Do STDs affect breastfeeding?

Talk with your doctor, nurse, or a lactation consultant about the risk of passing the STD to your baby while breastfeeding. If you have either chlamydia or gonorrhea, you can keep breastfeeding. If you have syphilis or herpes, you can keep breastfeeding as long as the sores are covered. Syphilis and herpes are spread through contact with sores and can be dangerous to your newborn. If you have sores on your nipple or areola (darker skin around the nipple), you should stop breastfeeding on that breast. Pump or hand express your milk from that breast until the sore clears. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent your breast from getting engorged or overly full. You can store your milk to give to your baby in a bottle for another feeding. But if parts of your breast pump that contact the milk also touch the sore(s) while pumping, you should throw the milk away.

If you are being treated for an STD, ask your doctor about the possible effects of the drug on your breastfeeding baby. Most treatments for STDs are safe to use while breastfeeding.

If you have HIV, do not breastfeed.  You can pass the virus to your baby.