Last update July 16, 2023

Influenza virus infection

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

An illness which is caused by any of the three types of Influenza A, B and C virus. Type A has several subtypes: H1N1, H1N2, H2N2, H3N2, H5N1 ...

It is contagious from one day before symptoms appear, hence isolation of the mother from her infant is useless.

It is not indicated the isolation of newborn babies from their mothers either.Cantey 2013, (Sendelbach 2012) 

The illness, on both the mother and the infant, is compatible while breastfeeding (AAP 2022, CDC 2021). Discontinuation of breastfeeding would not only increase the likelihood of infection but the severity of the infection on the infant.

Most antiviral treatments used for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza (Amantadine, Oseltamivir, Zanamivir, Influenza virus vaccines) are compatible while breastfeeding, although Amantadine may reduce milk production (see specific info).

Hand washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, or mask wearing are recommended while breastfeeding.

See below the information of these related products:

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Influenza virus infection is also known as


  1. AAP. COMMITTEE ON INFECTIOUS DISEASES.. Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Influenza in Children, 2022-2023. Pediatrics. 2022 Oct 1;150(4). pii: e2022059275. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. CDC. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza (Flu) and Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding and Special Circumstances. 2021 Full text (link to original source)
  3. Henkle E, Steinhoff MC, Omer SB, Roy E, Arifeen SE, Raqib R, Breiman RF, Caulfield LE, Moss WJ, Zaman K. The effect of exclusive breast-feeding on respiratory illness in young infants in a maternal immunization trial in Bangladesh. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 Abstract
  4. Cantey JB, Bascik SL, Heyne NG, Gonzalez JR, Jackson GL, Rogers VL, Sheffield JS, Treviño S, Sendelbach D, Wendel GD, Sánchez PJ. Prevention of mother-to-infant transmission of influenza during the postpartum period. Am J Perinatol. 2013 Abstract
  5. Sendelbach DM, Sanchez PJ. Varicella, influenza: not necessary to separate mother and infant. Pediatrics. 2012 Aug;130(2):e464; author reply 465-6. Abstract
  6. Zapata LB, Kendrick JS, Jamieson DJ, MacFarlane K, Shealy K, Barfield WD. Prevention of novel influenza infection in newborns in hospital settings: considerations and strategies during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2012 Abstract
  7. Gupta M, Pursley DM. A survey of infection control practices for influenza in mother and newborn units in US hospitals. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  8. Prameela KK. Breastfeeding--anti-viral potential and relevance to the influenza virus pandemic. Med J Malaysia. 2011 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  9. Greer LG, Leff RD, Rogers VL, Roberts SW, McCracken GH Jr, Wendel GD Jr, Sheffield JS. Pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir in breast milk and maternal plasma. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Melendi GA, Coviello S, Bhat N, Zea-Hernandez J, Ferolla FM, Polack FP. Breastfeeding is associated with the production of type I interferon in infants infected with influenza virus. Acta Paediatr. 2010 Abstract
  11. Skalli S, Ferreira E, Bussières JF, Allenet B. Grippe A/H1N1v 2009, grossesse et allaitement: quel antiviral choisir? [Influenza A/H1N1v 2009 during pregnancy and breastfeeding: which antiviral to choose?]. Ann Pharm Fr. 2010 Abstract
  12. Dembinski J. [Oseltamivir in pregnancy, lactation and neonatal period--comparison of international recommendations]. Z Geburtshilfe Neonatol. 2010 Abstract
  13. Tanaka T, Nakajima K, Murashima A, Garcia-Bournissen F, Koren G, Ito S. Safety of neuraminidase inhibitors against novel influenza A (H1N1) in pregnant and breastfeeding women. CMAJ. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2009 H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and Feeding your Baby: What Parents Should Know. CDC 2009 Full text (in our servers)
  15. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. La influenza H1N1 2009 (influenza porcina) y la alimentación del bebé: lo que los padres deben conocer. CDC Info 2009 Full text (in our servers)
  16. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Breastfeeding / Swine Flu Recommendations for Physicians from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine For immediate release (ABM) 2009 Full text (in our servers)
  17. Wentges-van Holthe N, van Eijkeren M, van der Laan JW. Oseltamivir and breastfeeding. Int J Infect Dis. 2008 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Ruben FL, Holzman IR, Fireman P. Responses of lymphocytes from human colostrum or milk to influenza antigens. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1982 Abstract

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