11 Serious Conditions That May Affect Breastfeeding


Many mommies or moms-to-be may not be able to breastfeed their infant because of some or the other medical conditions they have or have had in their past. In most of these conditions, the infant is at a risk because of the medications that can be transmitted to him/her through breast milk. Thus, the woman is often recommended not to breastfeed their infant in order to avoid any risk. However, there are also some conditions where the benefits outweigh the risk of certain medications. In this article, we will discuss 11 serious conditions that may affect breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding and 11 Serious Conditions That Affect it

sore nipples breastfeeding

Breast reduction

Destruction of functional breast tissue is not really an issue with breast augmentation and neither does it lead to any problems with lactation unlike breast reduction. Thus, in case you have had a breast surgery or is considering to have one, then it’s important that you consider its effects and details with your doctor. Also, you may need to monitor your baby’s weight from time to time in order to know if there is any need for supplemental feedings.


The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be transmitted to the baby through human milk. Although the transmission rate is considerably low but when it’s about the baby, no one would risk their life with AIDS.  AIDS is incurable and a fatal disease, thereby it is recommended that those who are infected with the virus should not breastfeed their infants.


In this condition, only one breast remains after the cancer surgery. This also limits the ability of producing enough milk. However, you can still breastfeed if there is no pre-existing condition or medical problem in the remaining breast.


You must not breastfeed until the medications or radioactive elements are completely eliminated from your body, in case you have undergone a chemotherapy or radioactive isotope therapy. Also, if you are having radiation therapy, the production of milk will be limited in the affected breast.



The lupus medication can transmit to the baby through breast milk and that can have severe side effects on a premature baby. Not only this, the medications can also limit the milk production and can ultimately be unsafe for the baby. Symptoms like rashes, fatigue, arthritis may seem to get worse and one may find breastfeeding more of a challenge in the initial few weeks.


The virus cannot be transmitted through breast milk but the baby is still prone to serious infections because of the developing immune system. Thus, you must be careful while breastfeeding your baby as he can infected by touching a blister or sore on the breast or other area of your body.

Pierced nipples

The piercing can lead to problems like reducing the milk flow or blocking the milk ducts, which can further limit the milk production. The baby as well may find it a lot difficult to latch on properly because of the metal in the way. It is thus better to remove the jewellery as long as you breastfeed your child.

Hepatitis A, B or C

This viral illness can be transmitted to the baby through your breast milk. Hepatitis A and C cannot be transmitted through breast milk, whereas hepatitis B has been found in the breast milk. In either case, it is recommended that you stop breastfeeding your little one in order to reduce the risk of transmission.

Underdeveloped breasts

Some women with underdeveloped (hypoplastic) breasts are able to produce enough milk to breastfeed their baby, while others aren’t able to produce any. Breasts of this kind do not grow even during pregnancy and they have fewer milk glands than normal which leads to milk-production problems. You can talk to your lactation consultant who can give you a few tips to boost your milk production.

Gestational diabetes

Women who have had gestational diabetes may find it a little difficult to breastfeed because the milk can take a bit longer than usual to come in. Thereby, you must feed your baby more often so that your body produces milk even more efficiently.


Flat nipples

In such conditions, breastfeeding is possible in most of the cases. Hence, the first and foremost thing is to first give it a try. Generally, flat nipples do not pose an issue unless the breasts are overly full or if the baby is not able to latch on properly.


Breastfeeding is just the beginning of an unbreakable bond between the mommy and baby. Many women are disheartened when they are told not to breastfeed their child but remember it is for your own good and most importantly for your baby. In such cases, it is always best to seek help from your doctor to know what best they can provide you with.