Breast milk is one of the main food choices for babies . However, there are several diseases that can be transmitted through breast milk, you know, Mothers. Come on, identify any diseases that can be transmitted through breast milk, so Mothers can prevent transmission to the Little One.
Breastfeeding until the child is 2 years old can provide many benefits for optimal growth and development. Besides having complete nutritional content, breast milk is also more practical and can strengthen the bond between mother and child.
Diseases that can be transmitted through breast milk
Breast milk is produced by the mother’s body, so some diseases experienced by breastfeeding mothers can also be transmitted through breast milk. In addition, the breastfeeding process that involves close and direct contact between the mother and baby can also facilitate the transmission of disease to the baby.
Diseases that can be transmitted while breastfeeding include:
Breast milk does not transmit tuberculosis (TB) , but this disease is very easily transmitted through fluids from the respiratory tract (droplets) which spread when the patient sneezes or coughs.
Therefore, breastfeeding mothers who suffer from active tuberculosis (still contagious) are advised not to breastfeed directly and continue to use masks when close to their babies. If a breastfeeding mother has active TB, her baby needs to get expressed breast milk.
Breastfeeding mothers who suffer from tuberculosis are only allowed to breastfeed directly if they have undergone tuberculosis treatment for at least 2 weeks and their condition has been declared non-infectious or has no potential to infect again.
Hepatitis (A, B, C, E)
Transmission of hepatitis A and E during breastfeeding is considered very rare, so Mothers does not need to worry too much. Breastfeeding mothers who suffer from hepatitis B and C can still breastfeed their babies.
However, hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through blood. If a nursing mother who suffers from hepatitis B or C has sores on her breasts, breastfeeding should be stopped for a while until the wound heals.
In addition, babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B must receive a complete hepatitis B vaccination for 1 year.
When a nursing mother has herpes simplex , direct breastfeeding can still be done as long as there is no herpes rash on the breast. However, if there is a rash, then the breastfeeding process should be temporarily stopped, either directly or through expressed breast milk.
This is because babies who come into contact with the rash or consume breast milk from the affected breast have a high risk of contracting this infection.
Breastfeeding mothers who experience chickenpox 5 days before giving birth or 2 days after are advised to avoid direct contact with the baby. This infectious phase will last 2 days before the appearance of the rash until the rash is completely dry.
Although direct contact is not allowed to avoid transmission, breastfeeding is still permitted. After the smallpox rash dried up, Busui could return to breastfeeding Si Kecil.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Each type of sexually transmitted infection has a different route of transmission, including through breast milk. Breastfeeding mothers who suffer from HIV are not recommended to breastfeed at all because transmission of the HIV virus can occur through breast milk.
In nursing mothers who suffer from trichomoniasis , it is recommended to do treatment first before breastfeeding the baby. Meanwhile, mothers who suffer from chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HPV infections are not prohibited from breastfeeding their children.
Other conditions that can delay breastfeeding for infants are breastfeeding mothers who use drugs, suffer from infection with the HTLV virus ( human T-cell lumphotrophic virus ) type I or II, or are suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus .
Meanwhile, breastfeeding mothers who are suffering from DHF or mastitis , as well as breastfeeding mothers who have or are currently suffering from breast cancer, are advised to consult a doctor before giving exclusive breastfeeding.
If mothers has certain health conditions, especially the diseases mentioned above, you should first consult with a doctor before breastfeeding your little one.
Davanzo R. (2018). Controversies in Breastfeeding. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 6, pp.278.
Centers for Disease and Prevention (2021). Breastfeeding, Hepatitis B or C Infections.
Centers for Disease and Prevention (2021). Chickenpox (Varicella).
Centers for Disease and Prevention (2021). Contraindications to Breastfeeding or Feeding Expressed Breast Milk to Infants.
Centers for Disease and Prevention (2019). Dengue Transmission.
United States Department of Health & Human Services (2019). Women’s Health. Sexually Transmitted Infections, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding.
Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics (2021). Serious Illness and Breastfeeding.
Rai, D. Baby Center. Is It Safe to Breastfeed if I Have Tuberculosis (TB)?
Ding, K. Baby Center (2020). Is It Safe to Breastfeed If I’m Sick?
Daniel, C. Verywell Health (2022). Breastfeeding and Viral Hepatitis.
Leave a Reply