Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One easy way to prevent Swine Flu

This story really hits home for me. My baby is due in September, just as the typically flu season gets ready to start. Experts are predicting the swine flu will start spreading faster in the fall. I am so relieved to know there is something I can do-that I was already planning on doing-to protect my baby. Yeah!

FROM CNN:As the CDC continues to monitor the swine flu outbreak, health officials are zeroing in on how to protect the most vulnerable population – infants. Breastfeeding could be the answer to preventing infection.

"Aww, I love it when she yawns." Doting first–time parents, Rob and Rikki Emanuel want to do whatever they can to keep their ten–week–old daughter, Eliza, healthy. When faced with the decision over whether or not to breast feed Eliza, Rikki says looking into the benefits of breast milk made it an easy choice.

"Immunity for the baby, as far as them not being able to defend themselves from colds and everything and the fact that you pass that on to them." This immunity has health officials stepping up to say with the current swine flu outbreak, mothers that *can breast feed their infants *should.

(SOT: Marta Benglis, R.N., Lactation Consultant) "A mother's body makes immunities for the baby, so antibodies are actually formed in the mother's body by everything that she is exposed to – so she transfers those immunities to the baby." Registered nurse and lactation consultant Marta Benglis says not only is the breast milk full of disease–fighting cells and antibodies, but it also contributes to marked improvements for children as they grow older.

(SOT: Marta Benglis, R.N., Lactation Consultant) "The baby's IQ is higher once they get to be school age and then also, they get sick less often – so less problems with respiratory illnesses and allergies and stomach problems." The Centers for Disease Control is also urging parents to remember toprotect their babies in the same way they protect themselves ... especially by keeping their hands (that oftentimes end up in their mouths) clean!

(SOT: Rikki Emanuel, New Mom) "Washing hands often, just kind of being aware of if anybody seems to be sick or anything like that, just being extra cautious. It's the best thing you can do for them.") CDC guidance recommends that if a mother is ill, she should *continue breastfeeding and increase feeding frequency. Women can continue to breastfeed while receiving anti–viral medications.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen
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