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Thread: Nursing for Baby's Cold

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    281

    Default Nursing for Baby's Cold

    My ds has a cold and is pretty miserable. This is the first cold he has had in 8 months (yea, breastfeeding!), so I called the pediatrician's office for a little advice on how to make him more comfortable. Our pediatricians are incredibly supportive of bf'ing and I am generally very happy with them. However, when I spoke with one of the nurses today, she told me something that I am not sure I believe. In addition to the typical recommendations for reducing fever and helping nasal congestion, she recommended that I give him either Pedialyte or juice to help thin his nasal secretions. She told me that milk, including breastmilk, can increase nasal secretions. Is this true? Wouldn't staying hydrated in general, through bf'ing help thin his nasal secretions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    522

    Default Re: Nursing for Baby's Cold

    Our little boy had a bad cold at about three months, and several times he would spit up most of his meal. The doctors said it was because the mucus was making his stomach upset. When he gave back his meal more than once in a day the doctor suggested pedialyte since the baby's electrolytes might get off-kilter.

    I hope that helps and that your baby feels better soon.

    Trisha

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    130

    Default Re: Nursing for Baby's Cold

    Hi Minkerpinker
    It's so hard to watch our little ones deal with any illness.
    I did a little searching but haven't come up with anything that would suggest human milk would increase the mucus in a baby's respiratory tract.

    I know some people have difficulty digesting cow's milk (either they get gastro symptoms or have respiratory symptoms). I know people who have told me they have problems with pasteurized milk but not with raw milk (I'm not promoting either one, just commenting that different people handle foods differently). The only thing I can think of that *might* cause your baby a problem is if *you* are drinking cow's milk and one or both of you has a sensitivity to it.

    Your milk will have the vitamins and minerals in it that your baby needs, as well as antibodies to help fight his illness. Unless he is severely dehydrated (which he shouldn't be if he's nursing regularly), I'm not aware of any reason to give rehydration fluids.

    Many moms drip breastmilk into the baby's stuffy nose to help baby clear it. You could also use the non-medicated saline spray found in drugstores (drip it in, don't spray it for a baby). You can then use the aspirator-thingy (technical term...you know, that sucks mucus out of a baby's nose ) to help clear it. I've also found that holding the baby fairly upright whenever possible while nursing helps keep the nose a little clearer so baby can breathe better when nursing.

    I hope your little guy feels better soon!

    Dawn

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    683

    Default Re: Nursing for Baby's Cold

    Breastmilk is better for your baby than Pedialyte or juice. The advice to offer Pedialyte is outdated and mainly applies to formula-fed babies.

    Consider this:

    Breastmilk offers antibodies that Pedialyte cannot.
    Breastmilk is a liquid and can keep a baby hydrated adequately in most instances.
    Breastmilk contains nutrients and it is digested quickly. If baby is vomiting, breastmilk can be absorbed into baby's system faster. Also because it's absorbed so quickly, it's allowing baby to get those much-needed nutrients that he needs to get over his illness Pedialyte or juice does not offer this benefit.
    The breast provides much needed comfort to babies who aren't feeling well.

    There are some instances when baby would need fluids other than breastmilk but unless your baby is clearly dehydrated then breastmilk is really all he needs to see him through this. You may want to offer more frequent nursing sessions and just be on the look out for dehydration.

    I hope baby starts to feel better soon!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    281

    Default Re: Nursing for Baby's Cold

    My son is feeling much better. I went with my gut instinct and opted to nurse more rather than to give juice or pedialyte. The bottle makes him mad even on a good day, so I figured that we were better off nursing. He nursed like a newborn for 3 days, which kicked up production in a big way...and I thought I was done with breast pads! Oh well. I expect things will even out this week while I am at work. Thanks for everyone's input.

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