Maternal instinct needs no introduction. We’ve seen it firsthand with our mothers, our grandmothers, our sisters, friends – you get the drift. The very sight of your baby can spark a protective fire you didn’t know could exist. The wrinkled fragile limbs, stubby toes, abnormally tender skin, and innocence beyond compare – all of it makes you want to do all you can to ensure your little one is safe from all harm.
And then you catch a cold!
You feel like you now need to protect your little one from yourself. Don’t panic. And it’s best you don’t skedaddle.
The common cold and influenza are airborne. This is why intimate encounters like nursing, changing diapers, and rocking your baby to sleep don’t help your cause. While there are high chances of your baby contracting your highly contagious viral infection, there are ways to minimize the possibility of such an occurrence as well as ways to ensure your baby has it easier than you.
1. Wash Your Hands As Often As You Can
This cannot be stressed enough. And it’s actually the most effective advice anyone can give you. Before you touch your baby or your baby’s things (blankets, clothes, toys, towels, etc.), wash your hands thoroughly with a reliable antiseptic soap.
If you find this too strenuous and detrimental to your own condition, keep a good hand sanitizer or a pack of antiseptic wipes within reach at all times and make good use of them. Also, remember to discard your used tissues promptly (preferably after a single use) so they’re in no proximity to your baby. It is also a good practice to keep your dustbins covered.
2. Follow Coughing And Sneezing Etiquette
Ponder about how contagious a cold is and you won’t need much convincing. Put your baby down each time you feel a cough or sneeze coming on. It is
3. Cut Down On Kisses
Most cold and flu viral infections are spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets expelled each time you cough, sneeze, or simply exhale. This means you are putting your child at a greater risk of contracting your infection each time you kiss them. As offended as your maternal instincts may feel, it’s best you refrain from showering your child with kisses – just till you’re better!
4. Continue Breastfeeding
Contrary to rumors spread by the less informed, common illnesses (like the
Place a blanket between you and your baby as a physical barrier to minimize airborne transmission.
It is not advised to breastfeed if you also have untreated medical conditions like tuberculosis, human T-cell lymphotropic virus, and HIV/AIDS. It is also discouraged if you are undergoing chemotherapy.
5. Ask For Help
As difficult as it may be, minimize direct contact with your child. This is where family and trusted friends can step in, at least till your condition improves. You may delegate less self-dependent tasks to them like changing diapers or rocking your
6. Indulge In Self-Care
This is probably the most important advice on this list. The sooner you recover, the better for you and baby. Eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids (so your milk supply doesn’t take a hit), and use safe OTC medication to manage your symptoms. It is also a good idea to ventilate your home to get some sunlight in. It will help kill some germs while helping you feel better.
If you don’t see any improvement in your condition within a week, call your doctor to find out if you require alternative treatments.
As a precautionary measure, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests an easy, effective solution to this problem – the flu shot. As a stitch in time saves nine, unfailingly ensure your baby gets their flu shots as
Despite all these measures, if your baby does catch your cold or flu, don’t be disheartened. On the bright side, this will help your child develop a stronger immunity, reducing the frequency of illness later in life.