Signs that a newborn has contracted the flu from his mother
Before caring for an infant who has contracted the flu from their mother, parents need to learn about the flu and its symptoms in babies. Because the flu has similar symptoms to a cold, it is possible for parents to be confused.
Common symptoms of a cold in babies
The common symptoms in infants with the flu are quite similar to those of a cold. But in many cases the symptoms of the flu are more severe than those of a cold. Symptoms will begin to appear after 1-2 days of incubation in infants infected with influenza from their mothers. Here are the common symptoms when your baby has the flu:
- Mild fever of about 38 degrees Celsius.
- Dry cough or cough with phlegm.
- Symptoms of sore throat and discomfort in the throat.
- Continuous runny nose. When having the flu, the nasal discharge in babies is colorless and quite liquid, then the nasal discharge will gradually solidify and appear yellow and green in the nasal discharge.
- The condition of exhaustion in the newborn lasts a long time, manifested by the baby crying and squealing.
- Occurrence of headaches in infants.
- Chills in the body, which is a sign of not wanting to breastfeed or sucking less than usual.
- Occasionally nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may occur.
People with the flu often have headaches and muscle aches, but these symptoms are difficult to detect in infants. Newborns cannot tell adults how their health is.
Danger symptoms when babies catch the flu from their mothers
Symptoms caused by the flu virus are often more severe than those of a cold. But there are many cases where parents need to take their children to the hospital for timely treatment if they do not want the child to be in a critical condition. The following are rare symptoms in infants with flu:
- Fever over 38.5 degrees Celsius in infants and persists for more than 3 days or fever 39 degrees Celsius in one day.
- Cough that doesn’t improve after a week of having the flu.
- Rapid breathing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing (feeling like the ribs are pulled in with each breath the baby takes.
- The baby’s skin color is pale.
- The tips of the fingers, toes or in the lips of the child are purple and blue.
- Does not wake up or does not respond when shaking the baby awake.
- Fever with convulsions.
- The initial symptoms of the flu gradually subside and then the fever returns.
- Fever with a red rash all over or a few places on the body.
- Other conditions of chronic illness and development of symptoms during a cold such as fever, cough, etc.
Possible complications when babies catch flu from their mothers
Symptoms that appear when an infant with flu is not treated in time will cause dangerous complications as follows:
- Complications causing respiratory inflammation: pharyngitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, lung abscess, paroxysmal asthma,… These complications seriously and directly affect the lungs.
- Non-respiratory infections include: otitis media, myocarditis, pericarditis and a high risk of death for children with congenital pathologies. Influenza virus grows not only infiltrating and causing harm in the respiratory system but also infecting other organs, causing inflammation.
- Influenza virus infection A/H1N1, A/H5N1: causes severe complications leading to upper respiratory tract infection and severe pneumonia.
- Reye’s syndrome: This syndrome causes swelling in the liver and brain. The incidence of Reye’s syndrome in infants with influenza is very rare. But the mortality rate of this syndrome is very high. Usually this syndrome is uncommon in infants and is common in children 2-16 years old, appearing a few days after the flu. Symptoms of the syndrome are symptoms of a cold that gradually subside, then the child suddenly becomes nauseous and does not stop. After 1 to 2 days, the child’s body is extremely tired and turns to delirium, convulsions and gradually goes into a coma, causing a high risk of death.
Therefore, parents need to recognize flu symptoms in babies as soon as possible so that they can take timely care and treatment measures. Symptoms of the flu in adults can be mild. But for infants, these symptoms can seriously affect their health later in life and even have a high risk of death.
Instructions on how to take care of mothers and babies with flu
When the mother has a cold, the infant is at very high risk of catching the flu from the mother. Although the mother has used measures to protect the child from flu virus transmission from mother to child. Therefore, in order to prevent both mother and baby from contracting the flu, parents need to be equipped with the following methods of caring for mothers and babies when they have a cold:
Regularly clean and disinfect housing areas, surfaces and objects that mothers often come into contact with to avoid spreading flu viruses into the air, sticking to surfaces. In particular, clean the room of the mother and baby to keep them cool, this will help the mother and baby’s flu treatment process faster.
Mothers with flu should not have direct contact with the infant too much, even though the infant has contracted the flu from the mother. Avoid situations where the mother’s condition is more serious and makes the baby worse.
Before the mother comes into contact with the baby, such as breastfeeding, taking care of the baby, etc., the mother should also clean the body to limit cross-infection between the mother and the child. When breastfeeding, the mother should also clean and disinfect the place where the baby comes into contact with. Children’s flu condition will be more serious if they are cross-infected.
Nutritional supplements for both mother and baby
When having a cold, the body will be weakened due to a weak immune system, the symptoms of the flu cause a loss of energy in the body. Therefore, the best way for mother and baby to get better quickly with flu is to supplement with adequate nutrients.
Nutritional supplements for mothers with flu
Food provides all the energy and nutrients needed by the body. The role of food is increasingly important to help people function and live, especially to help treat colds and flu effectively. Mothers with young children with flu should eat the following foods:
Stewed meat and vegetable soup: Stewed meat and vegetable soup helps prevent dehydration, soothe sore throats and effectively relieve nasal congestion.
Types of porridge: Chicken porridge, minced meat porridge, … help patients to digest more easily, provide adequate nutrients for the body such as protein and iron. In addition, porridge also helps to provide adequate water for the mother’s body with flu.
Use garlic to treat flu: According to a study, garlic helps strengthen the immune system and reduce the severity of flu symptoms.
Eat yogurt: Yogurt contains many beneficial bacteria that not only help the mother soothe sore throats but also strengthen the immune system. Yogurt also contains the necessary proteins to provide nutrients when the mother has a cold.
Foods rich in vitamin C: Fruits containing vitamin C such as citrus, grapefruit, … help strengthen the immune system when the mother has a cold.
Green leafy vegetables: Vegetables such as spinach, kale, … contain high levels of vitamin E and vitamin C to help strengthen the immune system when having a cold.
Spices: Spicy spices such as pepper help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion, runny nose, and shortness of breath. These foods help you clear your nose and make it easier to breathe. Only applied in case the mother does not have a sore throat to avoid the condition affecting the mother’s throat.
Nutritional supplementation for infants infected with influenza from their mothers
For infants with flu, symptoms will be more severe than for adults. Therefore, parents need to pay more attention to taking care of their children while they have a cold. Babies with flu also have symptoms that cause the body to consume too much energy. From then on, the child’s body becomes exhausted.
Breast milk is the only source of nutrition for babies, in breast milk contains essential nutrients for the development of infants. Not only contains energy and nutrients, breast milk also provides the baby’s immune system against harmful viruses and bacteria such as influenza virus.
Adequately supplementing breast milk every day will help the infant’s body supply enough water, avoiding dehydration caused by symptoms of colds and flu. If the baby shows poor suckling, does not want to suckle, the mother can breastfeed the baby several times a day to provide enough nutrients for the baby.
Can breast milk transmit colds to babies?
Influenza can affect anyone, so breastfeeding mothers can also catch the flu. According to studies, there is no evidence that breast milk contains influenza virus. Therefore, breast milk does not transmit colds to infants. Mothers can completely breastfeed their babies if they are sick with the flu.
However, the common cold is usually transmitted through the respiratory tract, so the risk of flu transmission from mother to baby is very high. If the mother has a cold during the process of taking care of the newborn without paying attention to prevention, the transmission of flu from mother to child is very easy.
Therefore, even though mothers have a cold, they still give priority to breastfeeding. Because breast milk is the best food to help children develop comprehensively. Mothers can breastfeed their babies directly or express milk to bottle-fed babies to reduce the risk of causing illness to their babies.
Special attention, mothers should also pay attention to the use of cold medicine. It is advisable to see if there are any substances in the composition of the drug that are excreted in the milk that can adversely affect the baby or not. It is best to see a doctor to get the right medication.
Other notes when taking care of mothers and babies with flu
Note when taking care of mothers and babies with flu, because babies and mothers with flu are quite dangerous because it affects the health of children later. To limit the improper care of mothers and babies with flu, adults should note the following:
Notes when taking care of nursing mothers with flu
To care for a mother with a cold effectively and quickly, everyone should note the following:
- You should wear a mask when you come into contact with people with colds, regularly use antiseptic drops, regularly wash your hands after and before contacting patients.
- Providing adequate nutrients daily by making meals full of protein, vitamin C, … helps the body create a high immune system to recover faster.
- Should give mothers with flu to drink warm ginger tea and some minced garlic mixed with water to ease the symptoms.
- The daily items of people with flu should be boiled and used separately.
- If you have unusual signs or flu symptoms in your mother, you should quickly contact your doctor for timely treatment.
- Mothers need to see a doctor when they have a cold to be prescribed the right medicine and to avoid drug ingredients that pass into breast milk and harm the baby.
- Take measures to isolate and limit contact with infants if the mother has a cold.
Notes when taking care of babies infected with flu from their mothers
Babies’ immune and respiratory systems are very weak, so they need special care and treatment when they have a cold. Here are some notes that parents need to know when taking care of a newborn who has contracted the flu from their mother:
- Take measures to disinfect between mother and baby when having a cold.
- Mothers breastfeed regularly to provide adequate nutrition, immune system against influenza virus.
- Do not arbitrarily use medicine for children to take when having a cold without consulting a doctor.
- Do not arbitrarily apply folk remedies for flu because there are many improperly used remedies that will cause poisoning in children and make their illness worse.
- Absolutely do not use honey to treat colds and flu for babies 12 years old or younger because it can cause food poisoning in children.
- Regularly measure the child’s temperature and monitor the child’s body. If there are abnormal symptoms of continuous fever, take the child to the hospital for a timely examination.
If any strange symptoms appear, it is necessary to take them to the nearest doctor for timely treatment, limiting the risk of complications.
Preventing the risk of colds and flu in babies
It is not possible to completely prevent the flu virus from leaving mothers and babies. But everyone can do their part to minimize the risk of colds and flu in babies. Here are some ways to limit the spread of the flu from mother to baby:
Limit contact when the mother has a cold
If you have a cold, you need to take effective preventive measures. When you have a cold, you should pay attention to the following things:
- When the mother has a cold, she can minimize contact with the child. Or you can give it to an adult to take care of the child while you have a cold.
- If the mother has a mild cold, she can still continue to breastfeed normally, but the mother needs to make sure to take measures to prevent infection. Before breastfeeding, the mother should put a blanket on the mother, wash her hands, wear a mask carefully, wipe the nipple with warm water to remove the virus.
- The mother should only breastfeed the baby normally, other care for the baby should be done by someone else in the family. This helps to minimize the risk of the virus being passed on to the baby.
- In case the mother has symptoms of severe flu, she should be isolated from the baby for a while, wearing a mask continuously. During this time, the mother should stop breastfeeding, she can express milk and ask an adult in the family to breastfeed the baby. Note that milking should also wear a mask, clean to avoid flu virus splashing into the milk.
- Regularly clean and disinfect to avoid infecting family members and avoid releasing flu viruses into the environment.
- After the mother recovers from the illness, she should limit contact with the baby for about 5 days before breastfeeding as usual.
Vaccination for mothers and newborn babies 6 months and older
According to health experts, children aged 6 months and older should be proactively vaccinated against influenza to prevent risks caused by flu. At the same time, children are also protected against “cross-immunity” from the flu vaccine against different influenza viruses.
Pregnant women should be fully vaccinated before and during pregnancy. This not only helps to protect the safety of the mother, but also the safety of the newborn baby against the flu virus. Mothers vaccinated against influenza also help maintain the infant’s immune system absolutely safe after birth and while the baby has not been vaccinated.
Not only mother but also family members need to maintain flu vaccination and repeat every year. This helps to protect each member of the family and absolutely protects the baby’s safety.
How to prevent flu for other babies
People who are in frequent contact with and care for infants should keep their distance from people who have the flu. Attention should be paid to absolute prevention of cross-contamination in medical facilities. Family members and children when in contact with the sick person should wear a mask and keep a safe distance from the sick person.
Patients should cover their mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, maintain personal hygiene, and wash hands with soap.
Regularly take measures to prevent flu when the season comes, clean the air at places, surfaces and objects that children frequently come in contact with.
Self-monitoring the child’s daily health, if there are symptoms of fever, cough, … need to take the child to the hospital to be examined and given timely treatment directions.
Newborns and nursing mothers should avoid contact with people who have a cold or are suspected of having the flu virus.
Above are detailed information about babies who have contracted the flu from their mothers that Monkey shared with parents. Hopefully, the above article has answered the question of whether a mother with the flu can breastfeed her baby and measures to take care of her and her baby when she has a cold. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow Monkey at the homepage to update new knowledge about Parenting for the most comprehensive development.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.