Breastfeeding and Illness

What Does Breastfeeding During An Illness
Mean For Your Milk Supply?

breastfeeding and illness

If you are a breastfeeding mother who has recently become sick with an illness, it is certainly possible that that can be the cause of an abrupt drop in milk supply. In fact, this is a common side effect when a breastfeeding mother becomes ill.

It happens for many reasons, including:

  • You might not have the energy to feed baby as often as usual and less frequent feedings usually results in lower milk production. (Your supply tries to meet the lowered demand.)
  • You might not breastfeed as often during an illness because you don’t want to expose your baby to the virus.
  • You might not breastfeed as often during an illness because you are sleeping more often.
  • Your body will prioritize your health and well being over that of your baby. And your body will divert energy away from breastfeeding and put that into helping you recover.
  • You may not be drinking as much water during an illness if it hurts to swallow. Being dehydrated can lower milk production.

What Do When Illness Strikes While Breastfeeding?

It’s pretty simple. Just focus on getting better as fast as you can. Rest, drink clear fluids, and eat well. Be sure to avoid certain medications that can lower milk supply. Also be sure you are pumping or breastfeeding as often as possible to keep you milk production up. As long as you focus on these things your milk supply should return to normal levels as your health improves. If it does not, see our article on the 11 ways to increase milk supply 

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