There are several variables that affect breastfeeding with MRSA. First, it depends on where the MRSA infection is located. If it is an extremity or the torso, then as long as mom keeps the area covered and uses good handwashing technique there is little risk to the infant. If the infection is on her breast close to the arreola, it is recommended to pump & discard milk on the affected side until she has been on antibiotics 48 hours
, but she may continue to breastfeed on the unaffected side. If she has an abscess that has been drained on her breast, if the surgical wound is close to the arreola, she should not breastfeed on that side until the wound has healed to prevent any drainage or pus from entering the infant's mouth. Second, if she has systemic symptoms such as fever and chills, she should begin her antibiotic regimen and wait 24 to 48 hours after beginning her antibiotic regimen before returning to breastfeeding
. Once her systemic symptoms have resolved then she may restart breastfeeding. There is a very good protocol from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine on Mastitis that addresses MRSA and breast abscess. The website is www.bfmed.org
and go to protocol # 4. Let me know if you have further questions.