Last update July 9, 2021

Maternal Acute Gastroenteritis

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Breastfeeding is perfectly acceptable in mothers that are affected by gastroenteritis, as long as their clinical condition permits it (Lawrence 2016 p.776-791, Appendix D: Precautions and Breastfeeding Recommendations for Selected Maternal Infections).

Medication used in the few diarrhea ailments that require specific pharmacological treatment are compatible with breastfeeding.

The germs, viruses or bacteria that cause gastroentercolitis are not transmitted by milk.

Standard preventive measures (hand washing, use of gloves, meticulous hygiene) and for contact (use of clothes to avoid direct contact with cutaneous areas that may be contaminated) are required to prevent the transmission from mother to child (Lawrence 2016 p.408 -409).

Breast milk contains immunoglobulin A (IgA) and other defensive elements (Coppa 2016) against various infectious diseases, so there is a greater risk of transmission if the mother affected by gastroenteritis interrupts breastfeeding.

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of breastfeeding in preventing morbidity and mortality from gastroenteritis and other infections (Frank 2019, Hartman 2019, Westerfield 2018, Ardiç 2018) in communities from poor and developing countries (Turin 2014), as well as in industrialized countries (Paricio 2006).
Infants with norovirus gastroenteritis, whose mothers had positive serology and a level of anti-norovirus IgA in breast milk, had reduced diarrhea symptoms (Labayo 2021).

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

Maternal Acute Gastroenteritis is also known as


Maternal Acute Gastroenteritis belongs to this group or family:


  1. Labayo HKM, Pajuelo MJ, Tohma K, Ford-Siltz LA, Gilman RH, Cabrera L, Mayta H, Sanchez GJ, Cornejo AT, Bern C, Dapat C, Nochi T, Parra GI, Oshitani H, Saito M. Norovirus-specific immunoglobulin A in breast milk for protection against norovirus-associated diarrhea among infants. EClinicalMedicine. 2020 Oct 5;27:100561. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Frank NM, Lynch KF, Uusitalo U, Yang J, Lönnrot M, Virtanen SM, Hyöty H, Norris JM; TEDDY Study Group.. The relationship between breastfeeding and reported respiratory and gastrointestinal infection rates in young children. BMC Pediatr. 2019 Sep 18;19(1):339. Abstract
  3. Hartman S, Brown E, Loomis E, Russell HA. Gastroenteritis in Children. Am Fam Physician. 2019 Feb 1;99(3):159-165. Abstract
  4. Westerfield KL, Koenig K, Oh R. Breastfeeding: Common Questions and Answers. Am Fam Physician. 2018 Sep 15;98(6):368-373. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  5. Ardiç C, Yavuz E. Effect of breastfeeding on common pediatric infections: a 5-year prospective cohort study. Arch Argent Pediatr. 2018 Apr 1;116(2):126-132. Abstract
  6. Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding. A guide for the medical profession. Eighth Edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier; 2016
  7. Coppa GV, Facinelli B, Magi G, Marini E, Zampini L, Mantovani V, Galeazzi T, Padella L, Marchesiello RL, Santoro L, Coscia A, Peila C, Volpi N, Gabrielli O. Human milk glycosaminoglycans inhibit in vitro the adhesion of Escherichia coli and Salmonella fyris to human intestinal cells. Pediatr Res. 2016 Abstract
  8. Turin CG, Ochoa TJ. The Role of Maternal Breast Milk in Preventing Infantile Diarrhea in the Developing World. Curr Trop Med Rep. 2014 Jun 1;1(2):97-105. Abstract
  9. Paricio Talayero JM, Lizán-García M, Otero Puime A, Benlloch Muncharaz MJ, Beseler Soto B, Sánchez-Palomares M, Santos Serrano L, Rivera LL. Full breastfeeding and hospitalization as a result of infections in the first year of life. Pediatrics. 2006 Jul;118(1):e92-9. Abstract

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