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Can I breastfeed if I become ill?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Yes! Most common illnesses, such as colds, flu, or diarrhea, can't be passed through breast milk, and your milk will have antibodies in it to help protect your baby from getting the same sickness.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Generally it is okay and recommended that you continue to breastfeed if you are ill. It can even be beneficial to the baby because you are transferring antibodies to the baby that will help fight off infection. This is true of illnesses such as colds and conditions such as mastitis (an infection of the milk ducts in the breast). However, it is always good to check with your doctor, as there are conditions in which it would be advisable to stop breastfeeding temporarily, such as if you were taking a medicine that can affect your breast milk and the baby.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.