Whether or not you can give your baby mono is a pressing question for those that have come down with a case of mononucleosis. But how contagious is it in regards to your baby?
Most parents are aware that their baby’s immune system is still developing after they’re born, so they are more susceptible to infections and viruses. When it comes to mono you won’t have to worry as much as you would with more contagious diseases that can spread by airborne particles. This one requires saliva to saliva contact, so it’s a bit easier to avoid contracting.
Nevertheless, you’ll want to watch for signs in your baby that they have it, so you can begin to treat it right away. These will likely be similar to the symptoms that adults get when they have it, including rashes on the skin, running a fever, having a sore throat, and also having swollen glands, most often visible in the neck area. It’s important not to panic if you do recognize these symptoms, as mono rarely escalates to anything more dire. Here’s a great rundown of mono, including how to treat it from the Mayo Clinic.
Can I Give My Baby Mono? Answer: Yes.
While it is possible to give your baby mono, it’s not very likely that you would as long as you are following basic precautions. It’s transmitted via saliva, so you basically have to make sure that anything your mouth has touched doesn’t touch your baby’s mouth. But the preventive measures don’t stop there, because you’ll want to make sure that your baby doesn’t put anything in their mouth that may have been infected by it, not just by you but by anyone with it. This becomes a challenge because babies love to put things in their mouth to get a feel for them.
Even though it will be hard, you’ll want to refrain from giving your baby a kiss, at least on the mouth. Some have suggested keeping your mouth away from them in general, just to be safe. It’s not the easiest thing to remember to keep things sterilized and avoid certain contact, so you’ll have to keep reminding yourself throughout the day.
Making sure to wash your hands regularly throughout the day is priority one. This is most important after touching your face, especially your mouth. Just make it a habit to wash your hands before picking up or attending to your baby, and then avoid touching your face while interacting with them.
If your baby does get it, you probably won’t know for quite some time, so you’ll have to keep observing them weeks later and make the connection that it’s mono and not something else. As far as treatment goes you’re pretty limited as to what you can do because there isn’t anything available in the form of a prescription that will make it go away any faster. Simply comfort your baby as best you can, the same way you would if they catch a regular cold.
What to Feed Them
You can continue to breastfeed your baby if you have mono, because it won’t be passed through your breast milk. In fact, your body is producing antibodies that will actually help your baby not catch mono, so it’s important to keep this going while you’re sick. If your baby has moved into solid foods, you can continue to supplement their diet with breast milk, and if you haven’t been doing that, it’s good to start up again when you have mono for the reason listed above.
Keeping It Contained
It can be hard to make sure that your baby is not exposed to mono, but it is worth the extra efforts so they don’t have to go through it. If you are unsure as to whether or not your baby has mono, or if you have not been officially diagnosed as having mono, you may want to schedule a visit to the doctor just so you can have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve been diagnosed properly. You wouldn’t want to assume that either of you have it, since it has similar symptoms to several other conditions.