You can keep breastfeeding if you have COVID-19 or flu.

Breastfeeding is safe and the best way to feed your baby. The benefit your baby gets from your breastmilk is greater than the risk of them catching your illness. Your breastmilk may also help protect your baby from getting sick.

COVID-19 and flu are spread from your nose and mouth. To reduce the risk, do these things when feeding your baby or expressing breast milk:

  • Start by washing your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wear a face mask – see tips on wearing a face mask.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, and immediately throw it away. Make sure to use hand sanitiser or wash your hands with soap and clean water afterwards.

Look after yourself

It is important you have plenty of fluids and rest.

If you are too sick to breastfeed, try to express breast milk for your baby. Ask someone who is well to feed the expressed milk to your baby by a bottle, cup, or spoon.

You should also speak to your midwife, child and family health nurse, or doctor if you are worried about breastfeeding.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association has information about expressing and storing breast milk.

If your milk supply drops

Some women have problems with less milk supply when they are unwell.

If this happens to you, there are ways to increase your milk supply once you are better.

Support is also available from:


You don't need to stop breastfeeding before or after your COVID-19 or flu vaccinations.

Use the COVID 19 - shared decision making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy guide and talk with your doctor.

Current as at: Wednesday 26 October 2022
Contact page owner: Maternity, Child and Family