Sick While Breastfeeding

I was told I have influenza. Can I still breastfeed my baby?

When you are sick your body produces antibodies to help fight your illness. These antibodies are shared with your baby through your breast milk, which means your breast milk helps keep your baby healthy! Along with helpful antibodies, breast milk contains the complete nutrition that your baby needs to strengthen his/ her immune system.  

If your baby is fighting an illness, your immune system recognizes the virus or bacteria through your baby’s saliva when your baby latches to the breast. Your body, in turn, produces antibodies of the virus or bacteria for your baby through your breast milk. Most illnesses are safe to breastfeed through, with the exception of HIV or Ebola Virus DiseaseSpeak with your doctor as these are circumstances when breastfeeding is not recommended.

If your doctor agrees that it is still safe to breastfeed during your illness be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before handling your baby, your breasts, bottles, or pump parts, and wear a mask when in close proximity to your baby.

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