Is Nursing Okay If You're Sick?!

Updated on September 21, 2010
A.L. asks from Tacoma, WA
17 answers

I'm a first time mom with a month old girl and need to know if anyone knows if it's okay to nurse while you're sick? I'm running a 100+ temperature right now and have sweaty and major head and body aches....I have milk I pumped that I can use if I need to....I just don't want to pass anything onto her through nursing....thanks for quick replies!

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So What Happened?

Thank everyone! Took some Tylenol and temp is down to 98.5 now hoping it stays. It was such a weird thing is all, haven't had a fever in YEARS. Now I am wondering if it was the nursing sports bra I was wearing cause I think it's too small. Had it on for a couple days and I think i got a clogged duct that I've been trying to clear since yesterday AM. Needless to say I'm not wearing that anymore. Hoping the fever stays down. Thanks!

More Answers



answers from Harrisburg on

Yes, it's fine. It will help build her immunity-natural antibiotics. Take care of yourself and hope you feel better.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Please breast feed your baby, you will pass on antibodies to your illness in the breast milk. Try to drink as much liquids as you can. You will need extra fluid with that fever. Another important point - you are most contagious BEFORE you have symptoms of your illness. For all the fuss people make about not sharing their illness, they don't seem to understand you are passing along the germs before you can know you have an illness to pass. Take care. It's so hard to be Mom and be sick. Hope you have someone to take care of you and your little one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

ABSOLUTELY!!! Keep right on with your nursing!!! Your body is providing natural antibodies for your little one...your milk is certainly not passing anything on to your baby that she isn't being exposed to by simply being around you!!
I nursed each of my children until they were more than a year oldest daughter is still nursing her toddler son who is almost 3 years old...each of us have nursed through colds, etc. Don't worry about it...hope you are feeling better again soon.
Keep up your fluid intake...not only for recovery from the flu or whatever you have right now, but also to keep your milk supply up!!! Talk to your doctor about what medications he can safely give you that will not cross over into your breast milk.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

You've already passed it on by breathing on her, holding her, changing her. If she was staying in a different house for the 24-72 hours before you got sick then you haven't exposed her, but otw, she's already got it.

Nursing WILL give her the antibodies your body is manufacturing specific to this illness, however. So she may either escape being sick at all, or only get a mild case. But she has to drink your milk that's being made now with the new antibodies in order to share them with you, instead of needing to go through the whole process of making her own.



answers from Eugene on

Call the advice nurse to be sure. I remember my son's pediatrician saying I should continue breastfeeing because I'd actually pass the immunities on to my baby and he wouldn't catch what I had. I had a cold when I delivered my son and he never got sick.



answers from Dallas on

nurse her - she will get your antibodies. just wash up before you do it to keep the germs at a min and try not to cough/breathe on her if you are worried. you can also pump your milk now and have someone give it to her in a bottle if you can concerned about breathing on her. i bf'd my newborn with a fever and she didnt get sick and then 3 months later we had some serious nasty 72 hr stomach thing that went thru our whole family. came on out of the blue. i bf'd her during that too and she never got it. that was a hard one too because i had been vomiting for like 12 hrs straight and couldnt keep any food down so i was surprised there was milk to be had. bf'ng her during that was REALLY hard.


answers from Eugene on

Babies have a natural immunity to most diseases the first four months if they are breast fed. The illness is not in your milk. Nurse your baby it is healthier than formula or expressed milk.



answers from Boston on

Its fine to nurse.



answers from Portland on

it is actually very important that you DO nursing while you are sick. Your body is producing antibodies to the illness you are fighting. Nursing will share them with baby so she can fight it off easier. Her tiny body isn't strong enough to fight it off on her own. The virus cannot get through your breast milk to infect her. You can pass the infection to her by not washing your hands before nursing or by breathing on her while nursing. The safest thing to do is wash hands well, then pump and have someone else bottle feed, but that may not be an option.

Most importantly, remember that if a one month old baby gets a fever of 100 or higher to call the doctor.

For you, alternating tylenol with motrin every 4 hours will keep the fever down the best.



answers from Las Vegas on

I'm with KansasMom. You need to keep nursing because you are providing antibodies to your baby. If you have a virus, you probably already passed it to your child. Nursing will help her to fight off the virus.

A wonderful resource that my hospital recommended is Here is what they have to say about about nursing while you are sick:

Also, this:

Additionally, if you are experiencing sickness due to a breast infection, the best thing you can do for you and her is to breastfeed.



answers from Portland on

When I was nursing, i was told it was good to nurse when I was sick because the antibodies I was building up would pass to baby in the milk. Good luck and feel better soon!



answers from Minneapolis on

in short, yes. i was sick with a fever with my first and my dr said to keep nursing, but to wash your hands,body, etc. more frequently.

but, you should call your dr, or your triage nurse service, or your delivery center, just to be sure, based on what is causing your fever.



answers from Dallas on

When you are sick you want to nurse, nurse, nurse. It's the best thing you can do for your little one. With the exception of a few colds my little guy was super healthy the entire time I nursed. I even nursed when I had the stomach virus (3 separate times) and he was fine. They get all the antibodies from your milk. Amazing, isn't it?



answers from Bellingham on

yes, yes and yes! I breastfed my two babies and have ahd to see Lactation Consultants and peditricians for lots of breastfeeding ussues, as my first was highly allergic to dairy so they helped me eliminate dairy from my diegt so I wouldn't give her an attack, and my baby boy has a heart condidtion so he needed special breastfeeding help. I have been sick and on meds several times and all teh lactation consultants, pediatricians and Le Leache Leauge consultants I double checked with (I;m a little picky so I double checked ) have said that it is very very rare that you woudl have to stop breast feeding your baby for being sick. I have had the stomach flu and have had to have my husband jsut hold baby to nurse for me and take her away as I was too sick to hold her.

THIS IS the big bonus: baby is now gettign yoru antibodies to the sickness that your body is makign to fight the sickness SO baby will most likely NOT get yoru sickness or if she does it will be VEy mild as her body will have all the stuff to fight it before she catches it! So nice right : )

This is the best site EVER for breastfeedign info : Kelly Mom



answers from Houston on

It's perfectly fine to nurse and actually helps pass along the antibodies to whatever it is you have, so go for it (if you are feeling well enough to handle it). The only time I couldn't nurse while sick was when I got a stomach virus and was vomiting. I was so dehydrated that I couldn't produce milk and my baby was getting really frustrated, so I used some pumped milk. Other than that, I always nursed through illnesses. I hope you're feeling better soon!



answers from Bellingham on

yes you can nurse while sick. As a matter of fact you will pass the immunities that your body is creating to fight of this illness to your little girl through your breast milk


answers from Tampa on

Yes you can nurse while sick... and as others have mentioned - your body's antibodies will go to your baby to aid in keeping her well.

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