Diseases That Affect Breast-Feeding
Most women with chronic illnesses or infectious diseases can Reference breast-feed Opens New Window.
- Women with Reference diabetes Opens New Window usually can breast-feed but may need to follow a special diet. They may be able to lower their insulin doses while breast-feeding, because their blood glucose is being used for milk production.
- Women with Reference cystic fibrosis Opens New Window or Reference phenylketonuria (PKU) Opens New Window must have their milk and their infant's health monitored when breast-feeding.
- In most cases, breast-feeding is possible when the mother has Reference hepatitis A Opens New Window, chronic Reference hepatitis B Opens New Window or Reference hepatitis C Opens New Window, or Reference cytomegalovirus Opens New Window (CMV).
Other diseases, though, may make breast milk unsafe for the baby. A woman should not breast-feed if she:
- Is infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (Reference HIV Opens New Window), because she can pass the virus to her baby in her milk.
- Has active Reference tuberculosis Opens New Window or some viral infections (such as active, acute Reference hepatitis Opens New Window).
- Has sores on her breast caused by infections (such as Reference herpes Opens New Window, Reference syphilis Opens New Window, or Reference chickenpox Opens New Window). She will need to wait until the infection has been resolved or successfully treated.
A rare hormonal disorder called Reference Sheehan's syndrome Opens New Window makes a woman unable to produce milk or to produce enough milk to feed her baby. Sheehan's syndrome results from severe bleeding (hemorrhaging) immediately after giving birth.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 14, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology