While bottle feeding is becoming more popular these days especially among working women, I am still convinced that breastfeeding is still the best way to give infants and babies the right nutrition that they need. I myself breastfed my children while they were still infants. And now, I really appreciate mothers who are able to breastfeed their children despite their busy schedules.
While breastfeeding is generally healthy for babies and while moms could do it for as long as they can, there are instances when breastfeeding should be stopped because continuing to do so will be hazardous to the health of the baby. They include:
1. When the nursing mom takes medications for certain diseases
If you are regularly taking in medication for your health condition, it is best to consult your doctor if it is advisable for you to breastfeed while taking these medications. Most medicines can pass through the milk and affect nursing infants. That is why if you are breastfeeding, seek advice from your doctor first before taking in any medications including over-the counter drugs, prescription drugs as well and dietary supplements. For some women who are suffering from chronic health problems, stopping breastfeeding would be the best option if stopping the medication will endanger the life of the mother. In this case, the mother should be able to learn how to stop breastfeeding and slowly shift to bottle feeding.
2. When the mother is sick
When you are experiencing common illnesses such as a flu or cold, breastfeeding is still okay. However, if a mother is sick with HIV or AIDS, has active tuberculosis, or is infected with the T-cell lymphotropic virus, it is best for her to stop breastfeeding immediately. The same is true if the mother has cancer and is planning to undergo chemotherapy, or if she has a certain disease that requires taking antiretroviral medications. If you are having a period while breastfeeding, it does not necessarily mean you are sick. It could just be your normal period coming back and breastfeeding your baby is still okay.
3. When the mother is vaccinated for certain diseases
Breastfeeding should also be stopped when a mother is about to receive a vaccine for certain diseases where the vaccine contains live viruses which could be passed on to the nursing infant. There is one particular case in Canada, which was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) where a nursing boy became infected with a strain of yellow fever via his mother milk who just received a vaccine for such disease. And there are also similar reported cases in other countries.
4. When the mother smokes or drinks alcohol in large amounts
Don’t smoke or drink heavily when you are breastfeeding your baby. You should try your best to quit it, otherwise you will have to compromise your infant’s health by stopping breastfeeding.
They say that breast milk is still the best for babies. However, under certain circumstances listed above, it could also mean that stopping breastfeeding is the best option rather than to put the health of your child at risk if you continue on breastfeeding.