San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 5th, 2009
CTMC encourages breastfeeding despite swine flu

STAFF REPORT

Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) is continuing to support the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in regards to the recent swine flu outbreak.

One of these recommendations, which comes from the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), is urging mothers, health care workers and the community to continue breastfeeding, which provides infants with human antibodies that can help fight disease.

The CDC guidance, which is available here, recommends that breastfeeding mothers who become ill with the flu take measures to minimize exposure to the infant. This includes hand washing, and possibly covering the mouth and nose of the mother with a mask.

Mothers are advised to continue breastfeeding even while taking antiviral medications, when indicated.

The CDC reports that although the risk of transmitting swine flu from mother to child is unknown, reports of transmission of seasonal flu are rare.

While recommendations made by the CDC are meant to be taken seriously, it is not an indicator for alarm. In order to prevent the further spread of the disease, the CDC says people should not report to their doctor’s office or ED if they think they have the flu.

“The best thing to do is stay home, drink plenty of fluids and nurse yourself back to good health over the course of several days,” said CTMC Administrative Director of PR and Marketing Clay DeStefano. “If symptoms worsen and you’re experiencing ongoing fever, respiratory distress or other life-threatening conditions, then a trip to the ER is appropriate.”

For more information on swine flu and breastfeeding, visit CTMC’s website.

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