Fever. Cough. Aches. Runny nose. Ugh! Flu season is upon us! Which leads a breastfeeding mom to ask – Is it safe to get the flu vaccine while breastfeeding?
YES! It is perfectly safe for nursing moms to get the flu vaccine. As a mom and a lactation consultant, I recommend it. Why? It could be far worse for you and your baby if you skip the vaccine and end up actually getting the flu!
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states children younger than six months are at high risk of flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
That means you, mom. In addition to protecting you, the transfer of vaccination-related antibodies by breastfeeding further reduces your infant’s chances of getting sick with the flu.
The CDC also says neither of the intranasal or injectable forms vaccines cause safety issues for breastfeeding mothers or their babies. The intranasal is a live (weakened) virus and only recommended for non-pregnant healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49. The other form is the standard injectable, which is an inactivated (killed) virus.
What this all boils down to is that nursing moms can receive either type of the vaccine. And now that you’re a mom, you are allowed to strongly recommend it to dad, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles too!