The only true contraindications to breastfeeding are the following:

  • Infants with classic galactosemia (galactose 1-phosphate uridyltransferase deficiency)
  • Mothers, in the US, who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), untreated brucellosis, or suspected or confirmed Ebola virus disease
  • Mothers using substances such as opioids, cocaine, and PCP (phencyclidine)

​Refer to the policy statement​ or technical report for other conditions that may require further investigation.

Breastfeeding is NOT contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • Infants born to mothers who are hepatitis B surface antigen-positive
  • Mothers who are infected with hepatitis C virus (persons with hepatitis C virus antibody or hepatitis C virus-RNA-positive blood)
  • Mothers infected with West Nile virus
  • Mothers infected with SARS-CoV-2
  • Mothers with mastitis
  • Mothers who are febrile (unless cause is a contraindication outlined in the previous section)
  • Mothers who have been exposed to low-level environmental chemical agents
  • Mothers who are seropositive carriers of cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Mothers who smoke tobacco (though they should be encouraged to quit)
  • Mothers who have occasional alcohol intake (wait two hours per beverage after alcohol consumption before breastfeeding)
  • The great majority of babies with jaundice or hyperbilirubinemia can continue to be breastfed without interruption
  • Most maternal medications (see the LactMed database for safety of maternal medications)
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