Last update July 19, 2017

Sting / Bite of Arthropods

Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

The insect venom is a complex mixture of polypeptides, amines, proteinaceous enzymes (proteases, phospholipases, hyaluronidase), histamine and other substances.
Most of them cannot pass into milk because of its high molecular weight. Some that would pass into the milk do it in very small amounts, yet due to its proteinaceous nature it is readily inactivated in the gastrointestinal tract of the infant and not absorbed, except in premature babies and during the immediate neonatal period, which may show an increased permeability of the intestine.

It has been reported a mild allergic-like reaction in a 12-days-old newborn who was breastfed one hour after the mother had been chopped on the lip by a bee that caused to her a widespread reaction in the face (Kaya 2012).

Topical or systemic products that can be used to treat insect bites (like repellents, antihistamines, epinephrine, corticosteroids, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory, antibiotics, etc.) are compatible with breastfeeding. Whenever necessary, it should be used 2nd generation antihistamine (e.g. Loratadine, Cetirizine) due to a lacking sedative effect.
The antivenoms or antivenin sera, that can be applied in certain severe cases, are specific immunoglobulins obtained from serum of horses or other animals that due to their high molecular weight do not pass to milk.

Given the absence of problems or low risk for the infant when a mother has been bitten by mosquitoes, wasps, bees, spiders or other insects, interruption of breastfeeding is not recommended. Only in case of widespread reaction in the mother or infants under one month of life, it may be prudent to wait for about 3 hours to resume breastfeeding.

Incidentally, it has been used bee venom, specifically one of its peptides, Melittin, to increase milk production in various breedings (Choi 2001, Grandison 1984).

The bite of some insects, especially mosquitoes, can transmit infectious diseases (Zika virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, Ae. Aegypti and Ae. Albopictus mosquito or Tigre, West Nile fever, Malaria, etc.) or bugs in case of Chagas’ Disease. However, these diseases are not transmitted through the milk to the infant. See info on Zika Virus, West Nile fever or Chagas' disease.

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

Sting / Bite of Arthropods is also known as


Sting / Bite of Arthropods belongs to this group or family:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 2.000 - 200.000 daltons


  1. OMS. Consejos para la población acerca de los rumores sobre el nuevo coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 2020.06.16 Consulted on June 20, 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. WHO. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Mythbusters. 2020.06.16 Consulted on June 20, 2020 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Laustsen AH, Solà M, Jappe EC, Oscoz S, Lauridsen LP, Engmark M. Biotechnological Trends in Spider and Scorpion Antivenom Development. Toxins (Basel). 2016 Abstract
  4. Matricardi PM, Kleine-Tebbe J, Hoffmann HJ, Valenta R, Hilger C, Hofmaier S, Aalberse RC, Agache I, Asero R, Ballmer-Weber B, Barber D, Beyer K, Biedermann T, Bilò MB, Blank S, Bohle B, Bosshard PP, Breiteneder H, Brough HA, Caraballo L, Caubet JC, Crameri R, et al. EAACI Molecular Allergology User's Guide. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2016 Abstract
  5. Oukkache N, El Jaoudi R, Ghalim N, Chgoury F, Bouhaouala B, Mdaghri NE, Sabatier JM. Evaluation of the lethal potency of scorpion and snake venoms and comparison between intraperitoneal and intravenous injection routes. Toxins (Basel). 2014 Abstract
  6. Kaya A, Okur M. Bee sting in mother and urticarial rash in her baby. Indian Pediatr. 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Liang S. Proteome and peptidome profiling of spider venoms. Expert Rev Proteomics. 2008 Abstract
  8. Schwartz EF, Diego-Garcia E, Rodríguez de la Vega RC, Possani LD. Transcriptome analysis of the venom gland of the Mexican scorpion Hadrurus gertschi (Arachnida: Scorpiones). BMC Genomics. 2007 Abstract
  9. Choi SH, Kang SS. Therapeutic effect of bee venom in sows with hypogalactia syndrome postpartum. J Vet Sci. 2001 Abstract
  10. Jentsch J, Mücke HW. Bee venom peptides XVIII. Peptide-m and mcd-peptide: Isolation and characterization. Int J Pept Protein Res. 1977 Abstract
  11. Habermann E. Bee and wasp venoms. Science. 1972 Abstract

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