Anyone have a link that discusses immunity in breastmilk and vaccines? - Mothering Forums
I'm Not Vaccinating > Anyone have a link that discusses immunity in breastmilk and vaccines?
kathymuggle's Avatar kathymuggle 08:52 AM 02-24-2013

I am pretty sure I read that if a mother had a case of xyz, she passes some immunity through her breastmilk to her child - at least for the first few months.  


I have also read that a vaccine does not work the same way - one does not pass immunity for a disease through breastmilk to an infant.


Example:  If I had the chicken pox, I would pass some immunity to chicken pox down to a breastfed infant.


If I had the chicken pox vaccine, I would not pass immunity to chicken pox through my breastmilk.  


Any links?  Am I correct or incorrect?  


ETA:  I am interested in those who had vaccines prior to pregnancy, typically on schedule.   I am not interested in vaccine given during pregnancy because I think it is a foolish practice.  

maos211's Avatar maos211 08:57 AM 02-24-2013
I'm under the same understanding from previous readings. Ill see if I can locate links.
MissCee's Avatar MissCee 08:56 PM 02-24-2013

Hm, I'm not sure if these links will help, but I have these 3 on breastfeeding: - this one is on Hib - Whooping Cough, Hep B, Pneumonia, and Meningitis - Human milk: Defense against infection.

kathymuggle's Avatar kathymuggle 02:10 PM 02-25-2013

Thanks. smile.gif

emmy526's Avatar emmy526 02:54 PM 02-25-2013 - Human milk: Defense against infection.

Recent studies suggest that it may be possible by vaccination of the mother to increase the immunity provided the breast-fed infant via the milk secretory IgA antibodies.

it makes me wonder if they are studying the other ingredients in vaccines, and if they are found in mothers milk, and what/if those carcinogens in the vaccines pass thru as well to the child, and to what extent damage to the child may occur from secondary exposure. 

kathymuggle's Avatar kathymuggle 03:41 PM 02-25-2013

Thanks, emmy.


I took a look at that study, and I think they are referring to vaccinating the mother during pregnancy or (more likely) post birth.  I am not sure though.  


I am really interested in if a mother was vaccinated as a child (which is when most people receive their vaccines) and if the immune properties she secretes in her breastmilk is superior or inferior to if she had the infection.


If I had measles as a child, would I pass on better immunity in breastmilk than if I had the measles vaccine as a child?  My hunch is yes, but I would love to see some data.  


If it turns out that having the wild disease allows a person to pass on far more immunity to an infant that a person having the vaccine as a child, it makes me wonder if allowing healthy children (not infants - who would be protected by breastmilk) to get childhood diseases might be a saner approach as it offers better protection to newborns (which is the danger period).  Off the top of my head, I wonder if this might be a good idea for CP, mumps, rubella and maybe pertussis (pertussis is horrible in infants, and the vaccine is somewhat ineffective, and does not offer much protection until at least 4 months).  I don't know - I would certainly prefer to take my chance with pertussis (as a healthy adult) and pass on immunity to an infant - than the current situation.  Maybe this is simplistic - I don't know.   I am still in research mode on this idea, and it is hardly my call anyways…it is just an idea I am playing with. 

sassyfirechick's Avatar sassyfirechick 01:34 PM 02-26-2013

When I get more time to find and post it I know I read a study somewhere about immunity passing on in animals (dogs) to their offspring and that there are vaccine schedules that take into account how long and how much immunity is given to the pups at birth to make use of the least amount of vaccines possible in growing pups, the key being proper timing so as not to interfere with the maternal antibodies they recieve because they get quite a bit from mom and so long as they aren't forced weaned too early, the immunity can last for some time beyond leaving mom and placement in new homes.  So I would venture a guess that it's fairy similar with human babies although I can't recall seeing a breakdown in vaccine passed immunity vs aquired illness immunity.

kittentips's Avatar kittentips 05:01 AM 03-03-2013

Here is a series of 3 articles about breastfeeding and immunity that I found very interesting

Tags: Vaccinations