“Sick Mothers Should NOT Breastfeed”- Is This True?

“Sick Mothers Should NOT Breastfeed”- Is This True?

Mother and baby playing and smiling at home.

Breastfeeding is an amazing process that nurtures both the physical and emotional development of a mother and her child. Beyond its numerous medical benefits, breastfeeding creates an unbreakable bond between them, laying the foundation for endless support and warmth in their lives. In conjunction with World Breastfeeding Month, Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) aims to raise awareness about breastfeeding and emphasise the significance of this natural act in promoting a healthier world.


Unveil the Wonders of Breastfeeding

Breast milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies that boost the infant’s immune system and promotes growth and development. It lowers their risks of certain diseases and even reduces the chances of childhood leukaemia and type 2 diabetes later in life. But the wonders of breastfeeding do not stop there. Mothers who breastfeed also experience quicker post-delivery recovery, reduced postpartum bleeding, and aids in weight loss. Additionally, breastfeeding can decrease the risk of breast and ovarian cancers for mothers.


Dr Mei Sze Teh - Profile Photo

Expert Insight on Breast Health: Dr Teh Mei Sze, Consultant Breast Surgeon (Oncoplastic)

“Have you had a clinical breast examination recently? Women are encouraged to conduct regular breast self-examinations and routine mammogram screenings to monitor their breasts for any irregularities. Most women might not be aware that breastfeeding for over 6 months has protective effects against breast cancer as it lowers the exposure levels of oestrogen, a hormone that plays a role in the development of breast cancer cells. However, it is necessary to note that individual health can vary, and breastfeeding is only one aspect of a woman’s overall health.”



Ms Lim Lay Lee - Profile Photo

Expert Insight on Breastfeeding Challenges: Ms Lim Lay Lee, Nurse Manager, Lactation Counsellor – Nursery

“Oftentimes, breastfeeding mothers will face the difficulty of establishing a proper latch. Don’t worry, you are not alone! The tip here starts with making sure you are sitting comfortably with enough back support. Bring your baby to your breast instead of bringing the breast to the baby, or even bending over to them. Position the baby’s nose to the nipple and slightly tilt their head. Then, brush the baby’s lips on the nipple. This will ensure they open a mouthful before latching on. A proper latch will make the experience comfortable for both the mother and baby. If your baby is having trouble latching suitably, try moving to a quiet and calm place or try letting your baby find your nipple on their own.”



Keep to a Healthy Menu

Although breastfeeding mothers can enjoy a less restricted menu than during pregnancy, they are encouraged to consume about 500 extra calories per day and it is important that those calories come from nutritious food. The best approach is to maintain a balanced diet consisting of calcium, iodine, iron, omega-3 fats, and Vitamin D among others. Additionally, a good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of plain water every time you breastfeed to stay hydrated and limit high-caffeinated foods and beverages.



Breastfeeding Myth Debunked

mom holding baby infant


Have you ever come across the old wives’ tale that “sick mothers should not breastfeed”? In reality, mothers can continue to breastfeed despite being sick, in most cases. Your baby is able to receive the produced antibodies through your breast milk, which can further strengthen their immune system. Just keep in mind that proper treatment, rest, hydration, and nutrition are crucial during this time. Moreover, taking medications during breastfeeding may be considered off-limits to some people, but it is quite common. However, it is necessary to consult with your doctor as there might be a need for dosage adjustments or alternative formulations.



Ask for a Hand

Breastfeeding can sometimes present challenges for both new and experienced mothers. In such situations, a lactation specialist can be a valuable resource, providing guidance and encouragement throughout the breastfeeding journey. Specially trained and certified, lactation specialists are equipped to address breastfeeding concerns and take the emotional needs of the mother into account when offering a solution. Their expertise creates an opportunity for mothers and their babies to have a positive breastfeeding experience.



Empowering Breastfeeding Mothers

Undoubtedly, before delivering, mothers conduct extensive research to ensure the best for their babies. Seeking clarification and guidance can provide valuable insights and empower mothers to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. Building a strong support system can further help them in this empowering journey, including the assistance of healthcare professionals and participation in antenatal classes to familiarise themselves with new knowledge and prepare for the journey ahead. To learn more about Subang Jaya Medical Centre’s (SJMC) antenatal classes, where knowledgeable experts are ready to answer all questions, please visit https://subangjayamedicalcentre.com.