Living well with lupus

If I have lupus, can I still breastfeed my baby?

Yes.  Most women with lupus can still breastfeed their babies.  Lupus itself does not prevent breastfeeding and lupus cannot be passed to your baby through breast milk.  This said, if you have lupus, you may still experience challenges with breastfeeding.  For example, if your baby is premature (nearly half of moms with lupus deliver early), breastfeeding may be difficult due to the baby’s small size.  A new mother can also experience challenges producing enough milk, especially if the baby is preterm or a mother is taking a steroid medication.  Furthermore, some lupus medications may transfer into your breast milk and may not be safe for your baby.  Always check with your healthcare provider to ensure your lupus medications (or any medications you may be taking) are safe for a nursing baby before starting to breastfeed.

Medically reviewed on February 10, 2014