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Ask Dr. Gupta Your Own Question
Dr. Gupta
Dr. Gupta, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Paediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1391
Experience:  MD, practicing Pediatrician. Member American Academy of Pediatrics.
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I have a newborn baby who is now nearly 5 weeks old, born at

Customer Question

I have a newborn baby who is now nearly 5 weeks old, born at 35 weeks. So far she's healthy. I've got some kind of viral thing - a cold basically, very mildly. I sneezed Into my hand earlier and forgot to wash then afterwards, then used the same hand to hand express a bit from my breast which was full of milk and ready for feeding time. Shortly after, I fed my daughter from the same breast. Only afterwards I realised that I'd possibly contaminated my breast with my hand and then fed her. I'm now terrified that I'll have passed on some infection of some kind to her from my nose. She is exclusively breast fed. Will she receive antibodies to anything I have through my milk? I am really mad at myself and worried sick.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Paediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 2 years ago.
Hello,You need not worry. Most respiratory viruses are transmitted by air and not by mouth. Stomach acid can destroy the virus.Also baby will be protected by antibodies transferred through placenta for first 8-9 months of infancy.
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 2 years ago.
Please use thick napkin to cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing to prevent air-borne spread of virus.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. I am concerned about what other potential nasty germs live in the nose - my baby has a tendency to stick her fingers right in to mine or my husbands when she plays and when settling for a feed. Sometimes it's impossible to stop her hands going everywhere and then straight into her own mouth. Is it legitimate to worry about bacteria transfer or am I being too paranoid? I am scrupulous about cleaning and sterilising but you can't stop /prevent everything. I am really concerned that she may catch a virus or something worse and bacterial this way. She's only 5 weeks old and was slightly premature. I want to enjoy her but I worry so much
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 2 years ago.
As I wrote,baby will have antibodies in blood circulation received from placental transfer, which will last for 8-9 months and protect baby from common bacteria and viruses. You can keep extra vigil by use of antiseptic creams or liquids to cleanse periodically your nostrils and gargle.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the advice about antiseptics. That will be good. I worried particularly about staph infections if I had the bacteria in my nose, and I thought she wouldn't have antibodies to that. But perhaps I have misunderstood because that is bad when it goes into the bloodstream but if she ingests it then the stomach acid neutralises it? Or she gets a (hopefully minor) skin complaint if she comes into contact with it. Thanks again.
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome. Enjoy your baby.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. Do you think there is no chance of staph infection problems then? Sorry I didn't make it clear I was still worrying about that.
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 2 years ago.
The problem is there with family and other contacts but daily bath with antiseptic baby soap, and general avoidance of touching by others would largely prevent it. Most such skin issues can be treated successfully with short local or systemic drug treatment.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I was mostly meaning that if she had ingested anything from me, from touching my nose that she would not end up with an invasive infection such as staph. Not skin (as that would be treatable if unfortunate) but something that caused worse internal symptoms. Thanks
Expert:  Dr. Y. Vasavada replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome and indeed, oral ingestion of staph etc will not be automatically invasive.

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