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Flu and Breastfeeding

Wash Your Hands

  • Mothers provide immunity to their babies through their breast milk.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding provides the most protection from the flu and other infections.
  • Guidelines for breastfeeding mothers who have the flu:

    1. Drink plenty of fluids
    2. Rest
    3. Wash hands before touching baby
    4. Continue to breastfeed
    5. Before breastfeeding, wash breasts with mild soap and water
    6. Wear a mask when nursing to prevent sharing the virus with baby and others
    7. Use clean blankets or burp cloths for each feeding
    8. Make sure that others who help to feed your baby follow above guidelines
  • Note that flu viruses do not pass through breast milk.
  • Breastfeeding mothers can safely receive the flu vaccine.
  • Babies 6 months and older should also receive flu vaccine.
  • Most flu treatments prescribed by your health care provider, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, are safe to take while breastfeeding.
  • For medication questions, mothers can contact their health care provider or call the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline @ 1-877-271-MILK (6455) and talk with a Registered Lactation Consultant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For more information, view the OSDH Immunization Service Flyer: Breastfeeding and the Flu

For additional flu information:

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