NHS Q&Amp;A On Swine Flu, Pregnancy, Babies &Amp; Children

29/07/2009 13:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

As a pregnant woman concerned about swine flu I've been searching the internet for information to help me keep some perspective on my worries. Earlier I brought to your attention some useful tips. Since then I've also found these informative Q&As about swine flu and pregnancy, babies and children on the NHS website:


Does swine flu pose special risks in pregnant women?

During pregnancy, you may have an increased risk of complications from any type of flu, especially in the second and third trimester.

Can I take antiviral drugs if I am pregnant?

Yes, on the advice of a doctor. The Department of Health has purchased Relenza, an inhaled antiviral drug that treats flu without reaching the developing fetus.

An expert group reviewed the risk of antiviral treatment in pregnancy, which is extremely small - much smaller than the risk posed by the symptoms of swine flu.Will pregnant women get preference for a swine flu vaccine?

It will be months before a swine flu vaccine becomes available. When it is available, there will be guidelines on which groups of people are a greater priority for vaccination. See vaccine information above.

Should I stop breastfeeding if I need to take antiviral drugs?

Women who are breastfeeding should continue to do so while receiving antiviral treatment, as this is not contraindicated. If a mother is ill, she should continue breastfeeding and increase feeding frequency. If she becomes too ill to feed, then expressing milk may still be possible. Antiviral drugs are excreted into breast milk in very small (insignificant) amounts.

Can children take antivirals?

Yes, on the advice of a doctor. Tamiflu is safe for infants aged one and older, at a reduced dose. Relenza (an inhaler) can be used by children aged five and older under the supervision of an adult.

Can babies under the age of one take antivirals?

Tamiflu and Relenza are not licensed for use in babies under the age of one. However, Tamiflu may be used under the supervision of a doctor if your baby is ill.

Source [NHS Website]

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