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#1 of 34 Old 10-27-2007, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So often I hear breastfeeding moms brag about how their little ones never get sick, and that it's all due to breastfeeding and passive immunity. But isn't getting sick a good thing? To build immunity?

How many times should a breastfed baby/toddler/child get sick? What's normal and what's not normal?

DS is sick (again, this is twice in the last 2 weeks...I'm beginning to doubt the power of my breastmilk! , so I'm just wondering what others' experiences have been.
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#2 of 34 Old 10-27-2007, 05:01 AM
 
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I think it depends on what you call sick, DD will get a cold a few times a year, have a runny nose for a few days, maybe run a low grade fever, but I don't really think of that as her being ill. I mean I'll keep her away from other tots but she is usually happy and playing, I guess sick to me is when they are not themselves, lethargic, won't eat, throwing up, heavy fever, etc. Sorry it's late, I'm rambling.
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#3 of 34 Old 10-27-2007, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dimibella View Post
I think it depends on what you call sick, DD will get a cold a few times a year, have a runny nose for a few days, maybe run a low grade fever, but I don't really think of that as her being ill. I mean I'll keep her away from other tots but she is usually happy and playing, I guess sick to me is when they are not themselves, lethargic, won't eat, throwing up, heavy fever, etc. Sorry it's late, I'm rambling.
That's true... DS is sick, but you wouldn't know it by his activity level. He's bouncing around, babbling and playing normally. It's just he's a little congested, has a runny nose and gets a little cranky and clingy here and there. Thanks for the perspective
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#4 of 34 Old 10-27-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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My DD gets sick with coughs and colds and low grade fevers with some regularity. She nurses quite a bit and she's almost 2. For me I've come to regard nursing as more of a thing that helps her heal and keeps her comforted when she is sick, rather than something that keeps her from getting sick.

I think alot of it (getting colds and such) has to do with how many other activities you do and whether or not other parents keep their little ones home when they are runnng fevers or coughing or have stuffy noses. We do around three toddler type classes a week and DD's gymnastics class in particular is a germaphobe's nightmare. Kids with runny noes coughing and sneezing on the equipment and the other kids climbing on the equipment and wiping their eyes and stuff. I used to kind of get pissy about people brining their kids to the class in that state (I don't bring DD when she's got the sniffles or whatever) but sometimes the parents don't realize ther kid is contagious and sometimes they just really need to get out of the house. So I try to cut folks a little more slack about that these days and just stay away from group activites at times when I know DD is either more suseptible to getting sick or might be carrying something herself. Sorry, that was kind of a hijack!
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#5 of 34 Old 10-29-2007, 06:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dimibella View Post
I think it depends on what you call sick, DD will get a cold a few times a year, have a runny nose for a few days, maybe run a low grade fever, but I don't really think of that as her being ill. I mean I'll keep her away from other tots but she is usually happy and playing, I guess sick to me is when they are not themselves, lethargic, won't eat, throwing up, heavy fever, etc. Sorry it's late, I'm rambling.
Same here...dd just had a low grade fever and was congested...for a day! She was happy and playing the whole time and has every other time she's been "sick".
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#6 of 34 Old 10-29-2007, 07:26 PM
 
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DD, 19 mos., has never been sick a day in her life. If she has it was so mild I didn't notice. All of my kids though are extremely healthy. Only one (my oldest) has ever even had an ear infection, and only one. Lucky I guess!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#7 of 34 Old 10-29-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustSo View Post
So often I hear breastfeeding moms brag about how their little ones never get sick, and that it's all due to breastfeeding and passive immunity.

so I'm just wondering what others' experiences have been.
I don't know what's normal, but I can tell you my experiences.

Abigail: breastfed from birth to 8 months.
(breastfeeding was on hold because I wasn't making milk while pregnant with Sophia, then Abigail didn't want to nurse until Sophia was 8 months).
Very sick, colds, flu, and an ear infection from 8 months to 23 months of age.
Breastfeeding again at 23 months to present (2.5 years).
Hasn't had any cold during this time.

Sophia: breastfed from birth to present (14 months old).
Had one cold that lingered for a while (about 3 weeks).

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#8 of 34 Old 10-29-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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DD has had two or three bouts of sniffles in her 14 months, along with one round of coughing and a terrible day of vomiting last week. Nothing too serious.
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#9 of 34 Old 10-29-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Shaki;9558201]My DD gets sick with coughs and colds and low grade fevers with some regularity. She nurses quite a bit and she's almost 2. For me I've come to regard nursing as more of a thing that helps her heal and keeps her comforted when she is sick, rather than something that keeps her from getting sick.

I think alot of it (getting colds and such) has to do with how many other activities you do and whether or not other parents keep their little ones home when they are runnng fevers or coughing or have stuffy noses. We do around three toddler type classes.QUOTE]

This has been my experience as well. My ds, now 14mo, had about 8 ear infections last winter/spring and he has his first ear infection of the season right now. I think most of them came on after he was exposed to another bug during our many playdates. He's also rather sucseptable to ear infections because he inherited his daddy's ears. (Apparently my husband had LOTS of ear infections as a child. Our ped. said that being prone to ear infections is largely inherited .)

As for colds, ds never gets them. He had a runny nose only once, and that was this summer of all times! So I guess what I'm try to say is, illness is partly genetic and partly how social you and your little one is. I think that bm has kept most of the bugs away, but we just can't seem to do anything about ear infections. Breastfeeding definitely helps comfort him when he is sick and is very hydrating and nutritious.
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#10 of 34 Old 10-29-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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This probably won't be helpful but my two DS's- one was breastfed, one wasn't. Both have incredible immune systems and MAYBE get a slight sickness once a year. The breastfeeding child has been nursing for over 18 mos now.

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#11 of 34 Old 10-30-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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DS is 19 months, and knock on wood, he has never been sick.
Try not to doubt your bm if your baby gets sick, just remind yourself they could be sicker if they were not getting it.
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#12 of 34 Old 10-30-2007, 04:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Breastfeeding Insomniac View Post
just remind yourself they could be sicker if they were not getting it.
Exactly. I think it bears repeating that you can't say "breastfed kids don't get sick" or "non-breastfed kids get sick a lot." Then you get people who say, "Well, kid A was breastfed, and she got sick soo much more than kid B, who was formula fed, so breastfeeding must not really be any better for them" or vice versa, "Kid A is breastfed and always healthy, and Kid B is not breastfed and is always sick, so that has to be because of the difference in feeding."

No! There are always other factors. If you hold the other factors _constant_, then _on average_, breastfed kids get sick less. So any one breastfed child will probably be sick less than _she_ would have been, were she not breastfed. Not less than her formula-fed cousin, not less than any other breastfed child, etc.

(Sorry, this is one of my pet peeves. Not just about nursing, but about people misunderstanding statistics and statistical reporting in general. Oh, and my breastfed son gets sick all the time now that he's going to daycare.)
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#13 of 34 Old 10-30-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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Ds has rarely been sick in his short life. The sickest he ever was was sometime late last year when he got a 103-104 degree fever and really no other symptoms. Other then that he's been really really healthy.

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#14 of 34 Old 10-30-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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But isn't getting sick a good thing? To build immunity?
if you have a very strong immune system, you can be exposed to many diseases and become immune with either no or mild symptoms. Many factors influence the immune system (lifestyle such as cigarette smoke, vaccinations or lack thereof, nutrition- baby's and mother's- genetics,etc) . Breastfeeding is proven to help protect against ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, and many other illnesses. Also, the immunites from diseases the mother has had are often passed to the baby in the breastmilk to help protect the child. It doesn't mean your baby will never get sick.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#15 of 34 Old 10-30-2007, 04:51 PM
 
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I think it's the types of sickies, KWIM?

DD1 wasn't exposed to a lot of kids and didn't get sick until 11 mos old - her first cold.

She hit preschool and her and DD2 were sick for 4 months straight - the first year of school curse, passed on to her sister.

OTOH, they haven't gotten whooping cought, skin issues esp. eczema, allergies, and other things 'typically' associated with formula feeding - a gf of mine used 100% formula for both of her kids and they always had chest/lung issues, skin issues.
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#16 of 34 Old 10-31-2007, 12:11 AM
 
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DD has the sniffles pretty frequently, but gets over it quickly. Fortunately she's never had anything really bad - no ear infections or stomach bugs...

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#17 of 34 Old 10-31-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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My ds has been sick a few times. Pretty much the same number of times that I've been sick since he was born. BUT he seems to get a way milder case than I do, and it's shorter.
I don't know if that's a kid thing, or a bf'ing thing. But it makes sense to me that bf'ing is giving his body extra help in fighting it off.

eta- I don't remember him ever acting sick. Stuffy noses really bother him, but he acts like he feels fine.

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#18 of 34 Old 10-31-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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DD never acted sick. I just knew that if she wasnt right-got that feeling etc.
She has been REALLY sick maybe two or three times in 2 yrs. She has chronic sniffles in the winter and chronic asthma with coughing. For the most part she really doesnt get sick(never had an ear infection.::knock on wood: and I am glad that she has her "milkies" to help her through it. We nurse through it dispite the medical community telling us that she NEEDS water or pedialyte...
I have found that she actually vomits more frequently when drinking anything other than breastmilk when she is REALLY sick...

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#19 of 34 Old 10-31-2007, 09:39 PM
 
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My bf babies/ toddlers had an occassional cold, ear infection each 1X in the first 2 years of life around 9mo old and teething. In fact the colds were around a major erruption of teeth too.

BM is only as good as what mama eats. I know I've been guilty of eating one too many carbs or deciding that totally junk food item can't be passed up today. Then I realize I'm not at my optimal best and get back on track.
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#20 of 34 Old 10-31-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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We have only had one bad cold and two little ones and that is in a 13.5 month time span. That is it no other illnesses.

:CLC,Doula :Mama to 2
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#21 of 34 Old 10-31-2007, 11:18 PM
 
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I personally think a lot of it has to do with genetics. Beyond colds and perhaps a single ear infection, a few random rashes, and roseola (sounds like alot after I write it!), DD (13 months) has not had many other issues. BUT I know two other mothers who BF for over a year and both of their children have severe issues with asthma and ear infections. There is a long family history of those things though, in their families, so I guess it could be worse if they didn't BF.

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#22 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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In almost 27 months she's had
1 double ear infection
rotovirus
coxsakie
a couple colds(stuffy nose.cough) which happens when she cuts teeth.

Sharon wife to my hero James and  momma to Kaitlyn 17, Tayler 15 and Anna 7.fur momma to Kami  pit/boxer mix.

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#23 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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Hi -

I actually have been disappointed in the frequency of illness in my breastfed (and pumped milk bottle fed) son... Until this post, that is. Because honestly he has only had mild colds - I guess I figured that he would have no illness/colds at all... And a bonus - my colds have been very mild as well. So maybe we're better off than I might have thought! Thank you , original poster!

-Lisa and Riley
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#24 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 11:20 AM
 
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My kids still get sick, but the severity and duration seem to be less due to nursing.

Jill stillheart.gif Chris (7/96), mommy to 3 sweet redheads: jumpers.gif Matthew autismribbon.gif (12/02), Michelle (8/05) and Marissa (1/10). Nursing since 2002.
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#25 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 11:56 AM
 
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DD is 13.5 months and has never been sick. I've been sick 4 times in that span, and she's never had so much as a sniffle.
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#26 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 02:33 PM
 
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We usually get 2-3 colds a year, and occasional stomach viruses. And my oldest son had one ear infection as a toddler and whooping cough at 2.5 (when I was pregnant, so he wasn't getting any milk). Both are still nursing. I think they get sick a lot less than the average kid, and they are exposed to other kids constantly-- my oldest is in karate, gymnastics, and spanish class, we have playdates frequently and they both play outside with neighborhood kids every day. After a pukey winter last year (like 3 separate 24 hour bugs) I bought some natural germ-killing hand spray to use this year when we're in especially crowded places or around sick-looking kids.
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#27 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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The way I see it, BF betters a family's overall odds of good health. So for example, a BF baby might get a couple of ear infections...but would have gotten more infections (or worse ones) if s/he hadn't been BF.

In my family, I can point to instances where BF made an obvious difference. When DS was 8mo, my entire extended family was felled by a horrifying holiday stomach virus. It was a barf-o-rama spreading across 4 households. But DS never urped even a single drop.

Last spring, DS (now 4yo) came down with Coxsackie virus (nasty, nasty thing that causes painful blisters in the throat). DS refused to eat and screamed and sobbed for days. Our family doc warned us that adults have usually developed immunity, but it's VERY contagious among kids, and that DD would most certainly get it. She did catch something, but it very mild. DD was a little under the weather (tired and feverish) for about 12 hrs., then good as new. No blisters, no barfing, no screaming, nothing.

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#28 of 34 Old 11-01-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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My 18 month old has been sick once for about 2 days. We all got that one, but its the only time he has been ill.
Angela
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#29 of 34 Old 11-02-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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Parker gets sick just as often as his brothers do, but it is for a much shorter time.

Tanya, wife to my best friend momma to Blake 2/02, Jacob 5/04, Parker 12/05 and MaKenna : 6/09
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#30 of 34 Old 11-02-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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My youngest is 11 months old and has only been mildly sick once, for a couple of days about two weeks ago.
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