How the Zika Virus Impacts Pregnancy and Breast Milk

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Zika virus, which is spreading quickly. We know pregnant women can pass Zika their unborn child, but what exactly does that mean for both mom and baby? And what about moms who provide breast milk for their babies? Are they at risk too? We’re talking with concerned moms as well as a medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn how Zika is impacting families all over the world.

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The Boob Group
How the Zika Virus Impacts Pregnancy and Breast Milk
Episode 145, March 16th, 2016


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: By know you probably heard of Zika, a virus common in African and Asia. But now the virus can be found here in the western hemisphere and it is spreading quickly. We know pregnant woman can pass Zika to their unborn child. But exactly does that mean for both mom and baby and what about the moms, who provide breast milk for their babies, are they at risk too? Today we are talking with concern moms as well as a medical officer from the Centers for Disease Control to learn how Zika is impacting families all over the world. We are The Boob group.

[Theme Music/ Intro]

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to The Boob Group. We are here to support all Moms wanting to provide breast milk to their babies. I am Sunny Gault and I am co-hosting the show today with a few other mammas which is you will meet in just a second. If you haven't yet, we encourage you to download the New Mommy Media network app. It gives you easy access to all of our episodes on The Boob Group and you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes so you have all the latest episodes and they are automatically downloaded to your mobile devise. And if you happen to be on iTunes we would love it if you left a review for us, because that is the way people find out about our shows.

So basically the more a show is reviewed in iTunes, the more it is going to show up in search results. So it is a great way for you guys to help us out.

So, let us meet the m joining our conversation today. Ladies why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family and mention if you are currently pregnant and or breastfeeding. So, Priya, let's start with you.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Sure, so my name is Priya and I am the co-founder of “MomsPumpHere”. It’s an app, an online resource for moms to find locations to breastfeed and breast pump in the USA, US territories, Canada, Australia, Singapore and more coming. I am a mother of three, my kids are older so I haven't breast fed in years. My oldest is going to be fourteen this year, my youngest is eight, but my youngest I actually breastfed for 3 years, I could not let go. But I am so happy to be here and part of this fabulous podcast and I can't wait to have our discussion today.

SUNNY GAULT: Awesome, okay Elisha

ELISHA: Hello, my name is Elisha and I am currently pregnant, I'm going to be in my third trimester on Thursday with my first baby, a little girl. I live in Nashnille Tennessee.

SUNNY GAULT: It’s all right, no you are all good. But I should say that if it weren’t for Elisha I may have found out about the Zika virus much later. She actually emailed us at the show and was like 'hey, what's going on with the Zika virus, you guys should talk about this a little bit more,' so Elisha I have to give you props for being on it because I was like Zika, what is Zika? So, I really appreciate you letting me know, and everybody else that emails into the show lets me know what is happening.

Okay, Nayeli, tell us a little bit about yourself

NAYELI: My name is Nayeli and I'm from Chicago area and I am currently breastfeeding a twenty month old toddler. I started getting the comments already, "the comments"

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Ooh no way! Tell them to shut up.

SUNNY GAULT: Is it pretty much when you are out in public that you are getting the comments, or is it like friends and family?

NAYELI: Family. Actually my friends have been so supportive. Family, you know. I am the first one to breast feed in my family as well, so . . .

SUNNY GAULT: That's really cool.

NAYELI: I knew it was coming, right?

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, and you know I am starting to get it too, so I am Sunny and I am still breastfeeding. I actually have four kids so I breastfed all my babies but my twins are my youngest and they are two and a half and they are what I consider my success story. I am tandem breastfeeding them most of the time. I don't leave the house all that much, honestly because with four kids it’s really hard to do that because my oldest is five. So I have got a bunch of younger kids.

My mother, my own mother who breastfed me for I think four months was like every time I wipe it out and when they come over and I just need to breast feed my babies, she looks at me and gives me that look and she is like, okay, they can ask for it so maybe it is time to wrap things up. And I am like, I think it is cute that they ask for it. And actually it helps me. I am glad that they don't just cry, I am glad that they tell me what they want. Yes, so it is bound to happen.

All right ladies, thanks so much for being with us today.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: So before we kick off our conversation today about the Zika virus and its impact on families all over the country, we would like to talk about apps on the show. New Mommy Media as I mentioned earlier has an app, The Boob Group has an app, all of our shows have apps and we are a big fun of apps. Right Priya? We love apps.


SUNNY GAULT: And so I was doing some research for the show and believe it or not, there is an app that helps you determine if you have the symptoms for Zika, and so it’s a pretty simple app I have to admit. I kind of feel like someone was hopping on the bandwagon of 'hey, everyone is talking about Zika let's create an app. You know, there is an app for that.' This is a $1.99 and it’s called the Zika test. Actually I will put a link to it on our website, just in case you guys want to check it out.


SUNNY GAULT: I know right? I was like it’s not even a free app, like its $ 1.99. It basically is just a handful of questions and you either answer YES or NO to it, then you hit this little calculate button and it is supposed to tell you if you are, I mean it’s obviously not a doctor right? So, it’s just supposed to give you a guide and maybe it’s done in jest, I don't know. As to whether or not you are supposed to get to the doctor and get more information, you know take the next step whatever that is for you. So, we will quickly just wanted go around and find out what you guys think of this and I don't know, you going to make sure it’s on your cell phone.

NAYELI: Well I am looking it here and I have the page open and just the screen shots that says “have you recently been suffering mild to severe conjunctivitis.” If I was suffering that I think I would probably be at the doctor already, and not just clicking YES or NO on an app like this.

SUNNY GAULT: It’s true. It seems very simplistic. Priya what do you think?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: I am just talking to myself looking at it because number one, the price. Like I mentioned before, how simple it is, and this is not a doctor. You have apps, you know that have doctors behind it that you know are on demand you can talk to them. But this is not legit medical resource. This people just want money basically.

SUNNY GAULT: It is kind of feeding off paranoia

PRIYA NEMBHARD: I wouldn't recommend downloading it, just go to the doctor.

SUNNY GAULT: I did not download it, I just found out and was like this is interesting. Nayeli, what do you think?

NAYELI: You know like again, what Priya said, it’s not doctor backed. Even in doctor's offices, a lot of the tests that they run on pregnant women, there is a lot of false positive, and that happens in a doctor’s office, an app, for that really, no don't do it? Don't do it.

SUNNY GAULT: It is interesting now, and actually this is not the only app. There is actually a couple more. This was the most simplistic. The other ones were just putting out information about it, so they had photos of Zika, and the impact that it’s been having on babies which we are going to talk about just in a second. So, this is not the only one. I would be surprised if more apps don't come out so I guess word to the wise is, if you think you do have any symptoms, and again we are going to talk about this in a bit, just go and see your doctor. Not sure I would put everything in the hands of an app. But they are out there, so there you go.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: So, today we are talking about the Zika virus and its impact on pregnancy and breastfeeding, and all these information, we have to put a disclaimer out there because this is changing like moment by moment. It’s happening every time I open up my computer there is a new article about Zika.

So, just keep that in mind as we are talking about this. We will try to update our website and post a bunch of different links on the episode page for this episode and we will try to keep that updated as possible but obviously the CDC is a great resource for information and they are constantly updating they website.

Otherworld health organization is a great resource for this, so we will try to keep that updated, but those are some really great resources for you guys to find out the absolute latest and what is happening with Zika.

But, we want to talk to our moms about what they think. I actually had an opportunity to do an interview with a medical officer from the CDC so we will play that for you so you can hear directly from them and what they are saying about pregnancy and breastfeeding.

But first, let us toss it to our moms. So, ladies in one work, how do you feel right now about the Zika virus? What would you say, Priya? One word.


SUNNY GAULT: It’s a start, okay. Elisha.

ELISHA: Concerned

SUNNY GAULT: Concerned says the pregnant mom. I totally get it, I would totally be in your boat. Nayeli what do you think?

NAYELI: I feel empathy for the pregnant women out there. It must be very hard and no other thing to worry about, right?

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely. Now I think all of these are very valid concerns. Before we get into this interview that I did with the CDC, I do want to give some basic information about Zika. My interview with the CDC was only ten minutes long as you can imagine they are very busy people, and so that really concentrates more on pregnancy and breastfeeding, but before we get into that interview, I really wanted to give you guys just some background if you don't know about Zika and obviously for our listeners too.

So, a couple of things. The Zika virus is actually named after the Zika forest in Uganda. It is spread by a very specific mosquito “aedes species” mosquito. By the way those mosquitoes can be found here in the USA but at this point there has not been a connection, just wanted to make that very clear.

So it was originally discovered in 1947 so actually this is not something that is new. The first human cases of Zika were detected in 1952 and then since then there has been outbreaks and they have mainly been reported in tropical areas of Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. But all that changed in May 2015 when Zika was confirmed in Brazil. So that is why we are hearing about it more. Is it spreading and the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus a public health emergency just last month in February 2016.

As I mentioned, Zika is not currently found in the continental USA, but those mosquitoes that carry Zika are found in some areas of the USA. So that is obviously the concern here is that we do have the mosquitoes but we haven't been able to make the connection. However, there have been people that have travelled outside of the USA and then have shown some symptoms. So it is not like no Americans have shown symptoms, it is just that natively we have not had this problem yet. But, there have been some travel concerns.

So the big question here is how does Zika impact pregnant women and moms providing breast milk to their babies? So I actually had a chance to speak to Dr Denise Jamieson, she is a medical officer with the Centre for Disease Control to get some of those answers.

SUNNY GAULT: All right so we know that the Zika virus was discovered in 1947, why are we hearing so much about the Zika virus right now?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: Well the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert regarding the first confirmed Zika case in Brazil in May and since that time the virus has spread across Central South America.

SUNNY GAULT: Would you say that it is spreading quickly, is that the concern?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: It is spreading quickly and although Zika was previously associated with mild disease, it’s now linked to a serious birth defect in the brain called microcephaly in babies of mothers who have had Zika virus while pregnant.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, can you tell us a little bit about pregnant women that are contracting this? How are they contracting it and what is happening to them?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: Well anyone who lives in an area with Zika virus transmission or travels to an area with Zika virus transmission can get the virus if they haven't already been infected with the virus.

SUNNY GAULT: And then what are the symptoms that people may show as a result?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: The most common symptoms are fever, rush, and joint pains and conjunctivitis the red eyes. In general the illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don't get sick enough go to a hospital and they very rarely die of Zika.

SUNNY GAULT: Are there some people that are immune to this or would not show any type of symptoms?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: We believe that many people who are infected with Zika may not show symptoms and once you have been infected with Zika, we don't think that you can get Zika again.

SUNNY GAULT: Does that mean that it somehow stays in your body or your body becomes immune to it?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: We think your body becomes immune to it and that immunity is a lifelong immunity, but we are not completely sure of that.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, back to pregnant women becoming infected with this Zika virus. Back to the birth defects, does it matter what trimester the mother is in as far as the danger of contracting the virus?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: That is one of the things that we are currently trying to figure out, when is the period of greatest risk. We are not entirely sure, just based on a very few women in the USA pregnancy registry. We published this last week in CDC's MMWR publication; it seems that the first trimester may be of particular risk.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, and we know in the first trimester that is when other concerns maybe as far as birth defects and stuff, so that actually does make sense. Would you say a mother that is pregnant with more than one baby is at more risk or about the same risk as another pregnant woman?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: We really don't have any information about whether women with multiple gestations or twins or triplets are at a higher risk. We don't have any evidence that they are more likely to get severe disease nor do we have any information that they are more likely to have adverse effects from infection.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. What can you tell us about the birth defects, you mentioned earlier that obviously the disease has been around for a while, is the birth defects side of it a newer side of it? Is it like a mutation or something?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: We don't have any information that the zika virus circulating now is different from the zika virus that has circulated in the past. When scientist went back and looked at other outbreaks most notably on YAP, there was an increase in microcephaly with that outbreak as well. However since microcephaly is a very rare outcome, if you don't have good surveillance in place to detect birth defects, you might not notice and increase risk of microcephaly.

SUNNY GAULT: So, let us look specifically at pregnant women. If a pregnant woman is bitten by a mosquito and gets the zika virus, what is actually happening with the body to cause these birth defects? Obviously the mosquito is putting something, the virus into the body, what happens from there?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: We believe that this virus has a predilection for brain tissue and so the virus infects the brain and can cause damage to the brain and then the skull does no develop properly. But it is actually the damage to the brain tissue that we are most concerned about. And one way to measure that is by measuring the size of the head which is just a very crude measure of how the brain is developing.

SUNNY GAULT: And have we been able to follow like any babies that have born this way to know what the longer term effect is? I mean, do they develop normally just a smaller physical head or what can you tell us about that?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: I think it is a little too early to know what the long lasting effects of this type of birth defect in babies that were born with mother with zika. It is one of the reasons why we have established a USA pregnancy registry to be able to follow children born to mother with zika for up to one year.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so now no information to know if the baby can't talk, I'm just wondering some parents may be concerned what if my child does get this, what does that mean for my child? And so there is really no just enough information to know for sure besides the size of the head?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: I think there is not enough information to know now because microcephaly caused by a wide variety of causes and we don't have enough information about zika virus and microcephaly.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. How long does the virus stay in a pregnant woman system, is it the same length as it would a normal person?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: We don't have any reasonable lead that it lasts longer in a pregnant woman as compared to a person who is not pregnant.

SUNNY GAULT: And there is no concern like if a pregnant woman gets the zika virus and it passes through her system, there is no concern a far as a mother becoming pregnant again and it then being an issue once you have it then your body will develop some immunity, correct?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: Yes, the virus only persists in the body for a short period of time after infection and once the virus is cleared from the body there is no reason to think that it poses harm in the future. So in other words, if a mother is infected with zika and recovers, and then subsequently gets pregnant, we don't have any reason to believe that that future pregnancy will be at any increased risk.

SUNNY GAULT: Should breastfeeding mother be concerned at all about getting the zika virus?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: Zika virus has been found in breast milk. And although there is a theoretical risk of transmission of zika from breast milk, we don't know of any infant who has acquired zika from breast milk. In addition, since as I mentioned before that the disease is generally mild, we have no evidence to suggest that infants with zika would have severe disease and because we know there are many benefits of breast feeding, we are encouraging women to breast feed even in areas within going zika virus transmission.

SUNNY GAULT: I don't know if it would really make a difference but if a baby has the zika virus, is there a concern for the baby somehow giving it back to the mother through breast feeding or something like that?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: No, we don't know of any infants who have transmitted zika from breast feeding rather.

SUNNY GAULT: What about milk sharing, because I know a lot of our audience does milk sharing either through milk banks or through some sort of mom to mom milk sharing program? Is there any concern there as far as getting milk from a source other than a mother's own milk?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: You know I would rather not comment on that.

SUNNY GAULT: How can pregnant and breast feeding moms protect themselves from the virus. What are some of the main ways that CDC is recommending?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: All women do children should be protected from mosquito bites for a variety of good reasons in addition to zika virus. That includes the use of insect repellants, wearing long clothing, long pants when out of the house, making sure that if you live in an area under ongoing Zika virus transmission that you take steps to avoid places where mosquitoes might breed, and generally just being, sleeping or staying in areas with screens or air condition. This mosquitoes that carry zika virus are day time biters, so they at all times of the day, not just in the evenings, its sun up and sun down.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, good to know. Does the CDC or other organizations you know working on a cure for this virus?

DR. DENISE JAMIESON: So, groups are working on a vaccine for this virus and those studies are ongoing.

SUNNY GAULT: That's all the questions I had.


SUNNY GAULT: Thank you. Thank you so much, we so much appreciate your time.

That was my interview with Dr. Jamieson before I toss it to you ladies to get you input on that and any thoughts you have, I do want to say one of the things Dr Jamieson that kind of paused on was the whole idea of milk sharing. I find that a lot of people are hesitant to talk about milk sharing and milk banking and what all that means.

So, I actually went to the website for HNBANA which stands for Human Milk Bank Association of North America we have actually had them on the show before. We have done some episodes specifically on what does it mean use the milk bank and how do you use the milk bank. They have been on The Boob Group before.

They have a whole PDF which I am going to share on our website, I will make sure that I put it on the episode page for this episode.

But here I just want to read a brief statement that they have released regarding milk banking which obviously is a little bit different than milk sharing mom to mom.

So then this is from HNBANA, and they've said, "Today breast milk has not been shown to transmit the virus. However, as with all outbreaks HNBANA continually monitors the latest research on potential risks in order to maintain a safe supply of donor human milk. We conclude that donor human milk dispensed by HNBANA milk bank is safe.”

“First, HNBANA donors are carefully and thoroughly screened for illnesses and therefore are unlikely to be infected during the time period when they are expressing and donating milk. Second, the heat sensitive zika virus is inactivated by the hotter pasteurization process used by all HNBANA banks."

Okay, I wanted to make sure we get that out there. Obviously there is not tons of information on mom to mom milk sharing because there are not a lot of rules when it comes to that, right?

So I wanted to get you ladies your input on the interview that I did with Dr Jamieson, Priya, any thought?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: I think it is very interesting on the level of items that you asked her about that they had no information about, yet the virus has been around since the 1950s. And that she did not want to comment on the milk sharing. I thought it was very interesting and what they are focusing on as a whole. Most of her answers revolved around how long the virus was active in the body and how long it would affect the person. So I am really shocked because they are not doing more research, she could have said we are working on this, or something that scientists are testing right now and we are hoping we can have answers for you guys but she didn’t.

So, going back to my word suspect before, I am not throwing conspiracy theories out there at all, but you know “A” suspect because it has been around that long, and it hasn't infiltrated the Americas until now, why has it taken that long? Why did they finally “bring it over”, you know what I mean? And why was there a lack of education about it, if it existed in another country and was a potential threat, why did the CDC or another health organization not have some research on it already, just because it might be a potential threat to the Americas? I don't understand that.

SUNNY GAULT: Elisha, any thoughts around this, especially being a pregnant mamma?

ELISHA: Well, a lot of the stuff that she said but she did have information about or somebody had already researched, one thing that I didn’t realize and I know it’s not necessarily putting my mind at ease for my current pregnancy but the fact that once you have zika you can't get it again, supposedly. I thought that was really interesting how it is like chickenpox kind of style to it. So that is one thing that I found interesting

SUNNY GAULT: And that it can't impact other pregnancies too. Yes, absolutely, because I know that there is a concern right? And also spreading it even if your baby has it and spreading it to mom, because I was concerned is there any way that the mom can then spread it to other siblings? Or is it like the flu, honestly. So, it didn’t sound like anything like that was possible.

So Nayeli, what do you think?

NAYELI: One thing, there position is not as strong as I would like it to be. Like Priya was saying, they don't sound very confident in their answers in everything that you read and its concerning because coming a Latin America culture, myself and knowing friends and a lot of the myths that surround breast feeding still in those countries, to add something like this to the mix, it could be a very bad thing for breast feeding rates in certain countries.

SUNNY GAULT: They are obviously saying that they want mothers to continue to breast feed but you have to understand like from a mom's point of view, they are not saying that it is not in the breast milk, they are saying listen, there are traces but we think it is better to breast feed. For some moms, you are absolutely right; they may not even want to take the chance. Why would you even chance it? You know I can hear a lot of moms saying that in their heads and obviously its personal preference or whatever, you've got to make the best decision for your family.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: And there is lack of information out there.

SUNNY GAULT: Right, because again this information is constantly changing so is said today may not be what is said tomorrow and then we will have a problem right?

So, on that level, we are going to take a quick break, when we come back literally, more information just came out within the last 24-48 hours about this birth defects and I want to address that a little bit more, so we will be right back.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: All right, welcome back everyone. Today we are talking about the zika virus and its impact on pregnancy and breast milk. As I mentioned earlier, we are literally getting new information about the zika each day. Some fairly big news just broke within the last 24-48 hours.

So there was a study done by UCLA and it was based on 42 women who are part of a larger on-going study. They took the first 42 women from that other study and they found that zika may actually be causing other birth defects in addition to microcephaly which was really the focus of the interview my CDC on microcephaly.

So, here are some of the things that they concerned about according to the study.

They say it appears that zika could cause an increased risk of miscarriages, poorly developed placenta, low or no amniotic fluid, severe growth problems, other kinds of brain damage, which is pretty general, but that is what they said, blindness and deafness. They did say one baby in the study was found to have microcephaly, but they also wanted to say, you know, we don't want a fear monger here. This is a very small study and they admit that. They admit that more testing needs to be done and more and it needs to be done over a larger period of time.

But this kind of goes to what we were talking about before the break. We don't really know, we don't really know what is going on? And more and more information is coming in, or we are learning more and more.

So, Elisha, back to you, when you hear stuff like this again, what is kind of going through your head and is this cause of concern to you personally?

ELISHA: I mean it is scary for me just because of where I am located in the USA. I am located in Nashville, so towards the south. And the fact that whenever my boyfriend and I first heard about this, he was going like we are going to get a whole bunch of repellent, we are going to put the axe on the door and make sure that they can't get in and just the fact that it seems like just one bite of the wrong mosquito can cause any various of these symptoms, you know. I am thankful that it seems that it affects mostly in the earlier trimesters and so since I am pretty much almost in the finish line, it’s not as much of a concern for me and my baby but the fact that any of these could still happen is pretty scary.

SUNNY GAULT: And Nayeli, I know we have talked in the past about you have been in touch with someone in Porto Rico, right, regarding the virus and she is pretty concerned about the virus down there. Can you share anything with us about that?

NAYELI: Yes, actually it goes back to the same. The fact that the professional lactation consultants are putting this information out from the CDC and WHO is encouraging moms to keep on breast feeding to counteract any other myths that are spreading out there, and to keep encouraging moms. They are really scared and they turn to them who are knowledgeable, who are the professionals to get this information out. It is very concerning out there.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so I wanted to wrap things up because again, more information is going to be coming out and we will keep you guys updated on all of that.

For everyone out there, I thought to end things on a little bit lighter note. So we will do a quick quiz to see everybody’s zika knowledge level. And so I will mention something’s here, go through my little list and shout out the answers when you think you know it.

And some of these are true / false, and some are actually require legit answers. So, let us see how we will do.

So, this is a true / false:

A) No mosquito born zika virus cases have reported in the USA, the States. . . . The actual States

SUNNY GAULT: Actually that answer as of today is TRUE. But, travel, people have travelled and come back with some symptoms, but as far as something like a mosquito being here in the USA that has it, no cases have been reported. I guess that doesn’t mean that it hasn't happened right? There is a difference between something being reported and something actually happening.

B) Here is another quick fact for you guys, so, of the 50 states, which state do you think has the highest amount of incidents of people travelling and having symptoms of Zika?


SUNNY GAULT: Any other guesses? New York is number 2. So you are up there. And it was like California where I meant is number 3. But, okay, what is the state that has a lot of mosquito’s guys? What do you think of?


SUNNY GAULT: Yes Florida. Like twenty-some cases again as the date of this recording. Okay. So no mosquitoes here in the U.S yet have had it that have been reported.

C) Another question, True or False. This mosquito bites only during the day.


SUNNY GAULT: Yes, that was one of the thing from CDC that she mentioned in the interview is that this bite, bite as night as well.

D) Name one symptom associated with the zika virus?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Microcephaly

SUNNY GAULT: Yes. But am talking about symptoms that Moms, that, with red eyes.

NAYELI: Red eyes?

SUNNY GAULT: Red Eyes, Yes. Anything else you guys can think of?

NAYELI: Have severe Fever

SUNNY GAULT: Fever. What about the joints? Joint pain. What about the eyes.


SUNNY GAULT: Red eyes, so those are the common ones, obviously if you know anyone that is experiencing these type of symptoms it is definitely worth a trip to the doctor’s office to get that checked out.

E) True or False. Everyone who gets the Zika virus develops symptoms.


SUNNY GAULT: In fact about 80% of people that are bitten by one of these mosquitoes do not develop symptoms. The question is, it is like you just do not know if you are going to be one of those people and especially if you are pregnant why would you take the risk.

F) What type of test is needed to confirm Zika in a person’s body? What do they do? Any ideas. Have you guys heard of this before?

NAYELI: No, I have not heard of that one. You can go to an app.

SUNNY GAULT: No, Guess you could go to an app. But we will not do that.

NAYELI: I am just kidding.

SUNNY GAULT: It is actually is a pretty simple blood test. They draw some blood and they are able to test it pretty quickly.

G) Let’s see, how long does Zika stay in a person’s body? And that includes pregnant women, breast feeding Moms they have no reason to believe it is any different for them. Any Ideas?

SUNNY GAULT: Anywhere between 48 hours and a week to 10 days. It is kind of a long period of time. But after that period of time there is supposed to be like I said not having any problems with that so...

H) The birth defect currently associated with Zika is called the main one, anyone remember.

PANELIST: Microcephaly.

SUNNY GAULT: Microcephaly. That is right. Although as we learnt through the UCLA study. They may be adding more to that.

I) Should Moms in zika area continue to breast feed their babies?


SUNNY GAULT: According to the CDC, maybe I should put that disclaimer on there. According to the CDC not according to us, Yes. They should continue to breast feed their babies they have said that. They have found traces of it in the breast milk but that the breast feeding benefits far outweigh the risk of the baby getting the Zika.

J) Name one way pregnant and breastfeeding women can protect themselves from Zika.

PANELIST: Mosquitoes repellant.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, which they say, they say if you do it correctly. If you follow the instructions is completely fine so you do not have to worry about my pregnant can I use insect repellant. It should be fine if you use it according to the directions. Anything else?

NAYELI: Well I was going to say we have the candles, the big candles that you can burn to have the repellant, having one at the front door and one at the back door. Kind of help with that as well so it’s actually same thing in a different...

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely. What else?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: If you put in a bottle part water part apple side of vinegar that also repels mosquitoes. If you spray it on your skin and it is a lot healthier or environmentally responsible to use that versus the regular mosquitoes like the Oomph. So that is another option for pregnant women if they do not want to inhale the fumes from the Oomph.

SUNNY GAULT: There you go.

K) What about clothing?

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Long sleeves?

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, pretty simple. Of course when you are pregnant that is probably the last thing that you are going to do is cover up. Right? Because we get so hot anyway when we are pregnant. So common things that you would do even if you were not just protecting yourself from Zika but an environment where there is a lot of mosquitoes and you do not want to get bit. I would say do not go out at night but that does not seem to matter, because a lot of times mosquitoes come out at night at least here in the U.S.A. But this one seems to love the day time and night time so that is not necessarily going to help you out.

L) The last question is true or false. Once you get the Zika Virus you are immune to it according to the CDC.

PANELISTS: True according to the CDC.

SUNNY GAULT: Correct. So hopefully that ends everything on a positive note to know that this cannot keep coming back and back after us.

Well ladies for participating we are going to send you all mosquito nets. So congratulations. Protect yourself from the Zika virus. Yes Elisha I am sending you a mosquito net.

Okay, well thank you guys so much for participating in our show today. If you are a member of The Boob Group club then be sure to check out the bonus content for this episode.

We were discussing the Zika virus and how it could impact the 2016 Olympic Games which I do not know if you guy know is being held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Which is where this latest cases originated, so what is that going to mean for the Olympic Games.

For more information about our club you can visit

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SUNNY GAULT: Alright so before we wrap up today’s show I would like to end things on a positive note and this was a funny “Boob Oops!”

That came in from Usher and Usher writes;
“Four weeks postpartum I began to pump milk and freeze it for later use. It was hard work and each drop was precious. Once we were out half and half for the coffee, my Mom says we are out of milk but there is no hurry to buy some right now because we will just use your breast milk instead. I was horrified at the very suggestion and I said no one is touching Ushers Milk and at that time she went beet red and burst out laughing as I realized she calls the half and half milk and the Vitamin D milk that I use for drinking as your milk.”

So it was more of an issue of just clarifying what breast milk they were talking about. So they were not actually talking about her breast milk they were talking about the vitamin D milk. Can you guys Imagine, you hear this happen all the time. Is anyone willing to admit that they have actually used breast milk in a way like that for cooking or...

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Well you can, you can make it, like baby food to make it little soft.

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, that is actually really good ladies. But what about for adults has anyone ever snuck it in.

ELISHA: When I was pumping at work, some of the guys were making a bet to see, they were daring each other to drink an ounce of my milk, everything was hypothetical but they were trying to see for how much, what was the price tag for doing that?

SUNNY GAULT: Well, it actually would have a lot of antibodies in it for them, so I do not know it actually could help them more than hurt that they can get past the, the grouse factor, I do not know...

PRIYA NEMBHARD: Have you guys ever tried your own breast milk?

SUNNY GAULT: I have, accidentally. Accidentally yes.

PRIYA NEMBHARD: I have, when my kids were small, because you want to know what they are tasting and ingesting.

SUNNY GAULT: Right, Especially if you are pumping and you are putting it in bags and stuff like that. Like I have also, I have wondered, my twins never really liked my pumped milk. So I was always like does this taste bad like what are they, they just preferred it straight from the tap, it had nothing to do with the taste, just in case you are wondering. Alright...

NAYELI: I would not do that.

SUNNY GAULT: If you guys have a funny “Boob Oops” story you want to share with us whether it is about breast feeding or pumping or whatever we would like to hear it. It is always fun to share this on the show. So you can go to our website at and leave a message for us there. You can actually leave us a voicemail straight through our website so you can use the speaker on your computer and just leave it that way you do not have actually to call a number. Or just send us an email straight through the website.

That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group.
Don’t forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Newbies for newly postpartum moms
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with infants and toddlers and
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.

Thanks for listening to The Boob Group. Your judgment free breastfeeding resource.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line-up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series, or if you’re a business, or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit
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