Breastfeeding In Winters - Same Or Different?
Created by Dr. Surbhi Saini Updated on Jan 08, 2019
Breastfeeding is the most essential thing an infant needs, especially up till 6 months of age when the baby is entirely dependent on breast milk for nutrition, hunger, thirst, immunity, & development. Breast milk takes care of an infant's nutritional needs entirely, for the 6 months of age. Your baby is entirely dependent on breast milk for nutrition, hunger, thirst, immunity, development. Breast milk is a natural nutrient rich drink, giving babies their required need of carbohydrate, iron and water. But, as the season shows a flip and the temperature shows a drop, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Read on to find out more.
Is Breastfeeding Different in Winters?
Winter is quite a challenging season for both infants and mothers. With frequent requirement of breastfeeding and repeated need to readjust your clothes so the baby can have access to the breast, exposure of skin to environment is inevitable. This makes both, the mother and child susceptible to falling ill.
What Precautions a Breastfeeding Mother Should Take During Winters?
Like discussed earlier, winters is quite a challenging season for a breastfeeding mom and the baby as well. Hence it is important to keep certain things in mind during winters.
- Layered clothing: Instead of opting for one sweatshirt pullover or a warm kaftan opt for long sleeved nursing tops, jackets or front open cardigans, go for layers so that you can easily feed the baby without getting the chill yourself
- Cover your baby properly: In areas of chilly weather, always cover your and baby's head and feet
- Keep your baby warm and comfortable: Babies should also be kept warm by keeping them covered in swaddling blankets, one piece long sleeved sleepers
- Avoid going out in cold air: As far as possible avoid going out in the cold air especially during early mornings and evenings. And if for some reason it is unavoidable then do wear appropriate clothes and cover yourself well
- Maintain the room temperature: Maintain the room temperature to warm and cozy neither too hot nor too cold. This will help the baby stay warm and comfortable and will let you also breastfeed easily
- Blocked milk ducts in winters: In winters, you may at times experience blocked ducts in breast. This could be prevented by frequent feedings, breast massage, warm compress/fomentation and wear loose clothing(bra)
- Nipple numbness: In case you experience numbness in nipple, discomfort or pain when exposed to cold, use warming packs or do some warm compression before starting to feed
- Stay hydrated: Drink liquids and water in adequate amounts. Herbal tea, lukewarm water with little lemon and honey is beneficial. Drink lukewarm water couple of times a day. Limit caffeine intake to less than 200mg per day
- Green leafy veggies are a great help in winters: Eat green leafy vegetables (spinach, broccoli) and seasonal fruits. These contain essential vitamins and minerals that help in building up strong immunity
Can I Breastfeed My Baby When I Am Sick?
It's a frequent concern observed in new mothers whether they should feed the baby in case they are down with fever, cold or cough.
- So, as a matter of fact, breastfeeding won't make your baby sick, since antibody production starts building up in mother's body even before symptoms starts showing
- These antibodies are transferred to baby while feeding strengthening her immune system. So, it is most likely she won't fall sick and if does, the intensity would be much less as compared to mother
- Ensure that you maintain good hygiene, washing hands frequently, sneezing and coughing away from baby and take plenty of rest
- In case you need to take medication, let your physician know you are breastfeeding so they can prescribe the medication accordingly. But, it shouldn't stop you from stopping the breastfeeding. Remember your feeding is like an elixir to your child!
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With these few simple things we hope you will ace the breastfeeding blues in winters.
Do you have any other concern regarding breastfeeding in winters, then do share it with us in the comments section below as we would love to hear from you?