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Breastfeeding if you have COVID-19

Last updated: 25 September 2020 at 4.20pm

If you have COVID-19 (coronavirus) and you are caring for your baby, you will be encouraged to breastfeed as normal.

There is no evidence that the virus passes through breast milk. But we are still learning about COVID-19.

You may decide to express breast milk so that someone else can feed your baby if you feel too unwell. This is usually your partner or a close family member. Your healthcare team may also advise you that this is the safest way to feed your baby.

Read more about how to express breast milk

The main risk to your baby of getting the virus is being in close contact with you. You are likely to pass it on through droplets when you cough or sneeze.

If you breastfeed:

  • Wash your hands properly before touching your baby or any breastfeeding equipment like pumps or bottles.
  • Wear a face mask if you are doing breast or bottle feeds yourself.
  • Ask your midwife or other staff to show you how to clean the pump after each use.

Treating symptoms when breastfeeding

Avoid medications that contain decongestants. These can lead to a reduction in milk supply.

Read more about taking medication while breastfeeding

Related topics

How to get tested for COVID-19

Treat COVID-19 symptoms at home

Life with a newborn baby

page last reviewed: 01/05/2020
next review due: 01/05/2023