Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

  1. #1

    Exclamation Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    Heya ladies!

    My LO is 8.5 months old, and what I thought was a cluster of mosquito bites is actually a shingles outbreak. I had an outbreak almost exactly one year ago while I was 7 months pregnant, and my OB never prescribed me anything and pretty much just said "don't touch it". Well here we are a year later, and where did it pop up but on my right butt cheek. Greeeeeat.
    I can deal with the pain, and I can deal with the itch, but what I'm concerned about is can I pass the virus to my son who has yet to have his chicken pox vaccine? I asked my sons pediatrician what to do, and he said he's still too young for the vaccine, but I should stop breastfeeding for 3 days. My OB turns around and says I should continue breastfeeding because it will help with immunity for my son. HUH?!?!? What do you think? My son HATES formula with a passion (had to give it to him when I was having supply issues early on) and I really don't like the idea of "pump and dump" because let's face it, breast milk is invaluable.
    My reasoning is the outbreak is no longer wet and is starting to crust over, and c'mon, I'm not gonna scratch my ass then touch my son to begin with, so I don't see how I have to worry about that kind of contamination (?). Also in my head I'm thinking, well, the outbreak was wet and yucky on Saturday, and today is Monday. If he were going to be infected by the virus, he's already been exposed to it so wouldn't something have happened by now?
    So my dilemma: go against my sons pediatrician and side with my OB and keep giving him the breast milk, or go out and buy some gross formula and pray he'll take it out of desperation. I'm almost to the point of mental exasperation, sticking my head in the sand and chanting "they're just mosquito bites, they're just mosquito bites."
    Any advise, knowledge, first hand experience will be GREATLY appreciated!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    614

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    Huh?

    Why would your doc say to randomly stop nursing for 3 days? Seems like a strange answer to me. He must not really understand how breastfeeding works, lol.

    I would be inclined to follow the OB's advice and just keep nursing. Be really conscious of hygiene and try to not to scratch your bum then touch your kid, lol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    Go with what your OB says. When you get ill, your body develops immunities that are passed on through your breastmilk to your LO. Hope this situation clears up soon!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    It IS a strange answer! I just switched to the pediatrician a couple months ago and now this is really making me reconsider him as our primary! Thanks for you input; now I can rub it in my hubbys face that not all educated men are right :P

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,631

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    If the lesions are near the breast, make sure they are covered when baby nurses. That's pretty much all you need to do. Bad advice about shingles is really, sadly common. My mom was actually told that she had to completely wean my sister when she had shingles, because the doc claimed that shingles could "get in the baby's eyes and make her go blind," which is just so much BS. My dad says that giving my sister a bottle of formula when all she wanted to do was nurse was "the hardest thing" he ever had to do in his life.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    Mommal: the lesions (gross) are on my rear end. I don't plan on sitting on my baby any time soon, so I'm confident in that sense that he's safe. What I was concerned about what the virus being in the breastmilk and potentally giving him chicken pox. The more I think about that, it's not longer "dangerous" for him to get the pox, right? The more I read online, it's really only hazardous to little ones, like newborns, right? It's so hard to determine what's good info and bad, like what happened to your parents. Here I am getting conflicting info from two medical professionals and the internet is just SWARMING with weird sites and even weirder info. I think I'll stick with my gut and keep my bottom covered, wash my hands continuously, and keep giving him the boob.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,631

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommytocolin View Post
    Mommal: the lesions (gross) are on my rear end. I don't plan on sitting on my baby any time soon, so I'm confident in that sense that he's safe.
    In that case, I think you're absolutely fine to continue nursing.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and Shingles?

    Hi mama, sorry to hear you have shingles. Okay, this is from UpToDate, which is a quick go-to reference on medical topics (for medical professionals):

    "Breastfeeding — Whether VZV is secreted in human milk is uncertain, although VZV DNA has been detected [22]. Breastfeeding is encouraged in newborns exposed to or infected with varicella because antibody in breast milk may be protective [23]."

    VZV = varicella zoster virus, the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •