So nervous about having baby during flu season! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 10-16-2010, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Both of my children were born during the middle of gorgeous warm summers. Having a winter baby is so new to me! I am getting really nervous about the baby getting sick early. Plus with two children in school we tend to bring colds home a lot (I am battling one now blech!)

So if any of you have had a winter baby what are your tips to staying healthy other than getting a flu shot, which I am not interested in. I feel like I just want to be a hermit for her first three months of life.

Sarah - wife, mom to Riley 7/9/03 and Jacob 7/15/05 and Hannah 1/5/11 a successful vbac.gif
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#2 of 22 Old 10-16-2010, 10:34 PM
 
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Just wash your hands diligently. Eat well, rest, stay hydrated, and stock up on Elderberry syrup. I don't know if you're planning on breastfeeding, but that's really the best thing you can offer your baby for protection.

I would also recommend investing in a Nosefrida. They work well to clear baby's congestion if, by chance, he/she does come down with something. Of course, I always recommend breastmilk in and around the nose, too.

Having had two winter babies and one summer baby, I have to say, I do prefer having a newborn in the warmer months. But, it's not horrible or anything. I wouldn't stress out about it at all.

Angela -- mama to Jack (11/03), Adeline (6/06), Ella (11/08), and William (1/11). Accredited Leader: Attachment Parenting International of Orange County.h20homebirth.giffly-by-nursing2.gif homeschool.gif
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#3 of 22 Old 10-16-2010, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebeljur View Post
I don't know if you're planning on breastfeeding, but that's really the best thing you can offer your baby for protection.
Definitely without question!

Sarah - wife, mom to Riley 7/9/03 and Jacob 7/15/05 and Hannah 1/5/11 a successful vbac.gif
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#4 of 22 Old 10-16-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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my DD #1 was born at the very end of December in a northern climate and was not sick even once for her first year.

1. nurse and wear your baby. If you keep your baby near you, you will make antibodies for what she is exposed to and she will get them though your breast milk.

2. wash your hands with hot water and soap. Often.

3. when you come home from shopping/school/work, change your clothes and shoes and wash your hands and have your kids and dh do the same. I have no idea if there is any scientific merit to not wearing the same clothes in the house, but we made a habit of changing into house-only sweats after errands and it was nice to feel less germy, anyway.

4. do not feel bad limiting other people from holding your new baby. Her health comes before anyone's wishes to hold her.

5. use a humidifier at night.

6. make sure you are taking vitamin d so she can get some from your milk.

7. get fresh air and sun when you can. Bundle her up and take a short walk when it is sunny.

8. elderberry syrup is amazing for fighting colds for you and your dh and kids. I am a pretty skeptical person and was blown away by how quickly it knocked out my dd's cold a couple of weeks ago. If you haven't already, you might get your kids and dh on a vit d supplement. I have read on mdc (but not seen the research myself) that vit d supplementation can be as effective as (more effective than?) the flu shot for preventing the flu.

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#5 of 22 Old 10-17-2010, 07:16 AM
 
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I wouldn't worry too much.
This is my second winter babe, and with the first we stayed home for the first three weeks of her life. Her dad went to work and no doubt brought us home all kinds of germs- but we managed to stay healthy.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, that is really the baby best defense, somebody else said it and it's really really true. My daughter nursed for two and a half years and until she stopped, she never got any real flus. Really. Minor colds and all, but nothing big. The breast milk in the nose sounds weird, but it really helps with congestion. (On yourself or other kids too...my dh neverly let me try it on him, but it worked for me and the baby!)
Most of all, don't worry. If it happens, it happens. the little one will have a stronger immune system. It'll be ok.
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#6 of 22 Old 10-17-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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I think having older kids in school is a huge factor. My first two were Aug babies, no issues. My last was Dec and ended up in the hospital at 2 weeks for RSV. So needless to say we will be more vigilant about the older one washing hands. And I'll stock up on elderberry syrup, thanks for the tip and take vit D myself.

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#7 of 22 Old 10-17-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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My first 2 were born in winter also, but then we didn't have school germs to deal with. Although, because my dd was in the hospital for a while, I did put my son in daycare for a short time.

Anyway, we plan on lots of hand washing, hand sanitizer when needed (when we can't wash hands), breastfeeding, wearing baby in a wrap to help cover his face and covering the car seat or stroller if I am not wearing him for whatever reason and we are out. We will also probably avoid church and other crowded, enclosed places for a couple of months. The Vit D suggestion is a good one and I need to start supplementing all of us again (we stop during the summer since we are getting more sunlight then).

Lisa, married and mama to 3 kids-ds (7yo), dd (6yo), & ds (2yo)

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#8 of 22 Old 10-17-2010, 12:33 PM
 
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How much Vit D should one start with (without having had their levels checked) ?? I have some Vit D drops which are 1000 IU per drop, so should 2 doses per day be a good start? And it should be taken with calcium, correct?

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#9 of 22 Old 10-17-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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I am not too worried, my sister had all 3 of her babies in January, and they were all preemies and formula fed and they never got sick. Just limit exposure to other people, don't do "pass the baby" and be diligent about that. I am going to be very very careful who holds the baby and if any one gets upset, I am just going to say "my pediatrician advises no one hold the baby for x weeks because of RSV or flu is really bad this year"

My IL are BIG on flu shots, and I am actually not going to let the come over if they get it because they always get sick about 2-3 weeks after the get the shot, but still get it anyway. I am fearful they will definitely pass something on to my children. I am not sure why they get sick, but it's after the supposed time the flu shot is supposed to start working, and they usually are sick for a few weeks.

My husband always changes his clothes and wash his hands and face as soon as he walks in the door, he doesn't even stop to say hi - and I do think that helps, we did have the flu twice in one year once, but never before or since then so it must have been a very bad year

Also my older one is not in preschool yet, but we limit things we notice gives her colds, like the car shaped carts at the grocery store kids can ride in, every time she uses those she gets a cold, so we have to say no to those in the winter. If she uses indoor playgrounds, we use a sanitizer or wash her hands afterwards. I also do give her vit D supplementation. She was tested low when she was 2, and I had to give her therapeutic doses, so I just continue that, giving her 2000 iu every few days.

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#10 of 22 Old 10-17-2010, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I should have mentioned in my OP that breast feeding is not a problem. I nursed my first until almost 4 and my second for two and a half years. So this baby will definitely be breast fed. I LOVE baby wearing too so that is good to know that it will help keep sickness at bay.

I like the idea of just using the pediatrician as an excuse. I am also now thinking of putting a sign on the door advising sick people to stay away due to newborn baby. My grandmother has a similar sign on her door because she is having chemo treatments.

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#11 of 22 Old 10-18-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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Ditto, especially the breastfeeding and getting as much sunshine as you can, or I take purified Cod Liver Oil pills as an alternate D source.
Breastfed babies are generally pretty well protected from things.

I got a horrible illness when my DS was a couple of months old, in the middle of winter, with vomiting and could hardly hold down water, and was totally breastfeeding him. He didn't get sick in the slightest. I lost something like 15 lbs in 3 days though, from not being able to eat solids, and nursing a big baby all the time!
But it was a blessing because at my breast, he was happy and content, so I could lie in bed and be sick, AND he didn't catch it because of breastmilk's immunity protection.
There's a reason why babies traditionally did not get the major illnesses that older kids did (like chickenpox, etc) and it's breastfeeding. It protects them through their most sensitive, vulnerable periods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artichokie View Post
my DD #1 was born at the very end of December in a northern climate and was not sick even once for her first year.

1. nurse and wear your baby. If you keep your baby near you, you will make antibodies for what she is exposed to and she will get them though your breast milk.

2. wash your hands with hot water and soap. Often.

3. when you come home from shopping/school/work, change your clothes and shoes and wash your hands and have your kids and dh do the same. I have no idea if there is any scientific merit to not wearing the same clothes in the house, but we made a habit of changing into house-only sweats after errands and it was nice to feel less germy, anyway.

4. do not feel bad limiting other people from holding your new baby. Her health comes before anyone's wishes to hold her.

5. use a humidifier at night.

6. make sure you are taking vitamin d so she can get some from your milk.

7. get fresh air and sun when you can. Bundle her up and take a short walk when it is sunny.

8. elderberry syrup is amazing for fighting colds for you and your dh and kids. I am a pretty skeptical person and was blown away by how quickly it knocked out my dd's cold a couple of weeks ago. If you haven't already, you might get your kids and dh on a vit d supplement. I have read on mdc (but not seen the research myself) that vit d supplementation can be as effective as (more effective than?) the flu shot for preventing the flu.

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#12 of 22 Old 10-18-2010, 09:56 AM
 
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Oh I know what you mean! I have an acquaintance who, because she has athsma and so does her youngest, gets herself and the kids a flu shot every year, religiously, and every year, mentions that she must not have gotten it in time, because like clockwork, they all come down with the flu a week or two later. But this woman also thinks she's getting fibromyalgia because she's getting mysterious episodes of debilitating body pain... she's absolutely a believer in flu shots and vaccinations, and would probably get pretty mad if anyone ever hinted that the flu shots every year could be doing anything but good.

I just keep my mouth shut, because I know she doesn't want my opinion.
And I respect her right to make her own decisions. But glad I can make mine too!

[QUOTE=lillymonster;15954709...

My IL are BIG on flu shots, and I am actually not going to let the come over if they get it because they always get sick about 2-3 weeks after the get the shot, but still get it anyway. I am fearful they will definitely pass something on to my children. I am not sure why they get sick, but it's after the supposed time the flu shot is supposed to start working, and they usually are sick for a few weeks.

...[/QUOTE]

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#13 of 22 Old 10-18-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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Where does one buy elderberry syrup?

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4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#14 of 22 Old 10-18-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gemasita View Post
Where does one buy elderberry syrup?
You can buy it at most health food stores. Whole Foods, Mother's Market, Sprouts, etc. (I don't know where you're located, but just check your local health food stores).

You can also buy it online:
www.iHerb.com

www.MountainRoseHerbs.com

There are a ton of online resources, you can just google it.

You can also make it yourself if you want to save some $. Just buy dried (or fresh) elder berries and boil them with water. Take it off the heat, strain it, add some honey, and store it in the fridge.

Angela -- mama to Jack (11/03), Adeline (6/06), Ella (11/08), and William (1/11). Accredited Leader: Attachment Parenting International of Orange County.h20homebirth.giffly-by-nursing2.gif homeschool.gif
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#15 of 22 Old 10-18-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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I had 2 winter preemies. K didn't get her first cold until she was almost 2. Of course I also carried purell with me everywhere. I sprayed everything in my house with clorox anywhere spray. And I didn't take her out anywhere crowded until she was 4 months old. (She'd been home for 6 weeks then) I think it was the breastfeeding that really helped. She wasn't sick until my milk supply suffered with my next pregnancy. Of course it's a whole different story for my second... I brought him home 2 weeks after he was born and my mom came home with a cold she picked up at work (she works at a pediatrician's office), got my 2 year old sick and then she coughed right in the baby's face. So we got to spend 2 weeks in the hospital for RSV.

Artichokie had a good list. So add washing the frequently touched areas in your house (phone, door knobs, light switches) and you should be as safe as anyone can be.

Bri helpmeet to Chaise mama to K(2/07)  M(3/09) & A(2/11)

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#16 of 22 Old 10-19-2010, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I am feeling much more at ease having a baby in the winter now. Breast feeding is definitely happening so we are covered there. We already have hand sanitizer by the door and I need to remember to lube up every time I come in the house and remind the kids to wash their hands when they come home too. I also have some in the car and I always put some in the diaper bag.

I have a feeling that people are going to get irritated with us for keeping the baby to ourselves for a bit but they will get over it.

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#17 of 22 Old 10-20-2010, 04:09 AM
 
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I was concernced about flu season too because of all the hype surrounding it. My doctor reassured me that, because I was exclusively breastfeeding, there was no need to worry nor get the flu shot -- breastmilk was the best thing for her. Sure enough, my little one had not caught anything that was going around. My hubby and a I both caught colds as well at some point and she didn't even catch that.

We also get outside 2x every single day no matter what the weather -- which to me is a big deal in keeping healthy.
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#18 of 22 Old 10-20-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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I just got some elderberry syrup for DH (he's got a cold) and I noticed on the bottle that it says, "Not intended for pregnant or breastfeeding women." Usually, bottles say, "Check with your doctor" but this one is worded a little more strongly. Is it a big deal to take it when pregnant?

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4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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#19 of 22 Old 10-29-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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We're doing D3 supplements. I also have taken Elderberry tablets (the kind that dissolve in your mouth). Encourage FREQUENT hand washing and if your kiddos start having a stuffy nose or any symptoms I'd just keep the newborn away. That's about all you can do. We plan to stay far far away from one particular family (one set of cousins) because they are ALWAYS ALWAYS sick. I don't plan to go much of anywhere until at least March. DS#1 was born during the worst of RSV season here that year but I wore him and BFed him so he didn't get sick. He never really got sick until he weaned and his body is really good at fighting the sickies quickly. I got a really bad cold the winter after he was born but he didn't get it and I really think it was because of the immune stuff going through my BM.

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#20 of 22 Old 10-29-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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odd was born in october (we are in cali) and went to daycare in december. She never really got sick. She did have some sort of constant congestion but sleeping upright reallyhelped her out. Same for ydd. She was born in January and went to daycare in april and was pretty healthy. Just my luck this time baby will be born and get sick all the time even though she is at home

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#21 of 22 Old 10-30-2010, 04:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemasita View Post
I just got some elderberry syrup for DH (he's got a cold) and I noticed on the bottle that it says, "Not intended for pregnant or breastfeeding women." Usually, bottles say, "Check with your doctor" but this one is worded a little more strongly. Is it a big deal to take it when pregnant?
My stuff reads that way, too. I take it while pregnant (and breastfeeding). My children take it. I know naturopaths and midwives who recommend it. I'm guessing the warning is probably just a precaution because the herbs aren't really regulated by the FDA, so they're just covering their butts for litigious reasons.

Angela -- mama to Jack (11/03), Adeline (6/06), Ella (11/08), and William (1/11). Accredited Leader: Attachment Parenting International of Orange County.h20homebirth.giffly-by-nursing2.gif homeschool.gif
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#22 of 22 Old 10-30-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I talked to my midwife and she said as long as it's standardized extract (it is), then it is fine.

Jamie, DW to Jeff, birth and postpartum doula and Hypnobabies instructor.
4 years and 5 IVF cycles in the making, Elliott was born at home in water on 2/2/11.
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