By Megan Pond, VaxTruth
That’s the rumor that’s going around. Stop breastfeeding. Why? Because I read that the CDC says to. It’s supposed to make vaccines work better if I’m not breastfeeding. Sorry, but I’m going to call this bull. It’s not because I love the CDC or think it’s not corrupt. It’s because misinformation like this hurts us.It hurts you, it hurts me, and it hurts our future of educating others health.
These rumors look something like this:
“Scientists say that breastfeeding should be halted to improve vaccine effects.”
“What’s more is the fact that the researchers seem to indicate mothers should instead choose to give their children synthetic formula.”
”CDC researchers say mothers should stop breastfeeding.”
All of the above and much more are, yes, FALSE. Perhaps you’ve read one or two of these. Did you check the sources from where you read them? When I saw these rumors, I couldn’t help but get out my (red flag). So I decided to check the source of the commotion.
All of the sources are traced back to this study – Inhibitory effect of breast milk on infectivity of live oral rotavirus vaccines. – which can be found on PubMed.
- First note what the study is referencing: the live oral rotavirus vaccine. It is not a study on all vaccines, or even 2 specific vaccines. It’s a study done on ONE vaccine. By saying that “CDC researchers support stopping breastfeeding to improve vaccine effects” misleads the reader into thinking this pertains to ALL vaccines. It does not.
- Next, click on the link and read what the study is all about. In short, researchers have noticed that the oral rotavirus vaccine is particularly ineffective in poor and developing countries, versus developed countries like the United States. They studied breastfeeding women from India, Vietnam, South Korea, and the United States.
- Notice the numbers of women studied in each country: 40, 77, 35, 51, respectively. This is, by no means, a large study. This is considered an incredibly small study.
- And then note their findings. Women in India had the highest amount of titers in their breast milk, followed by Korean and Vietnamese women, and American women had the lowest titers. A titer test measures the level or presence of antibodies in the blood. [source ] If a person’s titers are high enough towards a disease, in this case rotavirus, they have a lot of antibodies for that disease and can be considered “immune” to rotavirus. What puzzled these researchers was that the rotavirus vaccine fails more often in poor countries despite high titers for rotavirus.
- The most important part of this studies lies in the interpretation of the study. I will quote it in it’s entirety: