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Diseases That Affect Breast-Feeding

Diseases That Affect Breast-Feeding

Topic Overview

Most women with chronic illnesses or infectious diseases can breast-feed .

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 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.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last Revised April 14, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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