Breastfeeding During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby and has many health benefits both for your baby and for you. Breast milk is designed to meet your baby’s needs from birth to about 6 months of age when you start introducing solid foods into your baby’s diet. Breastfeeding is known to help babies to develop a strong immune system, protecting them from infections.  

Mums can successfully and safely start and maintain breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic. While knowledge about the virus is changing daily, there is no evidence that the virus can be passed from a mother to her baby through breastmilk. 

If you are breastfeeding and have or suspect you have COVID-19, it is important that you continue to breastfeed. If you feel too unwell to breastfeed, you may decide to express breast milk so that your partner or close family member can feed your baby. If you do become unwell with COVID-19, your healthcare team can advise you on the best way to feed your baby for both of you. 

If you have or suspect you have COVID-19, follow the 3 “W” steps to help protect you and your baby while breastfeeding or expressing. 

  • Wash your hands properly before and after touching your baby or any breastfeeding equipment such as pumps or bottles. 

  • Wear a face mask, if doing breast or bottle feeds yourself. 

  • Wash your breast pump and other breastfeeding equipment before and after each use. 

Helpful advice and support for all breastfeeding mothers on coronavirus and pregnancy can be found: 

Other helpful resources on COVID-19 and breastfeeding are also available from: