure a much quicker recovery from illness and also due to weakness, the child might not be able to consume the required amount of milk at one go.
Consulting a doctor if your baby is not able to consume milk at all it is necessary to find out, if they are undergoing a chronic health condition or if they are suffering from a major illness. Also, watch out if the baby is continuously losing weight. It is crucial to speak to your doctor to know the best solution related to breastfeeding. This will ensure in the healthy growth of your child.