Yes. Current evidence suggests that it is safe to breastfeed and continue to offer breastmilk if you have COVID-19, whatever the age of your baby or child. No evidence has been found for COVID-19 being passed through breastmilk. [1, 2, 3, 4]
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states: “mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed. Mothers should be counselled that the benefits of breastfeeding substantially outweigh the potential risks for transmission.
Mother and infant should be enabled to remain together while rooming-in throughout the day and night and to practice skin-to-skin contact, including kangaroo mother care, especially immediately after birth and during establishment of breastfeeding, whether they or their infants have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.” 
In fact, breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for infants and provides protection against many illnesses. If you have confirmed COVID-19 or have symptoms you should take all reasonable precautions to avoid spreading the virus to your baby, including washing your hands before touching your baby, sterilising any breast pump or bottles and washing your hands after changing their nappy.
Consider wearing a face covering or fluid-resistant face mask while feeding or caring for your baby.
If your baby is older it may be safer to leave your mask off to avoid them pulling at it and touching your secretions.
Babies should not wear a face covering or mask as they may risk suffocation.
Multiple research studies have looked at whether the virus can be transmitted though breastmilk, and no evidence has been found for this. Some studies have found fragments of viral RNA in a small number of breastmilk samples, but this is not the same as live virus that could cause an infection. These fragments may also have got into the milk by cross-contamination . No studies have found live virus that could cause a COVID-19 infection in breastmilk samples [1, 2, 3, 4].
One study checked that this was not because the breastmilk samples used for research had been frozen. They found that when live virus was put into a breastmilk sample, the virus was able to survive being frozen and thawed multiple times. This showed that the absence of live virus in breastmilk samples from COVID-19 positive mothers was not because the virus had been killed by freezing. 
It is possible that a COVID-19 positive mother could pass the virus to her baby though contact or droplets from her breath. However, research has shown that even when babies stay in close contact with a COVID-19 positive mother, they are unlikely to catch the virus if the mother observes simple infection control measures, such as handwashing and mask wearing. One research study followed 61 COVID-19 positive mothers and their 62 babies for 20 days after birth. The mothers all observed good hygiene and wore a surgical mask whilst breastfeeding or caring for their baby (within 2m of them). 95% of the babies were breastfed. Only one of the 62 babies tested positive for COVID-19 during the study period . Another study looking at 18 COVID-19 positive mothers found viral RNA on a skin swab from a mother’s breast, but this was taken before she washed her breast. Swabs taken after washing did not contain viral RNA that could cause infection .
Breastfeeding, and remaining in close contact with their mother, were known to be protective for a baby’s health, even before the pandemic. The research suggests the risks of not breastfeeding and of separating a mother and baby from each other are greater than the risk of keeping them together, even if the mother is positive for COVID-19. Research also suggests that breastmilk from a mother who has tested positive for COVID-19 might actually protect her baby or child from infection. See the FAQ “Can my breastmilk protect my baby from COVID-19?” for more information.
If you are feeling unwell, you can take paracetamol safely whilst breastfeeding. See the FAQ “Can I take medicines for COVID-19 symptoms while I am breastfeeding?” for more information.
If you are too unwell to breastfeed you may still be able to express milk for your baby. Pump equipment and bottles need to be sterilised according to manufacturer’s instructions. Standard milk storage guidelines apply.
It can be difficult to differentiate between a cold, flu and coronavirus. The information in this diagram may help: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54145299
 Peng, S., Zhu, H., Yang, L., et al. (2020). A study of breastfeeding practices, SARS-CoV-2 and its antibodies in the breast milk of mothers confirmed with COVID-19. The Lancet regional health. Western Pacific
, 100045. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2020.100045
 Pace, R. M., Williams, J. E., Järvinen, K. M., et al. (2021). Characterization of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, Antibodies, and Neutralizing Capacity in Milk Produced by Women with COVID-19. mBio
(1), e03192-20. https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.03192-20
 Krogstad, P., Contreras, D., Ng, H., et al. (2022). No infectious SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk from a cohort of 110 lactating women. Pediatric research, 10.1038/s41390-021-01902-y. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41390-021-01902-y
 Pietrasanta, C., Artieri, G., Ronchi, A., et al. (2022). SARS-CoV-2 infection and neonates: Evidence-based data after 18 months of the pandemic. Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 33 Suppl 27, 96–98. https://doi.org/10.1111/pai.13643
 Ronchi A, Pietrasanta C, Zavattoni M, et al. Evaluation of Rooming-in Practice for Neonates Born to Mothers With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Infection in Italy. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(3):260-266. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5086