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Can you spread infection from breast milk to baby?

I know there are certain infections that can be spread to the baby through breast milk. However, my 10 week old niece just got diagnosed with a horrible disease and we have no answers to why she could have gotten this. The doctor said that it could be something to do with my sister-in-law's labor and that she could have had an infection. My husband and I were just looking for some answers and did not know if anybody could help us.
Thank You!

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:42 PM on Oct. 27, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Answers (3)
  • It really depends on the infection. HIV can be spread to the baby through the breast milk, but infected milk ducts don't harm the baby at all and nursing actually helps to clear it up.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:52 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Most anything that goes into the mother's body can be transfered through the breast milk and into the baby. HOWEVER, that does not say that everything can. It greatly depends on the infection. Disease cannot generally be spread from one person to another. Barring sexually transmitted diseases. It is more common that a disease is cell based and/or biology based. However, it is unlikely that a disease is transmitted from parent to child. There is a HUGE difference between infection and Disease though, so make sure to educate yourself on what the child actually has. That way you're looking in the right direction as far as cause and cure/treatment.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 9:16 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • I was told by my OB and by DD"s pediatrician that if I became sick, to continue to BF. They said that the antibodies that my body was producing would be passed to DD through the milk. I agree with Jazz, an infection is easily treatable with antibiotics-diseases are much more serious with many being incurable

    Answer by alexsmomma06 at 6:14 PM on Oct. 28, 2010

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