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Breastfeeding & the Flu

You can continue to breastfeed whether you have a cold, flu, or other mild respiratory illness. 

If you are not feeling up to breastfeeding, you can ask someone else who is not sick to give your baby your expressed breast milk by cup, syringe or bottle. 

When you are sick with the flu or a cold, your milk will not transmit your illness to your baby.

  • Babies who are breastfed may get sick from infections less often and less severely than babies who are not breastfed.
  • Your milk has antibodies that are specific to your illness and will help prevent your baby from getting sick.

  It is important to note that the flu, and other respiratory illnesses, can be very serious in young babies.

  • Stay home and rest.
  • Avoid sneezing and coughing on baby.
  • Use a tissue and throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve. 
  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when there is no soap and water available.
  • Clean shared surfaces often.
  • Ask someone else in the home that is not sick to help care for your baby while you are resting.


One of the best things you can do for your sick baby is to breastfeed often.

  • Babies who are sick need more fluids.
  • Breast milk is the best fluid for your baby to protect your baby’s immune system.
  • If your baby is too sick to breastfeed, see a health care provider immediately.

For more information on feeding your baby/child in Simcoe Muskoka, please contact your health care provider or contact Health Connection by calling 1-705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by email or connect with us wherever you are on Facebook or Twitter.

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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