Is it Safe to Breastfeed if I Have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Can I Breastfeed My Baby if I Have COVID-19?
Coronavirus does not seem to spread to babies through breast milk. It’s safe to breastfeed if you have COVID-19. But a mom with COVID-19 could spread the virus to their infant through tiny droplets that spread when they talk, cough, or sneeze.
Talk to your doctor to help decide whether you should continue to breastfeed and how to do it safely. Your breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby and can protect against many illnesses. While you are sick, you (or someone else) can give your baby expressed breast milk.
How Can I Protect My Baby?
If you choose to breastfeed or give expressed milk in a bottle, to help prevent spreading the virus to your baby:
- Wash your hands before and after touching your baby.
- Wear a mask while nursing.
- Wash your hands before touching your breast pump or bottle parts. Clean all parts after each use.
- Let someone else in your household who is not sick give your baby your expressed breast milk.
Try to limit close face-to-face contact with your baby, and cough or sneeze into a tissue (and then throw it away). When you aren't feeding your baby, try to stay a reasonable distance from your baby as much as possible.
Caring for Your Newborn When You Have Coronavirus
If you have coronavirus, you'll need to take extra steps to keep germs away from your baby.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Call your health care provider if you feel unwell with COVID-19 symptoms such as:
- a fever
- trouble breathing
- cold symptoms such as a sore throat, congestion, or runny nose
- muscle pain
- a loss of taste or smell
- nausea or vomiting
Also call right away if your baby has a fever or trouble breathing, or seems sick.