Breastfed Babies and Colds

During the cooler months, it seems more common for babies (and parents) to get a cold.  For adults this can be a minor inconvenience, but what about your baby?  Babies are obligatory nose-breathers, meaning they usually breathe through their nose.  When your baby gets a cold they may have a blocked nose, making feeding more challenging.  Breastfeeding during this time will

  • Provide your baby with the components in breastmilk that combat illness
  • Sustain your baby’s nutritional needs
  • Maintain your supply
  • Provide comfort for your baby who may not be feeling 100%

During this time you may like to

  • Allow your baby to feed frequently – they may prefer smaller feeds for a few days
  • Allow your baby to come off and back on the breast several times during a feed.  If they are finding it difficult to breathe through a blocked nose, they may stop feeding in order to breathe
  • Try putting a few drops of breast milk in their nose to help clear the mucous
  • Spend lots of time comforting and cuddling a baby that is not feeling well and keep an eye on them.   If you are concerned about their health you might like to take them to contact a health professional, or call 13HEALTH (if in QLD).

If your baby isn’t draining the breast well for a few days, you might like to consider whether you need to express some milk to maintain your supply during this time.  If you think you need some breastfeeding support during this time, you might like to contact me to arrange a consultation.


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