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Chickenpox - does breastfeeding offer protection to the baby?
Yes, a toddler, or anyone for that matter can get it more than once. This is most likley if the first time you have it you get a very mild dose.
The baby will get the mothers antibodies, both at birth and when they are bf. But this immunity does not last a life time. The baby needs to make their own set of antibodies to give long term protection. If you get a mild dose, you sometimes will fail to make enough antibodies.
thanks HMB - dd (toddler) had it quite badly last year.
I know I have antibodies as had blood test when pg last year (as didn't know if I'd had it). Hoping baby ds avoids it for now as we have had sooo much lurgy recently and he prob has an op coming up. Thanks.
Although the risk of a baby catching chickenpox while being breastfed is reduced, it is still possible for the baby to get it. My aunt caught it from my mother when she was only a few weeks old and was exclusively breasfed at the time.
My ds got chicken pox at 6 1/2 month (exclusiely bf for 6m and still on 5 feeds a day then) And he actually had it a lot worse than 2 1/2 year old dd who had it at the same time.
If you really want to avoid it, the homeopathic remedy Rhus-tox may help, and is perfectly safe for even small babies.
thanks, everyone. Prufrock - ds has only just had his first taste of solids on the last week or so - am hoping his frequency of feeds (max two hour gap, and feeds in bed with me all night too) may help him avoid it this time... Three friends' kids we've seen recently have it, there have been two cases in his creche and more at dd's nursery. eek!
Bit like prufrock really. I had cp as a child and definitely remember it although only 8. And DD who was 5 months and exclusively breast fed at the time had a much worse case than DS who was 3.5 when he generously infected her. In fact she was pretty awful with it and I had quite a bad run between the two of them plus other bits.
My ds had cp while exclusively bf at 3 mths. Recently heard that getting cp under age of 1, you don't build up sufficient immunity and are at as much risk of cp as if you'd never had it. Asked question recently (yesterday? day before? - 'chickenpox - twice?') and didn't get conclusive answer to immunity thing, but a few people have had cp twice or more.
Dinny it might be time for your luck to change. I think that DD was pretty much guarenteed to get it once her sibling had it. I mean that is maximum exposure. I sort of comfort myself with the fact that I am certain that DD had a bad enough case to get immunity.
Other thing is that it was going round DS's nursery all summer before he finally got it late September so it could have been worse for us if DD had been 1 month instead of 5 IYSWIM.