alarming CDC breastfeeding policy for H1N1 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/infantfeeding.htm

The CDC is recommending that new mothers with suspected or confirmed H1N1 not even *hold* their babies, and have someone else be in charge of "feeding" until the illness passes.

I was hoping someone here with some influence could remind them that anti-bodies to illness in the mother pass through her milk to her nursling, making for excellent protection against mother's illness.

I am truly disturbed over this! I believe it is dangerous and irresponsible.

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#2 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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They do suggest pumping breast milk and feeding that, for the antibodies, rather than formula. They even specify that breast milk-feeding should continue while the mother is taking flu medications, and that babies under six months should get all their feedings as breast milk. So they aren't completely and totally off their rockers.

They also say things like " Since this is a new virus, we don’t know yet about specific protection against it. Mothers pass on protective antibodies to their baby during breastfeeding. Antibodies are a type of protein made by the immune system in the body. Antibodies help fight off infection.

If you are sick with flu and are breastfeeding, someone who is not sick can give your baby your expressed milk. "

And

"Should I stop breastfeeding my baby if I think I have come in contact with the flu?

No. Because mothers make antibodies to fight diseases they come in contact with, their milk is custom-made to fight the diseases their babies are exposed to as well. This is really important in young babies when their immune system is still developing."
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#3 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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Actually, CDC seems to have one of the most breastfeeding supportive H1N1 policies. (As Lolar2 pointed out above.) I think only the NHS (UK) is more supportive - saying continue to breastfeed and do skin-to-skin etc.

Health Canada is very non-committal, and I know of one Canadian hospital that is seperating newborns of mothers with H1N1 at birth and discarding the pumped colostrum for 48 hours!
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#4 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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I agree that it's great they don't recommend formula and promote breastmilk but....via bottle? Yeah, let's just forget about nipple preference and confusion, supply problems, mums who don't have a proper pump, etc. Ugh.

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#5 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 12:05 PM
 
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I speculate the people who put out that information are probably in the infectious-diseases department and aren't fully aware of nipple confusion-type problems.
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#6 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 01:05 PM
 
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that I can muster. Anyone ever had Norwah...I can't spell it...the cruise ship virus? I did. I went to emergency room with hubby and son--diarreah and vomitted induced dehydration. I have nearly no memory of three days--but my husband brought me my 6 month old boy to breastfeed. 4 days later I have to call and ambulance for my husband who contracted it from me. We all slept together and I breastfed. My baby was the only one in the house who did not get ill.

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#7 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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You know, I pumped successfully with ds1, and it wasn't that big a deal...but I honestly can't imagine adding the hassle of pumping to coping with my mini-horde, and my newborn. Plus, who else am I going to get to feed my baby? DH? DS1? If I've got H1N1, they're quite likely to have it, too!

This is one of those things that might sound good, in theory (it actually doesn't sound good to me, even in theory), but could get awfully complicated and difficult when it came down to logistics. That's even without factoring in nipple confusion.

As to the hospital that's throwing away colostrum...I could cry. I might cry. Throwing away colostrum??? Nuttiness.

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#8 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I am mainly upset because an acquaintance of mine is not nursing her newborn twins because of this. And I am concerned that breastfeeding will fail because she is not building her supply by nursing during this critical period.

Jean, happy HS mom to Peter (5), Daniel (9) and Lucie (2) and also someone new... baby.gif
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#9 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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I guess I am mainly upset because an acquaintance of mine is not nursing her newborn twins because of this. And I am concerned that breastfeeding will fail because she is not building her supply by nursing during this critical period.
This is so sad! How long has it been? Even the CDC just recommend a 48h period until Mama has had 48h of tamiflu. And don't they have something that says if milk cannot be expressed and fed by someone else then Mama just needs to wah hands and wear a mask? I am sure I read that somewhere on the CDC site.
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#10 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 04:21 PM
 
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This is so sad! How long has it been? Even the CDC just recommend a 48h period until Mama has had 48h of tamiflu. And don't they have something that says if milk cannot be expressed and fed by someone else then Mama just needs to wah hands and wear a mask? I am sure I read that somewhere on the CDC site.
Yes, it says exactly that. On the original link.
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#11 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 07:46 PM
 
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Oh boy, we are so a bottle feeding society.

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#12 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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You know, I'd actually been hoping that a 'silver lining' of H1N1 would be that more mothers would focus on nursing their babies through the flu season, and more support for mothers who are nursing through flu season.

Having EP'd for a period of time, I can't imagine how awful it would be for a mother with a wee one who is miserably sick, to try to pump instead of just nurse. It seems to me that good hand washing etc. would be as effective, unless the baby is kept in a bubble the whole time (and again, it ignores the long-term impact of the bottlefeeding in re: nipple confusion etc.).

Not all who wander are lost.
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#13 of 41 Old 10-09-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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This advice is so idiotic, I can't even believe it.

So, if you live in the same house as your baby but don't touch your baby, then your baby won't get sick????? Yeah right.

And pumping is exactly what I want to be doing when I am sick w/the flu. I had the flu a couple of wks ago (not swine) and I couldn't even move I was in so much pain. All I could do was lay there when my dh brought ds3 in to nurse.

This just isn't realistic advice. Moms will see this and think if they can't manage to pump while they are sick then they should give formula which is exactly opposite of what they should be doing.

Obviously there aren't any nursing mothers in the group of drs who wrote that statement.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#14 of 41 Old 10-10-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Oh that's completely ridiculous.

I had a conversation with a lady on Twitter who has been diagnosed with swineflu. She was told by *10* different doctors/pharmacists not to nurse her baby whilst on antivirals, to give formula and pump and dump.

I and several others sent her articles from the NHS and such showing that there is no risk to her baby from the medication. She spoke to someone on the Motherrisk helpline who advised her to keep nursing, so that's what she's doing. Herself and her husband got it but so far baby is just fine.
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#15 of 41 Old 10-10-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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I had a conversation with a lady on Twitter who has been diagnosed with swineflu. She was told by *10* different doctors/pharmacists not to nurse her baby whilst on antivirals, to give formula and pump and dump.
That is bad advice from the doctors and pharmacists, but it is not what the CDC website says. At least the one referenced above. The CDC recommendation is to pump and FEED the expressed milk, not formula and certainly not to dump the milk.

Again-- impractical advice, yes. But they are not advocating formula.
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#16 of 41 Old 10-10-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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what if your a single mum, don't have family very close by and baby wants feeding at 2am?

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#17 of 41 Old 10-10-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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the CDC's primary goal is to stop the spread of infections diseases, especially to vulnerable populations. Nipple confusion is bad, but I'd take that over having a newborn hospitalized any day.

My last little one was hospitalized with RSV before she was 8 weeks old. This was really difficult, and not something to be flip about (if a newborn less then eight weeks-old is hospitalized with a fever they routinely do a spinal tap and urinary catheterization ). It was hard on my entire family emotionally and financially.

Keeping the the baby from getting the virus would be my primary objective, even if it meant not holding baby, etc. This is really the worse of 2 evils.

I don't own any bottles and have breastfed all my babies, but wouldn't risk passing the flu to a newborn, whether it was just the regular old flu or H1N1. Let's hope mamas can stay healthy and not have to make choices like that!

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#18 of 41 Old 10-10-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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The CDC has conflicting (and more breastfeeding friendly!) advice on a different page of their website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals...t-settings.htm states: "Influenza-infected mothers who are breast feeding should put on a surgical mask and then practice hand hygiene before each feeding or other close contact with their infants. These practices should continue for each feeding during the 5-day period following the mother’s symptom onset."

The date stamps on the page indicate that this one is more recent than the one that advises feeding expressed breastmilk.

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#19 of 41 Old 10-10-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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The CDC has conflicting (and more breastfeeding friendly!) advice on a different page of their website. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals...t-settings.htm states: "Influenza-infected mothers who are breast feeding should put on a surgical mask and then practice hand hygiene before each feeding or other close contact with their infants. These practices should continue for each feeding during the 5-day period following the mother’s symptom onset."

The date stamps on the page indicate that this one is more recent than the one that advises feeding expressed breastmilk.
I'm not a bit surprised. It's the CenterS for Disease Control, plural, and those two pages were probably put out by two completely different groups in different buildings who never spoke to one another!
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#20 of 41 Old 10-11-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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I understand those of you that are saying that keeping the baby from getting the flu is important, what I am saying is that unless the baby moves out of the house, it is impossible to keep the baby from getting the germs that are floating around the house. That's why I think the CDC advice is ridiculous.

Even if I am holed up in a room sick, the air vents will spread my germs, my dh will touch the faucet in the bathroom and then touch the baby, it is IMPOSSIBLE to clean every single germ after you touch something or breathe so it is likely that other people in the house will get sick.

I am not challenging the assertion that we should try to keep babies away from the flu viruses, I am saying that the CDC advise for mom to pump milk and not hold the baby will not keep babies from getting sick, and can cause more problems and lead to babies getting less breastmilk which is exactly what they need to stay healthy.

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#21 of 41 Old 10-11-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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The latter comment from the CDC is the one that makes sense to me. Wash your hands and wear a snug-fitting, high-quality mask when holding or nursing your baby. Yes, the mask is uncomfortable, but the real risk of transmission is droplets, such as sneezing or coughing on your baby.

If you are pumping and your hands aren't clean or you're pumping and you've coughed or sneezed or got droplets on your pump parts, your breasts, your bottles, etc., all of which are possible, you're still risking transmission to the baby. I really think it's most sensible to recommend to sick mothers that they maintain as high a standard of hygiene as possible, wear a proper mask, and keep nursing those babies. It's only approximately a 48-hour window in which those precautions are necessary, anyway.

ETA: I agree that telling mothers they should pump and have someone else feed the baby will lead to a lot of formula feeding. Pumping is often not easy, or women don't have the equipment for it, can't afford it, or don't know what they need. Pumping is often ineffective when you first start, and this could easily result in damaging a woman's supply. I see many women supplementing for a couple days instead of pumping, or instead of pumping as much as they need to, and it permanently affecting the nursing relationship.
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#22 of 41 Old 10-11-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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I really think it's most sensible to recommend to sick mothers that they maintain as high a standard of hygiene as possible, wear a proper mask, and keep nursing those babies. It's only approximately a 48-hour window in which those precautions are necessary, anyway.

I agree! This is what the NHS recommends too.
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#23 of 41 Old 10-11-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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this exact same thing this happened to my mother in 1976 when she had her twins she was isolated from them ( She didn't have swine flu though they only suspected she did) for 10 days couldn't see them or hold them. Then twin B's jaundice was so severe they told her she could take twin A home if she wanted to and just come back in a week for twin b. She told them "No way I am leaving this hospital without both of my babies! "

The sad part is that you can see that their bonding is very very different and they are not that close.

I hope that they do not follow the same pattern as 1976!

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#24 of 41 Old 10-11-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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So, if you live in the same house as your baby but don't touch your baby, then your baby won't get sick????? Yeah right.
Also, I've read (sorry, can't remember where) that the baby saliva actually transmits info to the breasts, by which they produce antibodies specific to what the baby's been exposed - which would be another reason breastfeeding (instead of just pumping) would be superior in this case. Wish I could find that document!

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#25 of 41 Old 10-12-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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Are we reading the same page? I read that page a few weeks ago and thought the CDC's advice was surprisingly pro-breastfeeding and relatively practical.

I mean, it boils down to:

- Practice good hygeine.
- Have people who aren't sick take care of the baby, when possible, and they "can" feed your baby expressed milk because "Ideally babies less than about 6 months of age should get their feedings from breast milk."
- Don't stop breastfeeding if you're sick.
- "One of the best things you can do for your sick baby is keep breastfeeding."

Is it really that horrible to suggest someone who isn't sick may be a better choice for caretaking an infant? (They did not say it was mandatory. They did not say your kids should be taken by CPS if you get swine flu. They said "when possible.") When I'm sick, I certainly appreciate the help, first of all because I feel like not having to be RIGHT in my daughter's face helps prevent the spread of germs, and also because I am generally exhausted from being sick and not having to chase her around helps me rest up and heal faster!

I'm no mainstreamer and I'm definitely skeptical of the whole H1N1 situation, but I really don't find this article alarming. At all.
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#26 of 41 Old 10-13-2009, 12:33 AM
 
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Well, if a new mother is sick, the last thing she should be doing is stressing herself with pumps and bottles. She should be resting to get better. If the mother was sick before the baby was born, then the baby was already exposed to the virus in utero. So I don't understand what the big deal is. Yes, wear a mask, wash your hands. But pump? Have someone else feed the baby? That's a lot of work for a new mother, and it would just be easier to formula feed. Take it from me. Pumping is hard work. Pumping for a newborn is even harder. Having to continue to pump around the clock because your baby developed nipple preference blows hardcore.

It all sounds so pretty on paper "Pump your milk." "Have someone else feed your baby". Yeah right.

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#27 of 41 Old 10-13-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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The CDC has actually changed their policy, and no longer reccomends pumping for moms with flu:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals...t-settings.htm
but it seems they've only updated their website for health care professionals, not their main public website. So the bad info is still out there!
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#28 of 41 Old 10-13-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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The CDC has actually changed their policy, and no longer reccomends pumping for moms with flu:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals...t-settings.htm
but it seems they've only updated their website for health care professionals, not their main public website. So the bad info is still out there!
I wonder if they are differentiating between seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus?
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#29 of 41 Old 10-13-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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More likely, the CDC employees who put out the information for health care professionals, and the employees who put out the information for the general public, have never met or even seen one another and work in separate buildings on opposite ends of the CDC "campus." That's my guess.
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#30 of 41 Old 10-22-2009, 12:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by velveeta View Post
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/infantfeeding.htm

I was hoping someone here with some influence could remind them that anti-bodies to illness in the mother pass through her milk to her nursling, making for excellent protection against mother's illness.
That only works AFTER the mother has recovered from the infection, not during the early stages of an active infection. It takes a while (appx 2 weeks) for the antibodies to reach a protective level, and by then the baby could be infected.
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