Food Poisoning While Breastfeeding – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Food Poisoning While Breastfeeding

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Are you a lactating mother and suffering from nausea and vomiting? Is your suffering complicated by abdominal cramps? If you said yes, you might be suffering from food poisoning. Food poisoning can hamper your health adversely making you feel weak while you are taking care of your baby. So food poisoning while nursing needs immediate attention. Read our post here and learn about the causes, symptoms, treatment, and whether it is safe to breastfeed a baby suffering from food poisoning.

What Is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning refers to the stomach upsets and fatigue that occurs due to consuming contaminated food containing toxins and harmful microbes.

Causes Of Food Poisoning While Breastfeeding:

Food poisoning in nursing mothers can occur due to the consumption of contaminated food that contains toxins and harmful viruses and bacteria. Bacteria, such as E Coli, salmonella, and listeria, can lead to the symptoms of food poisoning. Viruses such as rotavirus can cause food poisoning. Parasites such as Giardia can also cause stomach upsets. Nursing mothers can also suffer from food poisoning due to the consumption of undercooked or raw food. So you need to be careful while consuming seafood, meat, and dairy products during lactation (1).

[ Read: Is It Safe To Eat Spicy Food During Breastfeeding ]

Symptoms Of Food Poisoning While Breastfeeding:

What symptoms of food poisoning does nursing mothers experience? Here is a list of prominent symptoms of food poisoning in lactating mothers.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Blood in stools and vomits
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue, lightheadedness
  • Blurry vision
  • General muscular weakness and tingling in arms (2)

[ Read: Is It Safe To Breastfeed While Having A Fever ]

Treating Food Poisoning While Breastfeeding:

Treatment for food poisoning in nursing mothers primarily involves curing dehydration and helping them feel better. Here, we list some effective treatments for food poisoning in nursing mothers.

1. Increase Your Fluid Intake:

Increasing your fluid intake will help treat dehydration to a great extent. Fluids hydrate your body as well as help increase the milk production in nursing mothers. You feel physically comfortable to continue nursing your dear little one. Make sure you have non-caffeinated beverages to treat diarrhea and dehydration. Oral rehydration solution (ORS) can help balance the salt, water, and sugar levels in your body and replace the lost fluids during diarrhea. If you suffer from diarrhea for more than three days, avoid having solid foods and dairy products.

[ Read: Treating Dehydration While Breastfeeding ]

2. Antibiotics:

Consult a good doctor to have appropriate antibiotics to cure the symptoms and effects of food poisoning while nursing. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics to kill harmful bacteria and other microbes in your stomach and speed up your recovery.

3. Hospitalization And Intravenous Medications:

If you suffer from chronic food poisoning, a visit to the hospital may be the only plausible option. Intravenous fluids and medicines can help you recover quickly. Prompt treatment can also help you keep your baby safe from any infection (3).

Is It Safe To Breastfeed While Suffering From Food Poisoning?

Yes, you can continue to breastfeed your dear little one even if you suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Since the bacteria and microbes are present only in your stomach and not in the breast milk, it is safe to breastfeed your baby. If the toxins pass into your bloodstream, you need to stop breastfeeding and seek immediate medical attention (4).

[ Read: Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding ]

Preventing Food Poisoning While Breastfeeding:

Here are some ways to prevent breastfeeding food poisoning.

  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Make sure you eat hygienic foods. Avoid junk food while nursing your baby.
  • Maintain your home and surroundings clean to avoid the growth of bacteria in the kitchen (5).

Hope you are now clear about food poisoning and nursing. Did you suffer from food poisoning while nursing your dear little one? How did you treat it? Share your experience with other moms here. Leave a comment below.

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