Breastmilk or Pedialyte?
The stomach flu has been making the rounds around here, hitting our Eldest, me, and the toddler over the course of the past week. Technically not a flu, gastroenteritis can be caused by a range of viruses. Regardless though, it was not a happy sight. It was the first experience for our Little One, having been passed over when she was just 4 months old. All those antibodies in the breastmilk, I’m guessing! But this year she got it. I didn’t expect to feel so scared and sad for her, you know, being an experienced mom and all. It was heart-breaking, as she vomited and vomited, rubbing her belly and signing “hurt.”
While MrH was with her I did a quick search to make sure we were covering our bases. I didn’t know whether caring for a toddler with the bug was different than an 8 year old. My trusted source, askdrsears.com, didn’t quite give me what I was looking for. I knew that pedialyte is good for re-hydrating and that hydration is the key concern during these illnesses. Too bad I’d given our last bottle to our Eldest! I wanted to know whether breastfeeding would help keep the poor thing hydrated as well, or whether it’d be hard to digest. Dr. Sears’ site gives a somewhat cursory “breastfeeding is good, too!” On kellymom.com I found what I was looking for. If you’re not familiar with that resource, and have any interest at all in breastfeeding, go check it out. Really, right now. This post will still be here when you return.
On kellymom I did find what I was looking for. The answer is: nurse! Nurse on cue (or
demand request as the case may be). Breastmilk not only hydrates, it also provides nutrition, antibodies, and comfort. Beat that, pedialyte! So when our Little One was finally done vomiting and actually asked to nurse, I didn’t hesitate. We nursed, me with a clean cloth diaper in hand to mop up the mess if it came back up. But it didn’t, she kept it down and slept blissfully. Guess what? She’s bounced faster than my Eldest or me. Must be those killer antibodies.