Monday, June 16, 2014

Help, I'm Sick!

Last night I ended up in Urgent Care thank to a lovely finger infection I developed.  I'm a chronic nail-biter so it was bound to happen eventually I guess.  I tried some natural remedies first, but they just weren't working and knew I needed something stronger.

After having my finger lanced, I left with a RX for an antibiotic.  The doctor had offered pain medicine but when she found out I was still breastfeeding she rescinded.  I wanted to tell her that I could still take pain medication but because I wasn't in that much pain and didn't need anything, I didn't push the issue.

Depending on how long your breastfeeding journey lasts, it's fairly safe to assume that you'll either get sick or (hopefully minorly) injured in that time. 

Here are some tips that will help protect your breastfeeding relationship while make sure you feel better at the same time.

First,  if you're prescribed anything by a doctor or want to take anything OTC, check LactMed to see how it make effect breastfeeding.  This is an extremely comprehensive database of drugs and their potential transfer while breastfeeding along with any effect the medication may have on your infant.  Bookmark this link for easy access: LactMed.
The Infant Risk Center is also an amazing resource for determining the safety of a medication while breastfeeding.  You can call them at (806) 352-0219 or find them on the web at They are simply wonderful in working with lactating mothers.

You've got to weigh the risks of a medication vs the positive effects they will have.  If you're really feeling awful one does off a decongestant will probably be okay but you need to weigh that against the possible risk of a dip in supply.  This is something you really should consult your doctor and an IBCLC about. 

Also, remember that if your sick, nursing your baby is the best thing you can do for them.  I will help transfer all of the antibodies you are producing to fight the illness to your little one.  Some people may try and tell you that you'll transfer the illness via breast milk (yes, I've actually has someone say that to me!) and it's NOT true.  Yes, being in close proximity may spread illness, but your baby lives with you.  There is a really good chance they've already been exposed to what you've got!

If you're given an antibiotic is is really best if you can begin taking a probiotic yourself and also giving one to your little one.  This will help protect their digestive tract (and yours) and also hopefully prevent yeast, and therefore thrush, from developing. 

Practice side-lying nursing.  No, this won't necessarily help you get better faster, but you can lay down and take a little rest while your baby is eating - and we all know even 10 minutes can be a luxury for a mom!

Stay as hydrated as possible.  Not only is it going to help you feel better, you don't want to get dehydrated since that can effect supply.  Keeping a water bottle nearby at all times is a great idea when you're not feeling well (just wash it often to get rid of germs).

Illness and injury don't have to change your breastfeeding relationship at all most of the time.  Just come up with a plan that works for you and hopefully you're feeling better in no time!

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