Know when not to breastfeed your child

Breast milk is the divine nectar; a custom-made wholesome food for complete nutrition of the newborn. It is touted as the best nourishment for a child and breastfeeding is always encouraged. However, there are times, when it can go wrong and do more harm than good to a baby. While feeding newborns, your knowledge on everything related to breast milk and its effect on your child’s body is of paramount importance. Always remember, your breast milk can pass every good or bad thing to your child; be it a disease or good health.

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Below are a few circumstances that should be considered by every new mom who choose to breastfeed their child.

Do not breastfeed your child if you have any of these medical conditions:

  • An infection with HIV
  • Untreated tuberculosis
  • Infection with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or type II
  • On-going chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Use of any illicit drug 

There could be other health conditions also like fever, urinary tract infection, cold, or allergies when breastfeeding should be completely avoided. One must discuss any minor or major sickness with the doctor to check how safe it is to breastfeed the child.

The use of certain medicines during lactation period also prohibits breastfeeding. If you are on any of the below medications and plan to breastfeed your child, then let your healthcare provider know about this.

  • Medicines for mental health issues
  • Anxiety or depression medicines
  • Birth control pills
  • Medicines for HIV, TB, or Cancer
  • Migraine medicines
  • Sleeping pills     

Do not profess to take any over-the-counter medicines for everyday health issues like body pain, headache, menstrual pains, antibiotics for cough & cold, or medicines for any kind of injury. However, if the use of medicines cannot be avoided, you must discuss the same with the doctor who might propose some alternative or safe medicine considering the nursing child.

Your health condition matters to continue healthy breastfeeding
If you are malnourished and suffering from dietary deficiencies, then breastfeeding might jeopardize your health. Take the post-delivery supplements, as suggested by your gynaecologist. Also, if you have specific health condition like thyroid or diabetes then breastfeeding might deprive you of the required amount of blood sugar. Your doctor might suggest dietary plan appropriate for your specific health condition to continue breastfeeding in a healthy way.  

Special Conditions to consider while Breastfeeding

  • Breast Augmentation: Breast implants might make the feeding process difficult. Get a doctor’s suggestion on this.
  • Infant Galactosemia: Get your newborn tested for galactosemia, a metabolic disorder. Newborn diagnosed with this condition should not be breastfed as they cannot digest sugar galactose.  

Birth of a child needs you be highly aware and conscious enough to take care of the new life. Keep yourself informed on everything about breastfeeding so that you can really nourish your child the right way. For any concerns or doubts regarding breastfeeding, you can also talk to your gynaecologist or your child’s neonatologist in details.