Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links. Read my full disclosure statement. 

Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Breastfeeding With the Flu

In this post, I’m going to share what I’ve learned about breastfeeding with the flu. We all dread it, don’t we? The aches, chills, nausea… everything about the flu is terrible.

It’s normal to wonder whether you should breastfeed while you’re so sick.

It’s a very serious thing for a baby to catch the flu. If you suspect your baby may have been exposed to influenza, call your doctor immediately.

Breastfeeding with the Flu

Keep Yourself Healthy

The CDC recommends the following people in a baby’s life be vaccinated against the flu: Both parents, siblings, other household members, grandparents, and caregivers.

However, the flu shot isn’t always as effective as many people think it is. Even if you do choose to get it, there are several things you can do to make it more effective. And finally, you can avoid the flu even without getting a flu shot, if you’d rather not get yourself or your children vaccinated.

To help keep yourself and your baby healthy, stay away from sick people if you can. It’s okay to ask people not to visit during flu season, or to insist they wash their hands and wear a mask when they do. (You can usually get free masks at hospitals and doctors’ offices during flu season.)

It’s also okay to say no to folks who want to hold the baby or who love you and want to give you a hug. They’ll understand. People can transmit the flu 1 to 2 days before they show any symptoms. They may be sick and not even know yet.

Breastfeeding With the Flu

If despite your best efforts, you come down with the flu, your breast milk is still good.

Don’t stop breastfeeding!

Your breast milk is exactly what baby needs now. The antibodies in your breast milk will do more to help keep your infant’s immune system healthy than anything else.

Your germs are another story.

Be careful when nursing or holding your baby. Wash your hands with warm water and soap, and dry them with a disposable paper towel.

Repeat the process every time you pick up the baby. If you need to touch something that the baby will come in contact with, disinfect it.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then wash your hands again.

If you have someone who can help you take care of the baby while you’re ill, make sure you express your milk so they can use it for feedings. Your breast pump will need to be cleaned thoroughly before and after use.

Are Flu Meds Safe While Breastfeeding?

Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) is said to be “poorly excreted in milk,” meaning the CDC believes it’s safe to take while you’re nursing.

Whether you will take it is a decision for you and your doctor.

With regard to other symptom-relieving medications, read Cold Medicine and Breastfeeding and Sudafed, Mucinex and Breastfeeding. 

The long and short of it is this…

Breastfeeding with the flu is something you should definitely do if you can. Whether you pump and let someone else help with the actual feeding or you continue nursing, your baby needs your breast milk to stay well.

Don’t give up. You’re doing the right thing!

Speak Your Mind