Yes. If you are having sex, it is possible to get pregnant while breastfeeding.Here are the facts:
– Talk to your doctor about what method is right for you
You can take certain medications while breastfeeding, but not all. Some medications can pass through your breast milk which may harm your baby.
Talk to your doctor or WIC staff before you start taking medications including:
Nursing mothers may receive most vaccines. Breastfeeding does not affect the vaccine, and most vaccines will not harm your baby because they do not enter your milk.
However, vaccines for smallpox and yellow fever can be passed through human milk. Avoid these vaccinations if possible while breastfeeding and talk to your healthcare provider.
Most common illnesses, like colds, seasonal flu, or diarrhea, can’t be passed through human milk. In fact, your milk has antibodies in it that will help protect your baby from getting the same sickness.
It’s important to take steps to keep your baby from getting sick. Wash your hands with soap and water before touching your baby or any item your baby will touch.
If you don’t feel well enough to breastfeed your baby, have someone who is not sick give your baby expressed human milk.
Your WIC food package depends on how much you are breastfeeding.
Pacifiers can reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), so it is ok to use one. If you want to try it, it is best to wait until your baby is comfortable breastfeeding. This allows your baby time to learn how to latch well on the breast and get enough milk.
Talk to WIC or your baby’s healthcare provider if you are concerned your baby is not getting enough milk or to see if there is a medical need to supplement with formula.
Giving your baby formula may cause them to not want as much human milk. This will decrease your milk supply.
Your baby does not need water in the first 6 months of life.
– Just a few sips is plenty
Talk to WIC about when to feed your baby solid foods and which foods are best. Giving your baby infant cereal may make them not want as much human milk. This will decrease your milk supply.
Human milk alone does not provide infants with enough vitamin D. Sunlight on the skin enables the body to make vitamin D but exposing your baby’s skin to the sun can be harmful. Ask your baby’s healthcare provider about supplements in drop form.
Babies are born with a supply of iron they get from their mother during pregnancy. When babies are about 4 to 6 months old, they may need an additional source of iron. When your baby is ready for solid foods, usually around 6 months of age, the food or infant cereal should be rich in iron. Talk with WIC or your baby’s healthcare provider about how much iron your baby needs.
If you smoke, it’s best to quit as soon as possible:
There is little known about the effects of e-cigarette use by the mother on infant health.
If you can’t quit, it is still better to breastfeed because it can help protect your baby from lung problems and SIDS.
If you choose to smoke, help protect your baby:
Think About Quitting
Breastfeeding may help motivate you to quit. You might find it easier than you think! Ask your health
provider about nicotine replacement aids. You can continue to breastfeed and take them.
Call the Quit line, 1-800-QUIT-NOW for more information.
It is best to avoid alcohol while you are breastfeeding. However, drinking up to 1 standard drink per day is not known to be harmful to your baby.
If you choose to have an alcoholic drink, help protect your baby:
1 alcoholic drink = 12 oz beer OR 4 oz glass of wine OR 1 oz hard liquor
It is important to stay drug-free while breastfeeding:
– Poor feeding
Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you can breastfeed if you are taking medication to treat an opioid use disorder.