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Breastfeeding and coronavirus

Can I breastfeed?

You might feel worried about how coronavirus could affect your baby if you’re breastfeeding, or planning on breastfeeding. It's important to remember that there is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk.

While you could pass it to your baby in the same way as anyone close to you, the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks. Breastfeeding is good for the health of both of you.

Breastmilk contains antibodies which boost your baby's immune system and helps them fight viruses and infections.

The advice is to keep breastfeeding. This is also true for mums who have coronavirus.

You can find more breastfeeding information and tips here. Talk to your midwife or health visitor by telephone if you want to chat about your options further.

Expressed milk

During the first weeks of breastfeeding it's important to have lots of skin to skin contact and feed your baby when they are showing feeding cues, if they are unsettled, you want to have a cuddle or your breasts feel full. Breastfeeding your baby is easier than expressing your breastmilk but there may be times when you do want to express your breastmilk. If you or a family member are feeding with expressed milk, it is particularly important at the moment to be hygienic.

Make sure you wash your hands before touching your breast pump or feeding your baby. Also sterilise any bottles or equipment before you use them and wash them carefully afterwards. Don't share bottles or breast pumps with anyone else.

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?

If you're breastfeeding, or planning to breastfeed you can get the COVID-19 vaccine. You should not stop breastfeeding to be vaccinated against COVID-19. You can continue breastfeeding after vaccination.

The COVID-19 vaccine - Pregnancy leaflet has more information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Reasons to breastfeed

Reasons to Breastfeed


Help and support

You can also contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline which is open as usual on 0300 100 0212 from 9.30am-9.30pm every day of the year.

Many breastfeeding support groups are also holding online sessions. Our page on breastfeeding support has more information.