Monday, March 12, 2012

Boob juice: the flu edition

Last week I got the flu. At least, I think I did: I started Thursday off by turning down DH's offer to fry up a couple of eggs, and instead had ginger ale for breakfast because I was feeling queasy. I still went to work, though. After a few hours spent shivering and groaning in my office, and feeling progressively worse, I made the decision to come home.

Of course, my number one concern was that I didn't want to give this to PB with his underdeveloped little immune system - that's probably why I trudged off to work in the first place. Once I had determined I really was sick and it wasn't just something I ate, I started making myself incredibly anxious that my baby was going to get ill. I tried to think through how I could spend time at home and not touch PB.

Fortunately, DH was thinking along the same lines, and his brain wasn't feverish, so he asked Dr. Google for the scoop. It turns out that snuggling up with baby is exactly what a nursing mom should do if she's ill. Not only does it make a miserable mom feel a little better (ed. note: it does. I needed some snuggles) but breastmilk is full of up-to-the-moment antibodies so the nursing baby never needs to fight through the infection. In several places, we read that often when a whole family gets sick, the nursing baby is the one person who's healthy the whole time.

Man, this stuff really is kind of like magic.

I now feel mostly fine: I'm taking it bland and easy on my diet for a little while longer, but the freezing fever, aches, etc are all long gone. 5 days after I showed symptoms, PB still seems just fine. Fortunately, so does DH, contributing to our theory that this was the flu for which we got shots in the fall... I was only really sick for just over a day, while quite a few people I know were fighting it in earnest for about a week.

When DH told me that I was keeping PB from getting the flu, I understood for just a moment why some women have difficulty stopping the nursing relationship. Being able to just give another person that kind of immunity really is like having a superpower.

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