Should moms continue to breastfeed if they have the swine flu?
August 2, 10:33 PM Manchester Parenting Examiner Karen Plumley
New mothers who are currently nursing their infants should continue to do so even if they have contracted the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as the swine flu. This is the current recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The benefits of breastmilk for a developing infant far outweigh the risks of swine flu, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, experts interviewed in a report by the Press Association recommend continuing breastfeeding even if mom is taking antiviral medication to treat the H1N1 virus, claiming that the amount of the drug passed through to mother's milk is extremely low.
What are the Benefits of Breast Milk for Infants?
Breast milk provides infection fighting antibodies that an infant cannot get with formula. Here are a few other positive reasons to continue nursing:
Breast milk was manufactured specifically for the infant by mom.
Breast milk is perfectly balanced and easily digestible.
Breast milk is economical.
Nursing is a calming bonding experience for mother and baby.
Breast feeding protects babies from ear infections, allergies, meningitis, and a host of other serious illnesses.
Nursing helps a mother to lose the baby weight (expending at least 500 calories a day).
What Ways Can Mom Help Protect Infant from Swine Flu?
Chances are that if a mother has contracted the H1N1 virus, the baby has already been exposed to the illness. But to help protect an infant or small child from the flu, the CDC suggests following these precautions:
1. Frequently wash the infant's hands with soap and water.
2. Encourage closeness between baby and mother, skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding to offer the infant antibodies: the best chance of fighting off infection.
3. Wash toys that have been shared with soapy warm water, and discourage sharing if a sibling is ill.
4. Keep pacifiers clean.
5. Cover nose and mouth with arm when sneezing or coughing.
To check the flu status in your area go to:
I have a proactive preventative tip that may help reduce the spread of swine flu germs, especially if you have other older children at home, and no vaccination is necessary. My daughter learned this great program at school called Germy Wormy Germ Smart. It teaches kids to understand how germs spread and how to NOT spread them. It was so much fun for her, and amazing how quickly the kids learned healthier hygiene habits! The website speaks for itself: www.germywormy.com
Be healthy, and keep those babies healthy!
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- Green Pixie Baby
- Franklin, TN, United States
- Hello my name is Marie. I have four healthy, beautiful children. When our latest blessing joined our lives in November 2008 we decided to do the best thing for her and our planet. We went the cloth diapering route. During our search for cloth diapers we found limited availability in our area. We knew that we were not the only family facing this dilemma. Together we decided that we were going to help bring the green trend of cloth diapering to Franklin, TN. So here we are! We specialize in American made cloth diapers and baby products. Spreading the love of cloth diaper fluff and American made stuff one baby at a time. www.greenpixiebaby.com won’t you join us in saving our planet and parenting green?
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