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swine flu vaccine and breast feeding - advice please

(3 Posts)
olivo Wed 28-Oct-09 08:31:02

Where I live (not UK!), women with babies 12 weeks and under have been offered the swine flu vaccination in this 'phase', along with pregnant women. I think I have decided to have it. No one has been able to answer my question about breast feeding when you have had the injection - is it ok to feed after having it or will the thimerosal or anything else pass into the breastmilk (would it be better to 'pump and dump' for 24 hours and give expressed millk to allow it to pass out of my system?)
really hoping someone might have advice; my GP and the bfc seemed unsure.TIA.

Tambajam Wed 28-Oct-09 18:17:03

You'd think there would be a clear message on this wouldn't you?
From what I have read and based on the situation during normal flu jabs I don't think you should worry. You don't need to pump and dump. You should just feed as normal as for any vaccination.

The advice for a mother with swine flu is to continue feeding so the tiny tiny quantities of swine flu virus are not a problem (and in fact your body may manufacture swine flu antibodies which will be passed onto baby). Thimerosal is controversial for some people but most breastfeeding women will be eating fish containing similiar quantities of mercury and feeding their baby without question. Personally I don't think this is a reason to stop feeding. People occasionally hesitate when thimerosal was being given directly to a young baby but quantities they receive via you would worry very few people. I do think most pregnant and breastfeeding mothers would be more comfortable with a thimerosal-free vaccine but that doesn't seem to be available. It's a constant game of weighing risk, isn't it?

Your milk is made from your blood supply but quantities of the vaccine present in the blood supply feeding your breast as any one time would be soooooo small even if it was considered a problem.

However why not leave a question for the webchat on Friday with David Salisbury and ask for a clear answer from the expert.

olivo Wed 28-Oct-09 20:02:31

thanks so much, Tamba. it's all so confusing but you have eased my mind. I will be reading the webchat carefully and may well leave a message, when i can get clear what i want to say!

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