Are There Special Considerations For Mothers With Flu In Peri
Yes. Newborns infected with influenza viruses are at increased risk for severe complications, including death. CDC has specific recommendations that apply to mothers who have flu and their newborns in the hospital setting at the time of birth. Visit Guidance for the Prevention and Control of Influenza in the Peri- and Postpartum Settings for more information.
If direct breastfeeding is interrupted due to temporary separation of mother and child, the breastfeeding mother should be encouraged and supported to regularly express her milk so that the infant continues to receive her breast milk. A breastfeeding mother with flu may need access to a hospital-grade pump and additional lactation support while in the hospital and after discharge to maintain her milk supply and reduce the possibility of developing a breast infection. Prior to expressing breast milk, mothers should wash their hands well with soap and water and, if using a pump, follow recommendations for proper cleaning. If a mother is expressing breast milk, the expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy caregiver who does not have flu, if possible.
But If You Get Too Sick To Breastfeed
Try to express breastmilk and have your baby eat that instead. Breastmilk is the best source of food for a baby, especially during the flu season. For many moms, breastfeeding can be extremely problematic during the flu and they switch to formula. That is absolutely ok and no mom should ever feel guilty for switching. Remember, a well-fed baby is a healthy baby and during the flu that is hugely important.
Babies do get the flu and it can be scary. If your baby gets a fever or develops any signs of flu then call your doctor right away.
If there is a flu outbreak in your family then make sure that everyone stays hydrated and as comfortable as possible. Disinfect surfaces including door knobs, toilets and sinks, and any objects that people touch frequently such as light switches and remote controls. Have plenty of soups, teas, and juices on hand for those upset tummies and dont be afraid to binge watch everything on Netflix while youre down for the count. Having the flu can be a terrible experience but with some prep, education, and healthy hygiene practices, you can avoid or get through it as quickly as possible.
Why Weren’t Breastfeeding People Included In Vaccine Trials
“Pregnant and breastfeeding people are almost always excluded from clinical trials, so it’s not unusual,” says Dr. Rankins. That’s because experts don’t fully understand the risks to babies, who might be affected by a medication in their parents’ breast milk. Some organizations, such as ACOG, advocate for changing this standard. They believe “pregnant and lactating individuals should be given the opportunity to participate, and not have that decision made for them,” explains Dr. Rankins.
Recommended Reading: Can I Get A Flu Shot At Cvs Without Insurance
Vaccines Not Recommended During Breastfeeding
There are a few instances when vaccination is not recommended during breastfeeding. There have been three reported cases of probable transmission of YF vaccine strain virus from mothers to their infants through breastfeeding, resulting in meningoencephalitis in the infants. Therefore, in general, breastfeeding mothers should not be vaccinated. If, for entry to a country, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required and there is no risk of acquiring yellow fever in the regions to be visited, a waiver or Certificate of Medical Contraindication to Vaccination should be sought. If travelling is to a highly endemic area and travel cannot be postponed, then the risk of vaccination causing disease in the breastfeeding infant should be weighed against the risk of yellow fever infection in the mother and the parents counselled about these risks.
Safety of oral typhoid vaccine in breastfeeding women is not known. Inactivated typhoid vaccine should be used.
Caution should also be exercised when considering BCG vaccine because it is a live vaccine and it is not known whether BCG vaccine is excreted in human milk.
Refer to Immunization of travellers in Part 3 and to vaccine-specific chapters in Part 4 for additional information.
Pregnancy Breastfeeding And The Coronavirus Vaccine
The coronavirus vaccine is strongly recommended in pregnancy.
If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you can get your first or second dose by:
Find out how to book a booster dose.
Pregnant women are at increased risk from coronavirus. Some pregnant women have become seriously unwell and needed hospital treatment. Pregnant women with coronavirus have a higher risk of being admitted to intensive care than women of the same age who are not pregnant.
If you get coronavirus with symptoms in pregnancy it’s 3 times more likely that your baby will be born early.
Pregnant women are more likely to have severe coronavirus infection if they:
- have underlying health conditions
- are overweight
- are of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic background
- are aged 35 years or over
Public Health Scotland data from December 2020 to October 2021 shows that 98% of pregnant women with coronavirus who needed intensive care in Scotland were unvaccinated.
Recommended Reading: Flu Shots For Pregnant Mothers
Effects In Breastfed Infants
Limited data indicate that breastfeeding can enhance the response of the infant to certain vaccine antigens.
In a study of pregnant women who were immunized during the third trimester and breastfed their infants for an average of 14 weeks, their infants had a 36% reduction in respiratory illness with fever, and a 63% reduction in laboratory-confirmed influenza during the first 6 months of life. However, the contribution of breastfeeding compared with passive transfer of maternal antibodies during pregnancy was not determined.
A prospective, blinded trial in Bangladesh compared outcomes of mothers randomly assigned to receive either trivalent influenza vaccine or pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in the third trimester of pregnancy and their infants. Influenza-specific IgA levels were higher in the breastmilk of those immunized against influenza than pneumococcus until at least 6 months postpartum. The breastfed infants of influenza-vaccinated mothers had fewer episodes of respiratory illness with fever in the first 6 months postpartum, which was positively correlated with the extent of exclusive breastfeeding.
A study compared the effects of inactivated influenza vaccine and live attenuated influenza vaccine in nursing mothers who were 28 to 120 days postpartum. The breastfed infants whose mothers received the live attenuated strain had more fussiness than those whose mothers received the inactivated vaccine .
Which Flu Vaccine To Get While Pregnant
Pregnant women should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine, which is delivered by injection. They should avoid the nasal spray vaccine because the spray contains a live virus, which could cross the placenta and cause an infection in the fetus.
Side effects of the flu shot are the same for pregnant women as they are for anyone else, Riley says. They include soreness at the injection site, fatigue, and headache that can last for up to two days after receiving the vaccine.
Though rare, flu shots can cause allergic reactions, and a pregnant woman shouldn’t receive a flu shot if she is severely allergic to a component of the vaccine, like an allergy to eggs.
Generally, people with egg allergies can get the flu vaccine, even if they are pregnant. However, for those with a severe egg allergy, the CDC recommends that the vaccine is given in a medical setting, such as an allergist’s office.
And if there’s still some concern, consult a doctor about whether you might be eligible to receive another form of the vaccine.
Recommended Reading: Getting Flu Shot With Sore Throat
If Im Fit And Healthy Do I Need To Have The Flu Vaccine
Although people with medical conditions like asthma and diabetes are most at risk of complications from the flu, fit and healthy adults, children and infants can still become seriously ill and even die from the flu. Also, healthy people can spread the flu to others around them. So it is recommended that even fit and healthy people get the flu vaccine.
Benefits Of Immunization In Pregnancy For The Fetus And Infant
The beneficial effects of immunization during pregnancy for the fetus as well as the newborn infant have been well documented. Vaccination during pregnancy protects the mother from vaccine-preventable diseases that may otherwise be acquired and be transmitted to the fetus or infant. In addition, protective concentrations of antibodies are transferred to the fetus transplacentally, resulting in increased infant protection in the early postnatal period. The majority of transplacental antibody transfer occurs during the third trimester and the half-life of these antibodies in the newborn is typically 4 to 6 weeks. Transplacentally acquired antibody concentrations progressively decrease during the first year of life.
You May Like: Shoulder Pain After Flu Shot Treatment
Watch Out For These Ingredients
The following are not recommended for nursing parents. Always check with a healthcare provider before taking any new medications, because some medications can reduce your breast milk supply or affect your baby’s sleep.
Ingredients to avoid while breastfeeding include:
- Alcohol: Some remedies have alcohol to help you sleep, so skip those.
- DayQuil: DayQuil contains dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, and phenylephrine, a decongestant, which can reduce your milk supply.
- NyQuil: NyQuil contains dextromethorphan, but instead of phenylephrine, it contains doxylamine, an antihistamine and sleep aid, which can reduce breast milk supply.
- Diphenhydramine : This drug may cause sleepiness, and prolonged use may decrease your milk supply. Breastfeeding babies can also become drowsy or irritable.
- Pseudoephedrine : Decongestants that contain phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine can dry up milk supply.
When Should I Have The Flu Jab
The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn, before flu starts circulating. If you’ve missed this time, you can have the flu vaccine later in the winter although it’s best to get it earlier.
Do not worry if you find that you’re pregnant later in the flu season you can have the vaccine then if you have not already had it.
Read Also: How To Treat The Flu Over The Counter
Safety Of Immunization In Pregnancy For The Mother
Inactivated vaccines are considered to be safe when administered in pregnancy. Reactions following vaccination with inactivated vaccines are usually limited to the injection site. No increase in anaphylactic reactions or events that might induce preterm labour has been observed following immunization with inactivated vaccines.
Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have The Flu
I’ve been having flu-like symptoms, and I might have the flu. Is it safe to keep breastfeeding my baby? Stacey
Yes, you can keep breastfeeding your baby, even if you take antiviral medicines for flu-like symptoms. A mother’s breast milk is custom-made for her baby, providing antibodies that babies need to fight infection. So, continuing to breastfeed can protect your baby from the infection that your body is fighting.
While you’re sick, though, protect your baby from as many germs as possible. Babies have a higher risk of catching the flu and having health problems from it. So:
- Wash your hands well and often.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue .
- Limit close face-to-face contact with your baby.
You might want to wear a mask during breastfeeding to avoid coughing, sneezing, or breathing into your baby’s face. Health experts recommend that anyone with flu-like symptoms wear a mask at home if they’re around other people, and when out in public during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re worried about your baby’s risk or are too sick to breastfeed, pump your breast milk and have someone who is not sick use it to feed your baby. Also, doctors recommend the flu vaccine during flu season for babies and everyone else 6 months and older.
You May Like: Cold And Flu Medicine While Breastfeeding
How The Flu Vaccine Works
The flu viruses change every year because the influenza virus has a unique ability to change its surface structure. This means that even if you had influenza or an immunisation one year, your bodys immune system might be unable to fight the changed version of the virus that will be circulating the following year.
Each year, a new vaccine is developed and is available for those who wish to be immunised. The seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against four strains of influenza.
Recent evidence suggests optimal protection against the flu occurs within the first 3-4 months following vaccination.
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have A Cold
Yes, you can still have the vaccine if you have a mild cold. If you are only experiencing a head cold with a runny nose or sniffles without a high fever, it is okay to receive the vaccination. However, if you are very unwell, wait until you are better. If in doubt, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Don’t Miss: To Get The Flu Shot Or Not
Immunization Of Breastfed Infants
Infants who are breastfed should receive all recommended vaccines according to the routine immunization schedule. There is no evidence that the transfer of antibodies in human milk affects the efficacy of live attenuated vaccines in breastfed infants if these are given at the appropriate age.
Infants of breastfeeding women initiating monoclonal antibody treatment after delivery should be immunized according to routinely recommended schedules. Transfer of monoclonal antibodies through breast milk is limited, and the minimal quantities that are ingested are likely to be broken down in the infant’s gastrointestinal tract.
For information on the immunization of infants exposed to immunosuppressive therapy in the womb, whether breastfeeding or not, refer to Immunization of immunocompromised persons in Part 3.
Why Do I Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
You need to get the flu vaccine every year because each year the flu vaccine is made to match the different strains of flu virus likely to be in New Zealand. Occasionally the vaccine strains are the same for more than one year, but it is still recommended that you have the vaccine each year, as the protection provided by the vaccine lessens over time.Flu vaccines are usually made available in autumn. Get your vaccination before winter when the flu is around the most.
Don’t Miss: Where Can I Get A Flu Shot With Aetna Insurance
How Do I Get The Flu Vaccine
Contact your midwife or GP surgery to find out where you can get the flu vaccine. It’s a good idea to get vaccinated as soon as possible after the vaccine becomes available in September.
In some areas, midwives can give the flu vaccine at the antenatal clinic. In others, you will need an appointment at a GP surgery.
Some community pharmacies now offer the flu vaccine on the NHS.
How Do I Make My Decision
Still unsure about whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding? Start by checking out the CDC website, which has a wealth of information about the vaccines. Also, “when considering whether to get the vaccine while breastfeeding, it’s important to ask your health care provider in the context of your own personal risk,” says Dr. Rankins. “For example, if you have underlying health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, or lung disease, which increase your risk of having a more severe form of COVID, you may be more inclined to get the vaccine while breastfeeding.” You may also consider it if you have a high-risk job
Also Check: How To Treat A Toddler With The Flu
What Are The Benefits Of The Flu Vaccination
Getting the flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting the flu.
- Even if you catch the flu despite having the vaccination, your symptoms are likely to be milder and you are less likely to pass it onto others.
- If you catch the flu, you are likely to have fewer sick days.
- If you are pregnant, it protects you and your baby against the flu.
Frequently Asked Questions For Patients Concerning Vaccine Safety
How does getting vaccinated during pregnancy protect my unborn baby?
Newborns cannot receive many vaccines until 2-6 months of age. Some of the protection from the vaccines that you get is transferred to your baby during pregnancy. This helps protect your baby from illness during the first months of life.
How do I know what vaccines I need?
Discuss the vaccines that you have had with your health care provider. Your health care provider will recommend the vaccines you need based on your medical history and lifestyle. If you do not receive recommended vaccines during pregnancy, you should get them immediately after your baby is born.
Are vaccines safe for me? Are vaccines safe for my baby?
Vaccination is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself and your baby. Vaccines help protect you and your baby from diseases that you both are at risk of and can make you both seriously ill. Vaccination is safe for you and your baby. For example, flu vaccines have been given safely to millions of pregnant women for more than 50 years.
I have heard that some vaccines contain mercury. Is getting these vaccines during pregnancy safe for my baby?
Thimerosal, a type of mercury, has not been shown to be harmful to pregnant women or unborn babies, and it does not cause autism. The benefits of preventing life-threatening illnesses in a mother and child far outweigh any potential risks of the vaccine.
Don’t Miss: Meds To Treat The Flu
Are Influenza Antiviral Prescription Medications Safe To Use While Mothers Are Breastfeeding Or Providing Expressed Breast Milk To Their Infants
Yes. While data on the effect of currently recommended influenza antiviral medications during breastfeeding are limited, CDC recommends that postpartum women with suspected or confirmed flu be treated with antiviral medications since they are at high risk of flu complications. For women who are breastfeeding with suspected or confirmed flu, treatment with oral oseltamivir is currently preferred. Available data indicate that oseltamivir is poorly excreted in breast milk. See Table 1. For additional information on medications and lactation, please refer to the Drugs and Lactation Database external icon. For additional general information on flu antiviral medications for healthcare providers, please visit the Influenza Antiviral Drugs website.
|Table 1. Safety of currently recommended prescription influenza antiviral medications while breastfeeding|
|Prescription antiviral medication|