Maternal Infectious Diseases

After the birth of the infants, they receive intestinal microflora from their mother’s microbiota. An infant’s indigenous floras differ by mode of delivery and are shaped by environment, genetics, and the mode of feeding. Breast milk affects the infant’s intestinal microflora by contributing maternal skin organisms along with the ones that nurture some microbes and offer defense from others. While breast milk can be a source of maternally derived commensal and pathogenic microbes, there are very few maternal infectious diseases for which the cessation or interruption of breastfeeding is indicated. When a nursing a mother presents the symptoms of an infectious disease and she has already exposed her baby to the pathogen. Cessation of breastfeeding does not prevent exposure, and rather decrease the infant’s protection that comes through specific maternal antibodies and other protective factors found in human milk. Therefore, common maternal bacterial, fungal and viral infections in which the mother’s health is not compromised are not contraindications to breastfeeding.

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Syphilis
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B

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