Is it safe to breastfeed when I have an infection?

Is it safe to breastfeed when I have an infection?

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Yes, it's safe to breastfeed when you have most common infections – a cold, say, or the stomach flu. In fact, it can actually be good for your baby. When you breastfeed, you pass along antibodies to the illness, which will help your baby get well faster if he gets the same germ that's making its way through the household.

Other common infections that present no problem for breastfeeding are urinary tract infections, small skin infections that aren't on the breast, and infections in the mouth (like a cavity).

If you need an antibiotic to treat your infection, just ask your provider to prescribe one that's safe for breastfeeding mothers. Most are.

If you get a serious infection – chicken pox, H1N1 influenza, tuberculosis, or a herpes infection on the breast – you may still be able to breastfeed, but you should get specific advice from your doctor or pediatrician about whether it's healthy for both you and your baby.

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