I have the flu and I'm breastfeeding...

Keara - posted on 11/08/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son is just over 2 months old, he had his 2 mth immunizations last week. I don't want to make him sick so I've been avoiding contact with him as much as possible but I feel so bad!! He's a very social baby, wants to be talked to and held and cuddled lots, and to top it all off he's teething so he's been a little more on the clingy, cranky side lately. My husband took over the cuddling and playing yesterday, on his day off, but he had to work today, so its just the two of us. I`ve been washing my hands and trying not to breathe on him or cough or sneeze in his direction, but I`m breastfeeding so its difficult. He`s been spending a lot of time in his little bouncy seat and watching cartoons because I`m afraid to get to close to him... any suggestions or advice? Also, will my having the flu and feeding him give it to him, or will my body fight the bad stuff and give him all the good stuff? I was supposed to get a flu shot in the next couple weeks, but we weren't sure if I should because I'm nursing and were waiting to talk to the doctor, but now I don't know if I should even bother?

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Keara - posted on 11/08/2010

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Do you know if I can take anything, other than tylenol, for my cough and other such symptoms? maybe a natural remedy? Its been a killer flu so far, its been almost 3 days of hell to say the least... nausea, vomitting, diarrhea, and a slight fever, but all that is gone now and I'm left with a killer headache, sore throat and cough, and a runny nose.... sorry for the overshare, but I figured I'd share my symptoms to you can help me to find some relief... I'm desperate!! I'm normally a very social person as well and laying in bed watching tv for 3 days reminds me of being grounded when I was a kid... lol

Sarah - posted on 11/08/2010

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This is just one of the reasons breastfeeding is so great! At 2 mo. your antibodies are flowing right into his bloodstream. I don't know if the virus can travel through antibody rich breastmilk, but your baby is getting the antibodies before he ever gets any symptoms. So his body can fight it off before he ever has to feel it. If he does get the flu, he'll be one step ahead of the rest of us.

As far as the shot goes, that's entirely up to personal opinion. Go with your gut.

Minnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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I imagine that it must be difficult to minimize contact with your little one! As a two month old who should be breastfeeding a minimum of 8-12 times a day he likely has had frequent exposure to your virus already. The good news is that he is receiving antibodies through your milk. You need to do what you are most comfortable with- but understand that he likely has already been exposed sufficiently.

Many mothers simply choose to lie down in bed with their little ones and nurse throughout the day. It's a way to stay rested and to keep the baby happy- frequent nursing will get him as much of your antibodies and hydrating milk as possible.

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Cassie - posted on 11/10/2010

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I totally agree with Lisa Moreau's first post, i caught flu wen my daughtr was around that age, and all i did was lying in bed for a day nursing, and then my flu just went! :D and my daugter was perfectly fine :-) the more you nurse the better you will get.. i dont know if there is any truth in that, but it as been like that for me the whole time ive been bfing :-)

Minnie - posted on 11/08/2010

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One medication to be careful with is pseudephedrine. That has been known to reduce milk supply by as much as 25%, to a point where it can't be brought back up.

Most medications, however, are compatible with breastfeeding.

Your local La Leche League Group should be of help and it should own a copy of Thomas Hale's Medicaitons and Mother's Milk.

Another good resource is Tox Net:

http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/ht...

Dr. Hale's Infant Risk Center is open for call-in questions: 806-352-2519, M-F 8am- 5pm CST.

Celeste - posted on 11/08/2010

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That's good that you're going to keep nursing!

Well, the flu has an incubation period (I THINK 5 days?) so before you knew you had the flu, you might've passed it on. So, he might get it, or he might not. If he DOES get it, he might not get it as bad as you did. I'm not sure about the flu shot, though.

Keara - posted on 11/08/2010

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I guess I should have thought out more of what I wanted to ask instead of just typing my train of thought lol... I'm not going to stop nursing I was just wondering if I should be ready to have a 2 month old with the flu, or if he wouldn't get it because I have it... Should I get the flu shot? Am I ok to cuddle him or should I still avoid any unnecessary contact?

The link you gave me brought me to another part that answered my questions so thank you!!

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