Bad or Good Advice…Delay Breastfeeding to Help Vaccine Effectiveness?

A friend shared this article with me from GreenMedInfo.Com. My jaw dropped. Literally.

“Vaccination proponents have suggested that breastfeeding should be delayed in order to prevent immune factors within breast milk from inactivating vaccine-associated antibody titer elevations and vaccine potency.” – GreenMedInfo Summary

This actually came from a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Infections & Diseases in 2010.

Let me see if I can understand this thinking. Do not give baby the best nutrients and antibodies possible so the ingredients/disease in the vaccines to be more ‘effective’.

From the study:

“INTERPRETATION: The lower immunogenicity and efficacy of rotavirus vaccines in poor developing countries could be explained, in part, by higher titers of IgA and neutralizing activity in breast milk consumed by their infants at the time of immunization that could effectively reduce the potency of the vaccine. Strategies to overcome this negative effect, such as delaying breast-feeding at the time of immunization, should be evaluated.”

How sick are they trying to make our babies?

That is Bad Advice. Let’s talk about Good Advice.

baby hand prints

Instead of taking away nature’s best way to nourish and protect our babies and injecting them with man made chemicals and diseases, let’s focus on what we can do to boost their immune system (with breastfeeding of course). This is not about if you choose to vaccinate or not, as I won’t judge either way, but what ALL of us can do to ensure the strong immune systems and health of our children either way.

Breastfeed…a given.

If you can not breastfeed, try to find donated milk. Eats on Feets and Human Milk 4 Human Babies are good resources.

Chiropractic care starting from birth (can find a good one here or here).

Healthy diet for mom.

Baby led weaning and healthy diet for infant/young baby/toddler.

Consider a good Omega oil for you when nursing and your child when they start solids.

Start researching now on alternative treatments (home0paths, oils, etc) to help along side any allopathic treatments.

Studies are not the ‘tell all, be all’ for parenting, health, birth or life. Common sense and education are much more reliable. Do what you feel is best for your little ones, but do so in an informed manner!




  • Catherina

    It is your bad interpretation of good advice. The “delay breastfeeding” applies to a very short period (measured in hours, not days or more) after the oral rotavirus vaccine. If you breastfeed right before/after the rotavirus vaccine, the vaccine virus is “neutralised” by the breastmilk. That is all. The AAP do not advise against breastfeeding. You should not advise against vaccination (which, in this case, is swallowed, not injected). One is no replacement for the other.

    • Mrs. BWF

      Can you show me where I advised not to vaccinate? I did no such thing. I could though…if I will be accused of it anyways. I quoted and linked to the study as well.

      • Catherina

        sorry if I misinterpreted this:

        Instead of taking away nature’s best way to nourish and protect our babies and injecting them with man made chemicals and diseases

        as anti-vaccine. I must have been mistaken.

        Fact is: the article does not ask anyone to “take away nature’s best way to nourish and protect” and it is not about “injecting” a baby with anything.

          • Rachel

            I agree that the study is a bit off… I mean, if breastmilk is that effective against the virus in the vaccine, why not just recommend that all babies breastfeed and not vaccinate? Breastmilk is FOOD, as well as medicine. Everyone knows breastfeeding is awesome, so why recommend something to hinder that? Sometimes hours can make a big difference in a nursing relationship…

          • Isabella

            Your blog post is misleading because it implies that the delay is significant when in reality the study is suggesting that breast-feeding be delayed AT THE TIME of immunization.

            When you use phrases that are inflammatory, such as “How sick are they trying to make our babies?”, then it overtly indicates that you are in disagreement with the authors (and perhaps anti-vaccine)?

            I think, like you, the authors of the studies care about children and want to understand why the vaccine may be less effective in developing countries. There should be room for a cordial debate.

  • Michelle

    Good Lord above! Exactly how long should we not feed our children in order to give a vaccine? And breastfeedng gives immunity minus all the crap that a vaccne would give a kiddo anyway. Plus, we know breastmilk immunity actuallly works. I will say it…this study is stupid and only renforces my helief that many docs dont really take the do no harm seriously

    • Susan

      Breastfeeding gives passive immunity, which means that once a child is weaned, they’re no longer immune. And the way that IgA (the immunoglobulin that passes along mom’s antibodies) works is by coating the mucous lining of the digestive tract so that microorganisms can’t enter the body. IgA does not allow antibodies to enter the baby’s bloodstream, which is why once weaning happens, the child is no longer immune.

      Active immunity occurs through natural immunity (microbes entering the body and the body creating specific antibodies against them, whether accompanied by symptoms of illness or not) and vaccine-mediated immunity (where a deactivated version of the microbe is given and the body develops antibodies against it, generally without becoming sick).

      The problem is that since IgA in breast milk prevents things like the actual rotavirus from entering a child’s circulation, it (possibly, according to this study) also prevents the rotavirus vaccine from entering a child’s body, where active immunity can take place. This means that once a child is weaned, s/he is no longer immune to the rotavirus because the vaccine was destroyed instead of forcing the body to create antibodies. In developing countries, where illnesses like rotavirus can cause severe dehydration leading to death in small children (due to a lack of medical care such as we’re used to in the States), it makes sense to figure out a way to make the vaccine more effective so as to save more lives. What they are suggesting now is that more research be done to find whether delaying breastfeeding for a certain time (likely to be measured in minutes to hours and not days to weeks) increases the efficacy of the vaccine, thus protecting the child after weaning.

      Here are a couple of good sites that discuss breast milk immunity and the different types of immunities:

      And the original study abstract can be found here:

      • Rachel

        You “have to get boosters” anyway, right? It is recommended that babies nurse until at least 1 year, however long until both mother and baby decide to stop. Breastmilk is working all that time! 🙂

  • Meredith

    Bahahaha! If they told me not to breastfeed my baby for this vaccine, I’d tell them where they could shove that vaccine…or I’d just whip out my boob and feed the baby anyway…lol

  • Jennifer

    Just wanted to point out that this study was done to see why the rotavirus vaccine has been less effective in poor, developing countries. Countries where mothers may not always have access to sufficient, nutritious food, and things like chiropractic and homeopathic care may be nonexistent (or effectively so due to poverty). And considering that diarrhea and dehydration can be very deadly in those countries, the suggestion to delay breastfeeding for maybe a couple of hours after the oral rotavirus vaccine may be imminently sensible there.

    Also, the study showed that that the breastmilk of women in the U.S. had lower levels of IgA and lower neutralizing effect on the vaccine. So that suggestion may not make as much sense in the U.S. or other developed countries. But I would think that if parents are going to get the oral rotavirus vaccine for their baby, they would want it to be as effective as possible. In which case, if the mother is breastfeeding, she might want to try to make sure the baby is fed a little while before the appointment and not nurse again immediately after to avoid neutralizing its effects with the antibodies in her milk.

    I think the blog post about this got a little inflammatory and jumped to some conclusions that aren’t really mentioned in the actual study (like that women will be told to give formula instead of breastfeeding).

    • Rose

      If this were aimed at mothers in poorer countries, then recommending formula over breastfeeding makes it doubly ‘stupid’. The formula companies’ push for formula in poor areas is a huge contribution to the increase in infant mortality there because of that lack of access to facilities such as clean water etc.

      Irregardless, this is of course ignoring the fact that vaccines are mostly ineffective anyway and money spent on vaccines would be better spent on hygiene and clean water facilities and education which has a proven tangible positive effect on disease.

      • Jennifer

        The researchers don’t recommend formula feeding. The blogger at jumps to that conclusion. Actually, the researchers aren’t specific on making any recommendation, at least not in the summary/abstract that is linked here. But their research suggests that maybe not nursing right before or after the oral rotavirus vaccine is given will make the vaccine more effective in areas where the women have higher levels of IgA in their milk and greater neutralizing effect on the vaccine.

        • Mrs. BWF

          True. The problem though with studies, is all the public will hear is generalizations like this. It’s a slippery slope. For example, everyone went crazy about olive oil in America b/c there was a study on the Mediterranean diet and what did we take from it? That olive oil was healthy, so consume it! What did we do? Added olive oil to our SAD (Standard American Diet) high calorie food intake. When in reality it was that their diet was healthy, whole and moderate that included olive oil. So, studies that come to conclusions such as, “Strategies to overcome this negative effect, such as delaying breast-feeding at the time of immunization, should be evaluated”…well, you get the idea. Slippery slope.

  • julia

    This is not the first time I have come across this. This is ridiculous. I will breastfeed my baby because it is what’s best. Vaccines are hurting my child and there is no benefit to them. So I will pass on the vaccines and breastfeed because that is the best thing can do for her to protect her from these diseases and keep her healthy.

  • Mindanoiha

    The study does not intend to evaluate potential problems associated with stopping breastfeeding. That would have to be tackled in a separate study if the aim is to obtain statistics.

    It is already known that babies in developing countries become seriously ill with diarrhoea and many die because of contaminated bottles of formula feed.

    Stopping breastfeeding intentionally may cause intense discomfort and distress for mothers and maybe also for the babies. Breastmilk would probably have to be pumped or mothers would have to take hormones.

    It is normal for mothers with poor resources (there are millions of them!) to have close physical contact with their babies and to breastfeed in many sessions throughout the day. Breastmilk has body temperature, is healthy, free, convenient – and it is clean.

    If the breastmilk is pumped it will probably have to be thrown away. Women with poor resources don’t have electric power or refrigerators.

    When formula feed is used, the women often do not have the know-how or the resources to prepare it or to store it under hygenic conditions. Sterilising bottles and storage of a bottle of milk in a refrigerator is often impossible.

    A bottle with formula feed will be subjected to many hours at sub-optimal temperatures. A few bacteria present in the bottle will multiply within a few hours to many thousands. This also applies to any bacterial colonies which may be on bottle teats, especially if there are flies in the surroundings.

  • amy

    “such as delaying breast-feeding **at the time of immunization**

    They’re not talking about cutting out breastfeeding and replacing feeds with formula. They’re talking about simply delaying a nursing session by an unspecified short duration before or after the vaccine to help improve its effectiveness.

    Talk about a slippery slope. You’ve taken “delay a feed at the time of immunization” and turned it into “ZOMG the EBIL formula companies are at it again! Vaccines are awful and how dare they suggest women stop breastfeeding!” So, you’re doing as much propagandizing as they are…

    I enjoy your blog, but I think in this case, you’re off base from what the study actually says. Which, in effect, is “we know this is happening, we think we know why, but we’re not sure what to do about it yet”. That’s it. That’s all it says.

    • Susan

      “They’re not talking about cutting out breastfeeding and replacing feeds with formula. They’re talking about simply delaying a nursing session by an unspecified short duration before or after the vaccine to help improve its effectiveness.”


      There’s no harm in delaying a feed in order to allow a vaccine to become most effective. As adults, would you get upset if somebody told you that when taking a certain medication, you couldn’t drink orange juice or grapefruit juice for a certain limited time period afterward? These are healthy drinks for your body – but they counteract certain meds. I understand that it’s not EXACTLY the same, since infants are solely reliant on breast milk for all nutrition, but it’s similar. Also similar is the idea of not eating or drinking anything before or after a particular procedure or with another medication. Again, I don’t think most adults are going to get up in arms about this, as they understand that the efficacy of whatever it is will be impacted if they eat/drink. And ESPECIALLY if this is an oral med and not an injection, there’s not even reason to breastfeed during the application of the vaccine (for comfort measures).

  • Simo

    Please allow me not to trust studies funded by Pharmaceutical companies showing that artificial stuff is better that the natural one.
    And please don’t trust the “care” they are showing to the 3rd countries which they also rob of their natural resources, support slavery, pollute and conduct medical studies that can never be conducted in their origin country ( check the recent case in Argentina ).
    Stop taking for granted their advices and start using your head. No one cares more about you and your loved ones than yourself.

  • Cara

    There are too many vaccines too soon ! Vaccines did not erradicate disease … improved sanitation did that ! This is very bad advice to say the least. Those who dole it out are controled by the pharmaceutical industry that profits off it regardless whether they are safe or not. Babies do not need vaccines when they are being breastfed or after PERIOD. Why subject their immature immune systems with toxic chems and brain damaging metals (mercury and aluminum). Vaccine studies are poorly run at best and do not test on the complete vaccine schedule … just one antigen at a time, not the whole chem cocktail like we are made to believe. If a child or primate dies they remove that from the study until one lives. Please watch this :

  • Gary

    The first few days of breast milk are so important…and they are wanting to start feeding your baby Soy or some other BS Loaded with sugar…your baby wont want to drink your breast milk after that…and there is a good chance you will stop or have a hard time producing milk…This is such a scam to mothers and baby’s…The best thing you can do is never give your baby any shots of any kind b/c your baby is born with a healthy immune system and any pathogens from a diseased person that you allow them to inject into your baby’s healthy immune system begins to destroy the DNA, the Brain and other organs as well…do the opposite of what they are telling you to do to your baby…Think and do your research…

    The Vaccinations today are filled with death…don’t even think it is a healthy thing for your baby…not even one shot is the goal…your baby will be brighter healthier and stronger than those who received the poison…

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