It can be a really difficult time if your darling new baby has a cold.
When babies are healthy, they can breathe through their nose while continuing to suck and nurse at the breast (or bottle). This is a natural instinct that babies are born with, but they will grow out of it. (have you ever tried to breathe and swallow at the same time – not possible!)
So when a baby has a cold, their sinus can be blocked up. This means that they won’t remain latched on at the breast for a long time, because they will need to breathe through their mouth. You may find that baby will take a few sucks, then come off the latch. (and milk might squirt as your letdown continues!). This will mean that it will take longer to feed your baby, they could get very impatient as they are obviously hungry but can’t get to their milk fast enough. A few tears and stress too!
Doctors often suggest getting Saline Drops. If you squirt a few up baby’s nose just before a feed, then the liquid helps to loosen the mucus. Then when baby is feeding, it forces the mucus to clear and go down the back of their throat. And sometimes you might get a a snot deposit on your boob!
Your baby may also be very noisy and snuffley.
The stop-start feeding motion may also mean that you feel a little engorged. But it is really important that you empty your breast after feeding. The breast that does not get fully emptied after the feed will be the one that you offer first to baby next time.
Some parents also get room vapourisers, or they might put a little dash of “Vicks” on the baby’s pillowcase to help breathing also.
If your baby’s cold doesnt improve within 24 hours, then we suggest you talk to your doctor or midwife.