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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Food Poisoning and Breastfeeding: Should I Still Nurse My Baby?

Food Poisoning and Breastfeeding: Should I Still Nurse My Baby? #breastfeeding #food #sickYou had a lovely evening out to dinner with friends, but then at 2 am it hits you! Pain and nausea all at once, and you discover you must have food poisoning! After a long night of being sick your baby is now up and ready to nurse. But you are worried. “Should I still nurse my baby? Will she get sick?” Here are a few key things you should know about food poisoning and breastfeeding your baby.

Can You Still Breastfeed When Sick With Food Poisoning?

In most circumstances you can, and should, still continue to breastfeed when sick, including food poisoning. As long as your symptoms are gastrointestinal, your baby should not be affected at all by nursing. If the food poisoning becomes Septicemia, meaning it passes into your blood stream, then baby does not need to breastfeed. Septicemia is very serious and by that point you will likely be hospitalized already. If this occurs, once you receive treatment for it and are given antibiotics you should be able to breastfeed once again. But this is something that should be decided between you and your doctor.

Making Breastfeeding Easier While You are Sick

You may be able to continue breastfeeding while you are sick but that might not mean you feel like it around the clock like Baby likes it.  If you have food poisoning and you’re running to the bathroom every few minutes, breastfeeding can actually become quite difficult. Here’s a few tips to make breastfeeding easier while you are sick with food poisoning.

  • Stay in bed with Baby. If your baby is very small just keep Baby in bed with you, or in a bassinet by the bed if you don’t feel comfortable with Baby in your bed. This way you have Baby close for when he/she is ready to nurse and you won’t have to get up. If Baby is older and wants to be up and about, just have someone bring the baby to you in bed when he/she is ready to nurse.
  • Breastfeed lying down. It took me a little bit to master this position but once I got the hang of it, it was wonderful for the middle of the night feedings and when I was sick.
  • Stay hydrated. As with any gastrointestinal sickness, staying hydrated is very important. It is even more important for a nursing mother. Try to stay as hydrated as possible by sipping water or Gatorade all day. If you feel like you may be dehydrated call your doctor or head to the emergency room.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all get sick at some point and as mommies we still want to do it all and keep everything running smoothly. Try to get as much rest as you can so your body can recover more quickly. If that means Daddy has to give Baby a bottle of pumped milk a few times while you are sick, that’s ok, too.

Being sick is not fun for anyone. Being a sick mama is really hard. But if food poisoning gets you down, just remember, it is safe to still nurse your baby. Just make sure you get lots of rest, as well, so you can recover and get back on your feet again quickly.

Have you experienced food poisoning and breastfeeding? Share what helped you recover!


Michelle is the mommy behind the blog The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a Second Time Mom! She is a stay-at-home mom to two small boys, ages 3 and 1. She loves to write about breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and her crazy life as a mommy of two! 



  1. I had terrible food poisoning with fever, vomiting, muscle cramps etc. I had plenty to drink but no matter how much I drank I felt dehydrated. My fiancee took a day Off and stayed with LO and I had day off everything. Next morning I felt very weak but much better overall. I had black tea with sugar and small bit of toast. Being sick is not nice, don’t be shy to ask for help.

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