Flu is an infection that leads to a severe illness, and in some cases, the victim might die if no medical help comes at the right time. However, flu is most severe for people over 65 and younger than 5 years old. On the other hand, there are complications regarding getting a flu vaccine while breastfeeding, and we are here to clear them out.
There is no exclusion on who can get this infection; it can happen to anyone without warning. The best is to visit your doctor immediately and start the vaccine course.
Even mothers breastfeeding their children or during pregnancy can catch this virus and require immediate treatment. But the big question is, can breastfeeding mothers get the flu vaccine? Let’s answer this.
According to the USA disease control committee, the influenza vaccine won’t harm the mother or baby, and they can continue their routine as normal. However, that is a general answer; there is no surety that it won’t affect a mother and their children. In the end, it all depends on your body. Moreover, getting a vaccine during pregnancy is much better since your baby will also develop immunity against such viruses.
This might sound weird, but a mother’s connection with the baby is quite delicate. The next generation will arrive having immunity against everything whose medicine you took. So, if you have some weakness in your body, make sure to treat it with the right medicines so your baby won’t have to face them.
On the other hand, babies cannot take the flu vaccine until they are six months old. Moreover, the vaccine effects won’t transfer from your milk to your baby, but if flu has caused an infection, that will affect your baby’s health. Let’s check some other factors related to breastfeeding and flu.
Breastfeeding During Influenza
Even if you catch the flu, there is no harm in breastfeeding your baby. Since your child will get the necessary protection from you if you ever get the flu vaccine before. Your breastmilk contains the necessary antibodies to keep your kid safe; thus, feeding the child won’t be a problem, even if you are showing flu symptoms.
You just need to be careful not to sneeze on your baby or touch them when your hands are dirty. Kids are fragile; they can easily catch a virus from another person, which can be life-threatening. Plus, doctors cannot use the proper countermeasures on them so that a kid can die because of a flu infection.
Rest assured, flu will not transfer from your breastmilk to your baby, so you can feed them without worry. It is better to get a flu vaccine when you are pregnant, so your baby can develop immunity against it in the womb. The antibodies from your breast milk will only enhance your baby’s immunity. Moreover, get both vaccine shots with 28 days of difference to develop complete immunity against influenza.
On the other hand, the chances are that you can spread the flu even after the vaccination. So, it is better to wear a mask, don’t sneeze or cough when you are near people, and wash your hands often. The same goes when handling the baby; wear a mask and gloves before touching your baby.
Types of Flu Vaccine
Two types of flu vaccines are available; one is given to everyone, and the second is for extreme cases only. These vaccines can stop the flu spread from your body to another, but it takes some time to work. In the meantime, you can cover your face and mouth so you won’t sick anyone else while sneezing or coughing.
The worst part of flu is that it changes yearly; thus, the vaccination differs each year. The basics of the vaccine remain the same, but its dosage and time difference might alter based on how strong the virus is. So, authorities recommend that you get a flu vaccine every year to avoid getting an infection.
- Inactive flu virus: This vaccine is given via a needle and contains dead flu virus that helps builds immunity to the flu. This is the most common type of flu vaccine you’ll get unless the infection has already started. For that, you’ll require the second form of flu vaccine.
- Nasal spray: The nasal spray is live and contains a weak flu virus that is given through your nose. Most of you might know it from the name FluMist. Since it contains a live virus, you won’t get this vaccine during your pregnancy or breastfeeding period.
On the other hand, these people are also not entitled to get a live vaccine.
- Kids under two years old.
- Adults above 50 years.
- Pregnant women.
- People with a weak immune system.
- Other medical conditions can put them at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu.
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It would be best to talk to your doctor about the best flu vaccine for you and get that shot. With your doctor’s consent, the vaccine center won’t hesitate to offer you the vaccine you want.
What Is the Best Time to Get a Flu Vaccine
Since flu comes every year, you’ll get a vaccination yearly. It is best to get vaccinated after one month of pregnancy so your baby can develop immunity against the flu virus. On the other hand, if you are unsure, talk to your doctor and see what they have in mind for the vaccination. Remember, you cannot provide vaccination to your child before six months of age, so it is better to provide the antibodies using your breastmilk. You never know who among your family or friends has a flu infection, and they might infect your baby.
If the flu season is around, tell anyone who comes to meet your baby to wear a mask, and if they intend to pick up the baby, they should also wear gloves.
Avoid interaction with people until the flu is gone; your baby’s health comes first. Even if some of your relatives like you near your baby, it is absolutely fine. After six months, they’ll have all the time to play with the baby.