This advice is for women and babies who are at home in the community. It is based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and the transmission of other viral respiratory infections. The Ministry of Health will update this interim guidance as additional information becomes available.

Breastfeeding your baby during Covid-19

Breastfeeding provides immunological protection for your baby. Most often babies who are breastfed remain healthy even when their parents or other family members are unwell with an infectious illness.

Considering the benefits of breastfeeding, you should continue to breastfeed during the COVID-19 pandemic while applying all the necessary precautions. You should:

  • wash your hands before and after contact with your baby (including feeding, nappy change, holding)
  • clean/disinfect any surfaces you touch
  • ensure you cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue which you discard immediately, then clean your hands again.

If you have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19

If you become infected with COVID-19 shortly before giving birth, or have developed symptoms and are awaiting test results, your midwife and doctors will provide advice on the potential of your baby developing COVID-19. You can still choose to breastfeed while taking specific precautions. For full advice visit the Ministry of Health website.

Find a breastfeeding service
Last updated 3 December 2021.