Mother feed baby milk

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding (for Parents)

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed their baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make.

Healt experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants. But breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations.

For moms who can't breastfeed or who decide not to, infant formula is a healthy alternative. Formula provides babies with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

Some mothers worry that if they don't breastfeed, they won't bond with their baby. But the truth is, loving mothers will always create a special bond with their children. And feeding — no matter how — is a great time to strengthen that bond.

The decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one. Weighing the pros and cons of each method can help you decide what is best for you and your baby.

All About Breastfeeding

Nursing can be a wonderful experience for both mother and baby. It provides ideal nourishment and a special bonding experience that many mothers cherish.

A number of health organizations — including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) — recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.

The AAP recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing.

Here are some of the many benefits of breastfeeding:

Fighting infections and other conditions. Breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations than formula-fed infants. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germ-fighting factors pass from a mother to her baby and strengthen the immune system. This helps lower a baby's chances of getting many infections, including:

  • ear infections
  • diarrhea
  • respiratory infections
  • meningitis

Breastfeeding also may protect babies against:

  • allergies
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Breastfeeding is particularly beneficial for premature babies.

Nutrition and ease of digestion. Often called the "perfect food" for a human baby's digestive system, breast milk's components — lactose, protein (whey and casein), and fat — are easily digested by a newborn.

As a group, breastfed infants have less difficulty with digestion than do formula-fed infants. Breast milk tends to be more easily digested so that breastfed babies have fewer bouts of diarrhea or constipation.

Breast milk also naturally contains many of the vitamins and minerals that a newborn requires. One exception is vitamin D — the AAP recommends that all breastfed babies begin receiving vitamin D supplements during the first 2 months and continuing until a baby consumes enough vitamin D-fortified formula or milk (after 1 year of age).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates formula companies to ensure they provide all the necessary nutrients (including vitamin D) in their formulas. Still, commercial formulas can't completely match breast milk's exact composition. Why? Because milk is a living substance made by each mother for her individual infant, a process that can't be duplicated in a factory.

Free. Breast milk doesn't cost a cent, while the cost of formula quickly adds up. And unless you're pumping breast milk and giving it to your baby, there's no need for bottles, nipples, and other supplies that can be costly. Since breastfed babies are less likely to be sick, that may mean they make fewer trips to the doctor's office, so fewer co-pays and less money are paid for prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.

Different tastes. Nursing mothers usually need 300 to 500 extra calories per day, which should come from a wide variety of well-balanced foods. This introduces breastfed babies to different tastes through their mothers' breast milk, which has different flavors depending on what their mothers have eaten. By tasting the foods of their "culture," breastfed infants more easily accept solid foods.

Convenience. With no last-minute runs to the store for more formula, breast milk is always fresh and available whether you're home or out and about. And when women breastfeed, there's no need to wash bottles and nipples or warm up bottles in the middle of the night.

Smarter babies. Some studies suggest that children who were exclusively breastfed have slightly higher IQs than children who were formula fed.

"Skin-to-skin" contact. Many nursing mothers really enjoy the experience of bonding so closely with their babies. And the skin-to-skin contact can enhance the emotional connection between mother and infant.

Beneficial for mom, too. The ability to totally nourish a baby can help a new mother feel confident in her ability to care for her baby. Breastfeeding also burns calories and helps shrink the uterus, so nursing moms may be able to return to their pre-pregnancy shape and weight quicker. Also, studies show that breastfeeding helps lower the risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and also may help decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer.


Breastfeeding Challenges

Breastfeeding can be easy from the get-go for some mothers, but take a while to get used to for others. Moms and babies need plenty of patience to get used to the routine of breastfeeding.

Common concerns of new moms, especially during the first few weeks and months, may include:

Personal comfort. Initially, many moms feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding. But with proper education, support, and practice, most moms overcome this.

Latch-on pain is normal for the first week to 10 days, and should last less than a minute with each feeding. But if breastfeeding hurts throughout feedings, or if their nipples and/or breasts are sore, it's a good idea for breastfeeding mothers to get help from a lactation consultant or their doctor. Many times, it's just a matter of using the proper technique, but sometimes pain can mean that something else is going on, like an infection.

Time and frequency of feedings. Breastfeeding requires a big time commitment from mothers, especially in the beginning, when babies feed often. A breastfeeding schedule or the need to pump breast milk during the day can make it harder for some moms to work, run errands, or travel.

And breastfed babies do need to eat more often than babies who take formula, because breast milk digests faster than formula. This means mom may find herself in demand every 2 or 3 hours (maybe more, maybe less) in the first few weeks.

Diet. Women who are breastfeeding need to be aware of what they eat and drink, since these can be passed to the baby through the breast milk. Just like during pregnancy, breastfeeding women should not eat fish that are high in mercury and should limit consumption of lower mercury fish.

If a mom drinks alcohol, a small amount can pass to the baby through breast milk. She should wait at least 2 hours after a single alcoholic drink to breastfeed to avoid passing any alcohol to the baby. Caffeine intake should be kept to no more than 300 milligrams (about one to three cups of regular coffee) or less per day because it can cause problems like restlessness and irritability in some babies.

Maternal medical conditions, medicines, and breast surgery. Medical conditions such as HIV or AIDS or those that involve chemotherapy or treatment with certain medicines can make breastfeeding unsafe. A woman should check with her doctor or a lactation consultant if she's unsure if she should breastfeed with a specific condition. Women should always check with the doctor about the safety of taking medicines while breastfeeding, including over-the-counter and herbal medicines.

Mothers who've had breast surgery, such as a reduction, may have difficulty with their milk supply if their milk ducts have been severed. In this situation, a woman should to talk to her doctor about her concerns and work with a lactation specialist.


All About Formula Feeding

Commercially prepared infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk, and even contain some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.

Manufactured under sterile conditions, commercial formulas attempt to duplicate mother's milk using a complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins that aren't possible to create at home. So if you don't breastfeed your baby, it's important to use only commercially prepared formula and not try to make your own.

Besides medical concerns that may prevent breastfeeding, for some women, breastfeeding may be too difficult or stressful. Here are other reasons women may choose to formula feed:

Convenience. Either parent (or another caregiver) can feed the baby a bottle at any time (although this is also true for women who pump their breast milk). This allows mom to share the feeding duties and helps her partner to feel more involved in the crucial feeding process and the bonding that often comes with it.

Flexibility. Once the bottles are made, a formula-feeding mother can leave her baby with a partner or caregiver and know that her little one's feedings are taken care of. There's no need to pump or to schedule work or other obligations and activities around the baby's feeding schedule. And formula-feeding moms don't need to find a private place to nurse in public.

Time and frequency of feedings. Because formula is less digestible than breast milk, formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than breastfed babies.

Diet. Women who opt to formula feed don't have to worry about the things they eat or drink that could affect their babies.

page 7

Formula Feeding Challenges

As with breastfeeding, there are some challenges to consider when deciding whether to formula feed.

Lack of antibodies. None of the antibodies found in breast milk are in manufactured formula. So formula can't provide a baby with the added protection against infection and illness that breast milk does.

Can't match the complexity of breast milk. Manufactured formulas have yet to duplicate the complexity of breast milk, which changes as the baby's needs change.

Planning and organization. Unlike breast milk — which is always available, unlimited, and served at the right temperature — formula feeding your baby requires planning and organization to make sure that you have what you need when you need it. Parents must buy formula and make sure it's always on hand to avoid late-night runs to the store.

And it's important to always have the necessary supplies (like bottles and nipples) clean, easily accessible, and ready to go — otherwise, you will have a very hungry, very fussy baby to answer to. With 8-10 feedings in a 24-hour period, parents can quickly get overwhelmed if they're not prepared and organized.

Expense. Formula can be costly. Powdered formula is the least expensive, followed by concentrated, with ready-to-feed being the most expensive. And specialty formulas (such as soy and hypoallergenic) cost more — sometimes far more — than the basic formulas. During the first year of life, the cost of basic formula can run about $1,500.

Possibility of producing gas and constipation. Formula-fed babies may have more gas and firmer bowel movements than breastfed babies.

Making a Choice

Deciding how you will feed your baby can be a hard decision. You'll really only know the right choice for your family when your baby comes.

Many women decide on one method before the birth and then change their minds after their baby is born. And many women decide to breastfeed and supplement with formula because they find that is the best choice for their family and their lifestyle.

While you're weighing the pros and cons, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. These health care providers can give you more information about your options and help you make the best decision for your family.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Breastfeeding

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is good for both infants and mothers. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. As an infant grows, breast milk changes to meet the infant’s nutritional needs. Breastfeeding can also help protect the infant and mother against certain illnesses and diseases:

Benefits to Infants

Infants who are breastfed have a lower risk of:

  • Asthma.
  • Obesity.
  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Severe lower respiratory disease.
  • Acute otitis media (ear infections).
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting).
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants.

Benefit to Mothers

Mothers who breastfeed their infants have a lower risk of:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.

Families can visit CDC’s Infant and Toddler Nutrition website to learn more about what to expect while breastfeeding.

When should a mother avoid breastfeeding (contraindications)?

Breast milk provides the best nutrition for most infants, including premature and sick newborns. However, there are rare exceptions when breast milk or breastfeeding is not recommended. Learn more about contraindications to breastfeeding.

Only a few medications are contraindicated (not recommended) while breastfeeding. Although many medications do pass into breast milk, most have little or no effect on milk supply or on an infant’s well-being. However, health care providers should always weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing medications to breastfeeding mothers.

Learn more about safe prescription medication use while breastfeeding.

Top of Page

How is growth assessed for breastfed infants?

In the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Standard Charts are recommended for use with both breastfed and formula-fed infants and children, from birth to 2 years of age, to monitor growth. The WHO growth charts reflect growth patterns among children who were predominantly breastfed for at least 4 months and were still breastfeeding at 12 months. The WHO growth charts establish the growth of the breastfed infant as the norm for growth and are the standards for how children should grow when provided optimal conditions. Clinicians should be aware that healthy breastfed infants typically gain weight faster than formula-fed infants in the first few months of life but then gain weight more slowly for the remainder of infancy, even after complementary foods are introduced.

For children older than 2 years (2 to 19 years of age) CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that health care providers use the CDC Growth Reference Charts.

Visit the Growth Chart Training website for a set of self-directed, interactive training courses.

Source: Grummer-Strawn LM, Reinold C, Krebs NF. Use of the World Health Organization and CDC growth charts for children aged 0 to 59 months in the United States. MMWR  Recomm Rep. 2010;59(RR-9):1–15.

Top of Page

How long should a mother breastfeed?

The U. S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans [PDF-30.6MB] recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months, and then continuing breastfeeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods until your child is 12 months old or older. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization also recommend exclusive breastfeeding for about the first 6 months, with continued breastfeeding along with introducing appropriate complementary foods for up to 2 years of age or longer.

Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed their children for at least 1 year. The longer an infant is breastfed, the greater the protection from certain illnesses and long-term diseases. The more months or years a woman breastfeeds (combined breastfeeding of all her children), the greater the benefits to her health as well.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old. To learn more about infant and toddler feeding, visit CDC’s Infant and Toddler Nutrition website.

Top of Page

What can happen if someone else’s breast milk is given to another child?

Very few illnesses are transmitted via breast milk. Learn more about what to do if an infant or child is mistakenly fed another woman’s expressed breast milk.

Top of Page

Are special precautions needed for handling breast milk?

CDC does not list human breast milk as a body fluid to which universal precautions apply. Occupational exposure to human breast milk has not been shown to lead to transmission of HIV or Hepatitis B infection. However, because human breast milk has been implicated in transmitting HIV from mother to infant, gloves may be worn as a precaution by health care workers who are frequently exposed to breast milk (e.g., people working in human milk banks (defined below). For additional information regarding universal precautions as they apply to breast milk in the transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B infections, visit the following resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Perspectives in disease prevention and health promotion update: universal precautions for prevention of transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, Hepatitis B virus, and other bloodborne pathogens in health-care settings. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1988;37(24):377–388.

Top of Page

Where can mothers find more information about preparation and storage of breast milk?

CDC has guidelines for proper storage and preparation of breast milk to maintain the safety and quality of expressed breast milk for the health of the baby.

For more information about specific storage and preparation of breast milk questions, such as where to store breast milk at work, and what to do when the power goes out, visit CDC’s Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk Frequently Asked Questions.

Top of Page

What are human milk banks?

Human milk banks are a service established for the purpose of collecting milk from donors and processing, screening, storing, and distributing donated milk to meet the specific needs of individuals for whom human milk is prescribed by licensed health care providers. When possible, human milk banks also serve healthy infants who have been adopted or are not able to get their own mother’s milk.

Milk banks accept donations directly at their deposit sites or they can arrange for safe, overnight transportation of human milk at no cost to the donor. Learn more about donating to a milk bank by visiting the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).

Top of Page

Is it safe for families to buy breast milk on the internet?

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Food and Drug Administration recommend avoiding Internet-based milk sharing sites and instead recommend contacting milk banks. Research has demonstrated that some milk samples sold online have been contaminated with a range of bacteria.1

Nonprofit donor human milk banks, where processed human milk comes from screened donors, have a long safety record in North America. All member banks of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) must operate under specific evidence-based guidelines that require extensive testing and processing procedures as well as self-reported health information and a health statement from both the donor’s health care provider and the infant’s health care provider. Because most of the milk from milk banks is given to hospitalized and fragile infants, milk banks may not have enough to serve healthy infants at all times. To find a human milk bank, contact HMBANA.

1Keim, SA, Hogan, JS, McNamara, KA, et al. Microbial contamination of human milk purchased via the internet. Pediatrics. 2013;132(5).

Top of Page

What legal rights do breastfeeding mothers have?

Breastfeeding Laws

  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location. Visit the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about federal and state laws that protect and support breastfeeding.

Workplace Laws

  • The “Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision”  of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to support breastfeeding mothers to express breast milk for 1 year after each child’s birth by providing mothers with reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space to express their breast milk. Visit the United States Department of Labor to learn more.

Travel Laws

  • Air travelers are permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to bring breast milk, formula, and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces in their carry-on baggage and it does not need to fit within a quart size bag. Ice packs, freezer packs, and other accessories needed to keep the liquid cool are also allowed in carry-on bags. All liquids and partially frozen accessories are subject to being screened by X-ray. TSA is required by the Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Act (BABES act) to provide ongoing training to ensure TSA staff receive consistent training related to traveling with breast milk, formula, and infant feeding equipment. Visit the TSA to learn more about traveling with breast milk, formula, and juice. For tips on travel and breastfeeding, visit Travel Recommendations for the Nursing Mother.

Visit the Federal Policies, Programs, & Initiatives website to learn more about laws related to breastfeeding protections.

Top of Page

How can a mother continue to provide breast milk to her infant after returning to work or school?

Being prepared for returning to work or school can help a mother ease the transition and continue to breastfeed after her maternity leave is over. The Office on Women’s Health has information for making this transition easier.

When a mother is away from her infant, she can pump or hand express her breast milk so that her infant can drink breast milk from a bottle. Mothers can visit CDC’s Infant and Toddler Nutrition website to learn more about pumping breast milk.

Mothers who are expressing their breast milk should visit the CDC’s Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk website to learn how to prepare and store breast milk safely for her infant.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to support breastfeeding mothers to express breast milk for 1 year after each child’s birth by providing mothers with reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom space to express their breast milk.  For more information about the types of employees and employers to which the requirements apply, refer to the United States Department of Labor’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Top of Page

Where can mothers find breastfeeding support and additional Information about breastfeeding?

Help mothers find lactation support through the following resources:

  • International Lactation Consultant Association (IBCLCs)
  • United States Lactation Consultant Association (IBCLCs)
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) clinics
  • La Leche League

Help mothers find resources about breastfeeding by directing them to the following websites:

  • CDC— Infant and Toddler Nutrition
  • Office on Women’s Health—Breastfeeding
  • American Academy of Pediatrics—Healthy Children
  • United States Breastfeeding Committee—State Coalitions Directory
  • US Department of Agriculture—WIC Breastfeeding Support

Top of Page

Does breastfeeding during a child’s vaccine injections help with pain management?

Parents who are breastfeeding should be encouraged to breastfeed children age 2 years or younger before, during, and after their child’s vaccination. Several aspects of breastfeeding are thought to decrease pain by multiple mechanisms: being held by the parent, feeling skin-to-skin contact, suckling, being distracted, and ingesting breast milk. Potential adverse events such as gagging or spitting up have not been reported. Alternatives to breastfeeding include bottle-feeding with expressed breast milk or formula throughout the child’s procedure, which simulates aspects of breastfeeding.

Top of Page

Does breastfeeding after a child’s rotavirus vaccine impact the vaccine’s efficacy?

There is not sufficient evidence to suggest that breastfeeding can have a negative effect on rotavirus vaccine efficacy. A previous study found that human milk from women who live in areas with endemic rotavirus contains antibodies that can neutralize live rotavirus vaccine virus. However, in licensing trials, the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccine in breastfed infants was comparable to that in non-breastfed infants.

CDC does not recommend restricting or discontinuing breastfeeding before or after a child receives the rotavirus vaccine. Breastfed infants should be vaccinated according to the same schedule as non-breastfed infants.

Learn More about prevention of Rotavirus Gastroenteritis among infants and children.

Top of Page

Breastfeeding: how wonderful everything is created by nature!

Mother's milk is the nutrition for your baby that meets all the needs of an infant in the first year of life. It gives the child what he needs, and at the right time and in the right proportion. Mother's milk contains all the nutrients necessary for the growth and development of the child. During the first feeding, instead of milk, a woman produces colostrum - a yellowish-orange thick liquid. Colostrum, and subsequently milk, contains all the elements that strengthen your baby's immunity to resist various diseases. Indeed, numerous studies show that breastfed babies are much less susceptible to, or more tolerant of, diarrhea, respiratory infections, otitis media, and other infections common in infants. nine0003
In addition to protecting the child's still undeveloped immune system, breast milk also prepares the body for the subsequent introduction of new products into the body. In any case, the baby accepts and digests mother's milk much better than any other baby food; a child absorbs 96% of the substances from mother's milk, and only 86% from baby food. The time during which mother's milk is digested is on average one and a half hours, any other milk is twice as long. nine0003

Should I breastfeed my baby?
For many, the answer is obvious, but some mothers wonder about the choice of feeding method.
For many weeks and months you will receive a lot of advice and information from a doctor, a wise mother or friends, and over time you have made your choice.
Mother's milk is the best for your baby. However, if you are unable to breastfeed, bottle feeding with a nipple contains today all the necessary essential nutrients for your baby to grow normally. nine0003

For you, mother
In addition to the practical benefits of breastfeeding in avoiding the time-consuming and costly preparations for bottle-feeding, the benefit is that breastfeeding will allow you to recover more quickly from childbirth.
Sucking at the breast causes a slight contraction of the uterus. You do not feel it, but such contractions contribute to faster recovery after childbirth.

For both of you
Until you yourself become a mother, the "image of mother and child" is only a pretty picture. But to live in constant contact with a child, to find the physical closeness that united you before he was born, to continue to give him life - this is not as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of patience and effort. The baby feels the smell and warmth of the mother, her caress and feels safe. At such moments, a special emotional connection is born.

Breastfeeding is good for the baby
Breastfeeding is an unparalleled way of providing ideal nutrition to infants, with a unique biological and emotional impact on the health of both mother and child.
Breastfeeding must begin within 30 minutes of the birth of the baby.

Increasing the frequency of feedings stimulates milk production, so the baby should be fed according to his desire, not according to the clock, and as often as he wants. nine0003
The duration of each feeding is also determined by the child himself - he is at the breast for as long as he wants.
Breastfeed correctly. Both you and the baby should enjoy feeding.

The baby does not require any other food or drink other than mother's milk until at least 4 months of age. Water replaces breast milk, reduces the baby's appetite and, ultimately, milk production and duration of breastfeeding. nine0003
Do not give your baby any kind of pacifier - this prevents the baby from sucking properly at the breast.
When a mother is ill, her body produces antibodies that come with milk to the child and protect him from infection from the mother. A sick mother must continue to feed her child.
Breast milk prevents the occurrence of allergies, as it contains large amounts of immunoglobulin A.
Sucking only the mother's breast ensures the correct development of teeth, muscles, face. nine0003

Breast milk contains antibodies that protect the baby from harmful viruses and bacteria. Colostrum, which is formed after childbirth, contains the highest concentrations of antibodies.
Breast milk provides better development of the nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory and endocrine systems.
Breastfeeding is convenient and clean.

Breastfeeding at least one child reduces the risk of breast cancer by 50%, protects against ovarian cancer. nine0003
Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mother and child, not only at an early age, but throughout life.
Enjoy being with your child. Skin to skin contact, eye to eye, your love for him will provide you with spiritual intimacy with your child for many years.

Quality benefits of human milk
Breastfeeding is the highest art of motherhood.
2. Proteins are easy to digest. nine0003
3. Ideal protein standard. Proteins have the best amino acid composition.
4. A lot of immunoglobulin - protection against diseases.
5. Possesses proteolytic activity (has enzymes that break down protein in the baby's stomach).
6. High content of unsaturated fatty acids.
7. B-lactose - maintains normal intestinal flora, there are no putrefaction processes.
8. More vitamins D, E, A, C.
9. The iron contained in human milk is better absorbed (than in cow's milk). nine0003
10. Women's milk is sterile.
11. Breastfed babies have a higher IQ.

Negative aspects of artificial feeding
1. Possibility of allergy.
2. The composition of milk changes after heat treatment.
3. Risk of infection of the newborn.
4. Cow's milk contains no vitamins, no antibodies.
5. The flora in the intestines of the child is changing (putrid), the stool is shaped and rare. nine0003
6. Cow's milk proteins are harmful to the kidneys.
7. Communication of a child with a mother at a distance.
8. Children get sick more often and more severely, they do not get a sense of satisfaction from communicating with their mother.

Difficulties and contraindications to breastfeeding
Absolute contraindications for children:
1. Severe birth injuries
2. Hemolytic disease of the newborn.
nine0002 3. Profound prematurity.
4. Severe forms of respiratory respiratory disorders.
Relative contraindications for children:
1. Congenital malformations.
2. Prematurity.
3. Idiosyncrasy.

Absolute contraindications on the part of the mother:
Kidney disease with renal insufficiency.
2. Heart defects with heart failure. nine0003
3. Severe forms of blood disease.
4. Pronounced forms of Graves' disease.
5. Malignant tumors.
6. Acute mental illness.
7. HIV infection.

Maternal relative contraindications:
- Active form of tuberculosis, syphilis.

Breastfeeding when the mother is ill.


Articles nine0007


Stulova Maria Alexandrovna Breastfeeding consultant


Mom got sick! Nightmare! Grandmothers rush to the rescue, trying to protect the baby from infection and let the patient recover in peace.

However, good intentions and ignorance of physiology often lead to negative results.

Very important: if a nursing mother falls ill, it is necessary to choose medications that are compatible with breastfeeding*, and continue breastfeeding!!! nine0212

Contraindications to breastfeeding are the following diseases of the mother:

  • eclampsia, severe bleeding during childbirth and in the postpartum period,
  • open tuberculosis,
  • a state of severe decompensation in chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver,
  • and hyperthyroidism,
  • acute mental illness,
  • especially dangerous infections (typhus, cholera, etc. ),
  • herpetic eruptions on the nipple of the mammary gland (before their follow-up treatment),
  • HIV infection.

With such diseases of a nursing mother as rubella, chickenpox, measles, mumps, cytomegalovirus infection, herpes simplex, acute intestinal and acute respiratory viral infections, if they occur without severe intoxication, breastfeeding, subject to the rules of general hygiene, is not contraindicated.

The presence of hepatitis B and C in women is currently not a contraindication to breastfeeding, however, feeding is carried out through special silicone pads. In acute hepatitis A in the mother, breastfeeding is prohibited. nine0007

And if we are dealing with banal colds, flus or mastitis, then interrupting breastfeeding for the duration of the illness is NOT good for either the mother or the child.


Because by the time the mother has symptoms of the disease, the child may already be infected. He is in a state of “pre-disease”, but has the opportunity not to get sick or to suffer the disease in a mild / latent form.

To do this, it is necessary to help the baby's immune system and save the body's resources to fight infection. What can help the immune system are breast milk immunoglobulins, as well as a huge amount of vitamins and other biologically active substances from milk. nine0007

How to preserve the resources of the body - provide the child with the most easily digestible food (this is breast milk), which will save energy, reduce stressful situations (absence of a mother nearby, inability to habitually suckle the breast, the appearance of a new person in the house to care for the baby), save heat (avoid long walks in the cold season). Conclusion: the main help for the child's body is the preservation of the usual rhythm of breastfeeding and the usual contact with the mother. nine0007

If we decide to interrupt breastfeeding for the duration of the illness, then the child has to be transferred to artificial formula. What is NOT good for the child:

  • The child is deprived of mother's milk immunoglobulins and many bioactive substances
  • The load on the gastrointestinal tract increases, because the mixture is an indigestible product to which the body must adapt
  • The risk of allergies increases and, accordingly, the body's resistance to infections decreases
  • The child is deprived of habitual sucking and nutrition, and with it the necessary contact with the mother - this is a psychological stress for the baby, weakening the body's resources
  • Often, when suckling the nipple, the child develops a mechanism of improper sucking, which prevents a further return to breastfeeding

What is NOT useful for a mother to interrupt breastfeeding during illness:

A change in the rhythm and quality of breast emptying, which in turn can provoke lactostasis, and then mastitis (especially if the mother has a bacterial infection). nine0007

During illness, the breast must be emptied very efficiently, sometimes giving the child to suck even more often than usual and from different positions. At the same time, many children themselves increase the rhythm of attachments during illnesses (mother's and / or their own) - they seem to “hang” on their chest for a couple of days. And grandmothers at this time can help mom around the house, take care of hygiene and the baby.
Usually safe, used in medium doses, are short courses of paracetamol, ibuprofen; most cough medicines; antibiotics - ampicillin and other penicillins, erythromycin. However, in the instructions for these drugs, you will most likely find a contraindication - breastfeeding. This is due to the fact that the manufacturer must conduct studies on the effect of the drug on the child through breast milk. Since it is very expensive and not every pharmaceutical company can conduct such studies, manufacturers are forced to write a warning. Studies by foreign companies show that the above drugs practically do not penetrate into breast milk (either due to the very large size of the molecules, or due to strong binding to blood proteins) and cannot harm the child.

Learn more