Tags: antibodies, blush, breastmilk, children, clued, drugs, health, immunity, medications, remember, vaccinations
Can children get immunity through breastmilk?
You would think I know this info by now :blush but I don't remember if someone clued me in about this or not.
If you have the antibodies in your system for, say, chicken pox and other childhood diseases, shouldn't that technically cross through your breastmilk and "vaccinate" your child? Or is it b/c the disease isn't active in you, that they don't get innoculated? :confused:
It's my understanding that if mom gets a shot while her child is still nursing, the antibodies pass through the milk and give the child protection. When the flu season hit here real hard last year and our DD was about to undergo open heart surgery soon, her Ped. said I could get the flu shot (she knew I didn't want to give DD anything) and the antibodies would cross over my milk and give DD protection. I had never had a flu shot, but decided to "sacrifice" myself for the sake of my DD. :bf :love
I guess if the immunity were automatically passed, then all of us BF moms who have antibodies to these things wouldn't even have to worry about vaccinating our DC. :scratch
Thank you for any info! :)
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- 7 Comments
- I wondered about this, too. My understanding is that if we had the wild disease, those antibodies would pass onto our children via breastmilk. However, the antibodies from vaccines, do not. Breastmilk does have protective general antibodies, though. This is really general. Maybe someone has some more specific info.#1; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:44:00 GMT
- Breasfeeding and HIB:
Article (http://ije.oupjournals.org/cgi/reprint/26/2/443.pdf#search='silfverdalProtective%20effect%20of %20breastfeeding')
another article (http://www.vaccinationnews.com/DailyNews/May2001/Breastfeeding.htm)#2; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:45:00 GMT
- I had chicken pox when I was a kid, so have immunity. My breastfed, 9 mo old son was the first of my 3 kids to get the pox. No idea where he picked it up, but he did and gave it to the other 2.#3; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:46:00 GMT
- from my Microbiology course:
the immunity passed on in breastmilk is Natural Passive immunity ~ natural because it comes from breastmilk, and passive because it is 1) immediate and 2) short-term. the antibodies the baby gets from colostrum and mama's milk will NOT create a lasting immunity.
** in comparison, something like anti-venin given to people who have been bitten by a poisonous snake is artificial passive immunity... vaccines are artificial *active* immunity: they take a little while to take effect, but will last for years and create a sort of "immune memory" ~ your body will "remember" how to make the antibodies because it has confronted an antigen, not just been given the preformed antibodies.#4; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:47:00 GMT
- See this link.
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/microbiology/milk.html#5; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:48:00 GMT
- Aline, that was an interesting link. :thumb
with reference to the OP though:
I guess if the immunity were automatically passed, then all of us BF moms who have antibodies to these things wouldn't even have to worry about vaccinating our DC.
breastmilk passes on antibodies; this is natural passive immunity. it is short term and takes effect immediately.
a vaccine, on the other hand, introduces our bodies to the antigen itself; this is artificial active immunity ~ it takes effect slowly but lasts for years. the only way to produce natural active immunity is through actually contracting the disease.
passive immunity will "wear off" as soon as the person stops being exposed to whatever is giving the antibodies (in this case, breastmilk)...
active immunity will give years of protection against the disease, as the body will "remember" how to manufacture antibodies to a particular antigen (in the same way that contracting chickenpox as a child will usually provide life-long immunity to chickenpox).
you can think of it like this: say you get bit by a rattler. you rush to the hospital and they give you a shot (or shots) of antivenin. it will allow your body to fight off the poison.... but if you get bit again at any point in time, you will need another dose of antivenin, because it is artificial *passive* immunity ~ your body won't "remember" how to make the antibodies to the venom.#6; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:49:00 GMT
- Breast feeding passes on short term immunity. Lasting not much past the breast feeding stage.
Vaccines create surface antibodies only. Lasting anywhere from a few days to several years.
Natural disease creates surface antigens and antibodies to the core. Most lasting a life time.#7; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:50:00 GMT