🤧 Breastfeeding With A Cold?! 🤧

It can be tricky to know what to do when you contract a cold whilst breastfeeding. Instincts may tell you to stop breastfeeding your baby to prevent them from becoming sick. But remember you are baby’s greatest protector against illness! Here is some information on what you can do if you are feeling under the whether whilst breastfeeding. 

Good For Baby?

Breastfeeding whilst you have a cold won’t make the baby ill, it can actually have the opposite effect. Your breast milk will actually contain the antibodies that are fighting the cold, which will reduce the risk of them catching it too. 

Therefore baby being near you whilst you are run down with a cold should make them the least likely to catch your sickness. Withholding your breast milk from baby when you are ill actually increases the possibility they’ll become sick. So it’s actually a great idea to breastfeed when you’ve contracted a cold, even though it may feel like the last thing you want to be doing. 


Keeping Healthy

Being ill and breastfeeding can be extremely tiring, it is important to look after your own health so you can keep active and looking after baby. Eat when you can, keep your fluid levels up, and rest as much as possible to ensure a speedy recovery. Asking for a helping hand from family or a friend so you can rest and recuperate could be a great idea. 

Contamination Prevention

Although baby will be less likely to contract your cold if you continue to breastfeed, it is still important to keep on top of hygiene to minimise the risk of spreading. Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue and wash your hands as much as possible, especially before and after feeding. 


You should be able to take Advil, Tylenol and some antibiotics whilst breastfeeding to relieve your cold. Whether you go to a doctor or a pharmacist, you should discuss it with a healthcare professional beforehand and follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure it is safe. Some medications can also have tendencies to limit or diminish milk supplies, so it is important to be wary of them. 

There is always chicken soup afterall!

Supply Drop

Your milk supply may drop during illness, but it should increase again once you become well. Looking up ways to increase milk supply may help, but nourishing your body, keeping your fluids up and pumping often can help. 

Once you are well keeping a good supply of stronger milk via pumping could help you in case you fall unwell again, or with a more serious illness where you may need to be away from baby or advised not to breastfeed. 

Do you have any more tips on what to do when you become ill and are breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments below!

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Source: 1. Hale TW, Rowe HE. Medications and Mothers' Milk 2017. 17th ed. New York, USA: Springer Publishing Company; 2017. 1095 p.