Flu and Breastfeeding
- 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:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Wash hands before touching baby
- Continue to breastfeed
- Before breastfeeding, wash breasts with mild soap and water
- Wear a mask when nursing to prevent sharing the virus with baby and others
- Use clean blankets or burp cloths for each feeding
- 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: