Illness and Breastfeeding

If breastfeeding is going well, jaundice does not require the mother to stop breastfeeding. If the breastfeeding is not going well, fixing the breastfeeding will fix the problem, whereas stopping breastfeeding even for a short time may completely undo the breastfeeding. Stopping breastfeeding is not an answer, not a solution, not a good idea. (See handout Breastfeeding and Jaundice.)

A sick baby does not need breastfeeding less, he needs it more!

If the question you have is not discussed above, do not assume that you must stop breastfeeding. Do not stop. Get more information. Mothers have been told they must stop breastfeeding for reasons too silly to discuss.

Questions? Get Dr. Jack Newman's book The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers.

Jack NewmanJack Newman graduated from the University of Toronto medical school as a pediatrician in 1970. He started the first hospital-based breastfeeding clinic in Canada in 1984 at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. He has been a consultant with UNICEF for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Africa, and has published articles on the subject of breastfeeding in Scientific American and several medical journals. Dr. Newman has practiced as a physician in Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Written and Revised by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC 1995-2005
Revised May 2008