In case that a breast-feeding mother is diagnosed as influenza:
The influenza vaccine currently used in Japan is an inactivated vaccine which has no pathogenicity. The vaccination creates the antibodies in blood, but because there is no virus multiplication in the body so the probability of vaccination causing diseases is extremely low, it is thought that there must be no effects to babies through breast milk.
However, for having infant moms, feeding and taking care of them in the middle of the night, are apt to lose sleep, and they become susceptible to infection due to the immune system falling from fatigue. Influenza vaccination is not allowed for one month post-partum because of the loss of strength from childbirth, but if no problems are found in the one month post-partum check-ups, we recommend having influenza vaccination.
It takes two to three months from vaccination for antibodies to be generated in blood. To acquire the immunity before the flu season begins, let’s have vaccinations in advance considering its effect creating time.
What kind of doctor you shall consult:
If you suspect flu from the symptoms like over 38 degrees high fever, severe fatigue and/or joint pain, consult a physician, not the family doctor of obstetrics. For the reasons that the influenza during pregnancy is apt to become more serious and the applicable medicine is also limited, more attention must be paid to infectious diseases.
Considering it and to avoid spreading the viruses to the other pregnant women, go and see a physician. It is advised that if you worry, it’s better to phone your obstetrician first before consulting a physician.
Effects on breast milk:
Because breast milk is made of blood, effects by influenza virus may be a concern, but it is thought that it is no problem to breast-feed because no large quantity multiplication of viruses in blood can occur. And it is said there isn’t any concern that influenza virus is transmitted to baby through breast milk.
But it is highly possible that flu viruses can be transmitted when a mother coughs and sneezes during breast-feeding because the bodies of mother and baby are closely held together. When flu infected mothers do breast-feeding, it is advised to take measures to prevent from virus transmission, like hand washing, putting a mask on and changing to clean cloths, etc. Milking the bottle and asking other families to feed by it might be better as well.