Chickenpox and Breastfeeding
Category:
Breastfeeding
Age:
3 mo.
Chickenpox and Breastfeeding
Hi Helen

Unfortunately, I have caught the herpes zoster virus and I have understood that there is a risk that I pass on the chickenpox virus to my three months old son, who is fully breastfed. Is it possible to pass on the virus to my son or is a breastfed baby protected?

Regards from a concerned mother


Helen Hansen
Answer

Dear concerned mother

I do understand that you worry whether you might pass on the chickenpox virus to your son, and I regret the unfortunate situation.

Chickenpox virus or shingles are caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus, and there are not many research results on whether you can continue breastfeeding, but in most cases it is recommended that you continue breastfeeding.

This means that your milk contain antibodies protecting your son which will give a certain immunity against chickenpox, thus he does not have a high response to the infection, and the disease is very mild.

In the literature I have read you distinguish whether you caught the virus after delivery or during pregnancy. In this case, there would be no real need to stop breastfeeding.

As far as I remember you also have an elder son and it might be that the infection has been passed on from him to you as well as to your baby son - has he had chickenpox earlier?

Some would recommend that you should see to it that your rash do not get in contact with your baby son, and that your elder son should be kept at distance, if possible, should he have rash from the chickenpox.

In case your hear of any other advices I would appreciate very much if you let me know. Ii suggest you contact your GP to get his opinion, and we will all get to know.

I wish you the best of luck:o)
immune system

Kind regards,

Helen Hansen