Circumstances when breastfeeding is contraindicated

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):295-318. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2012.09.012. Epub 2012 Oct 30.


This article reviews risks of illness or exposures to breastfed infants. Galactosemia in an infant is a contraindication to breastfeeding. There are no medical conditions in the mother that are contraindications, although diagnostic procedures, treatment, or illness can interfere. Restrictive diets or malnutrition are not contraindications but are opportunities to provide nutritional counseling. Environmental toxic exposures within the United States are uncommon; breastfeeding is not usually contraindicated. In any concerning situation, an assessment and discussion of risks and benefits for the mother-infant dyad (breastfed or formula fed) is indicated. Coordinated medical care and lactation assistance can facilitate successful breastfeeding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding* / adverse effects
  • Contraindications
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Galactosemias
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HTLV-I Infections / prevention & control
  • HTLV-I Infections / transmission
  • HTLV-II Infections / prevention & control
  • HTLV-II Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Malnutrition
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects
  • United States