Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Is it Safe to Breastfeed if I Have the Flu?

I've been having flu-like symptoms, and I might have the flu. Is it safe to keep breastfeeding my baby?
Stacey

Yes, you can keep breastfeeding your baby, even if you take antiviral medicines for flu-like symptoms. A mother's breast milk is custom-made for her baby, providing antibodies that babies need to fight infection. So, continuing to breastfeed can protect your baby from the infection that your body is fighting.

While you're sick, though, protect your baby from as many germs as possible. Babies have a higher risk of catching the flu and having health problems from it. So:

  • Wash your hands well and often.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue (and then throw it away).
  • Limit close face-to-face contact with your baby.

You might want to wear a mask during breastfeeding to avoid coughing, sneezing, or breathing into your baby's face. Health experts recommend that anyone with flu-like symptoms wear a mask — at home if they're around other people, and when out in public — during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you're worried about your baby's risk or are too sick to breastfeed, pump your breast milk and have someone who is not sick use it to feed your baby. Also, doctors recommend the flu vaccine during flu season for babies and everyone else 6 months and older.

Call the doctor right away if your baby gets any flu-like symptoms.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date Reviewed: 15-05-2021

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.