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:
Cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw it away.
Limit close face-to-face contact with your baby.
It's a good idea 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
for babies and everyone else 6 months and older.
Call the doctor right away if your baby gets any flu-like symptoms.