Diseases That Affect Breast-Feeding
Most women with chronic illnesses or infectious diseases can breast-feed.
- Women with diabetes 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 cystic fibrosis or phenylketonuria (PKU) must have their milk and their infant's health monitored when breast-feeding.
- In most cases, breast-feeding is possible when the mother has hepatitis A, chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C, or cytomegalovirus (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 (HIV), because she can pass the virus to her baby in her milk.
- Has active tuberculosis or some viral infections (such as active, acute hepatitis).
- Has sores on her breast caused by infections (such as herpes, syphilis, or chickenpox). She will need to wait until the infection has been resolved or successfully treated.
A woman also should not breast-feed if her baby has galactosemia.
A rare hormonal disorder called Sheehan's syndrome 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.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||April 12, 2013|
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