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Q&A: What if I Get Food Poisoning?

Q&A: If I get food poisoning, should I avoid nursing my baby?
ByJack Newman, MD, FRCPC
Pediatrician
Updated
January 30, 2017
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No. In fact, if her body were exposed to the same bacteria you were, breastfeeding would help protect her from getting sick too. (You could have passed the bacteria to her from food left on your hands or by kissing her.) When a mom gets food poisoning, the bacteria don’t usually pass to baby though breast milk; it stays in mom’s intestinal tract. Salmonella can (rarely) get into the bloodstream and milk, but breastfeeding would still be an effective way to help protect baby.

If you are dealing with food-borne illness and begin to get dehydrated, your milk supply may drop a bit. During this time, try to take care of yourself and to take in fluids as best you can. And, if your supply is still a bit low once you’re better, you can help bump it back up by nursing a little more often for a few days.

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