There are some things you just take so for granted: like breathing regularly is good for your health and breast milk is best for babies. Well not, if you live in the USA it isn’t as researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a study that recommends women withhold breastfeeding their children in order to boost the “effectiveness” of the rotavirus vaccine.
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhoea among infants and young children, and is one of several viruses that cause infections and is certainly not to be taken lightly. However, you may believe that breast milk contains everything the baby needs to build up its immune system and protect it from illness and disease, but now it seems that vaccines are more important – but to whom? It is the very immune-boosting effects of breastmilk that the researchers are pointing the finger at, claiming they are a detriment to the efficacy of vaccines. Now rather than saying ‘wow, let’s rethink the vaccine’ they have gone the other way and suggest women stop breastfeeding.
This ludicrous research all started because children from underdeveloped countries typically do not respond as well to the live oral rotavirus vaccine as children in developed countries do. They came to the conclusion that breastmilk, which is packed with immune-building immunoglobulin A (IgA), lactoferrin, lysozyme, and various other important immune factors, inhibits the vaccine from working.
Developing countries already are targeted by baby formula companies as being ‘better’ than breastmilk which the World Health Organisation drew attention to. Not all women can or do breastfeed, but to say that a woman should deny a substance that provides naturally builds immunity during childhood development, and provides perfect and balanced nutrition necessary for human growth seems insane to me.
So what is so great about this particular vaccine that a natural process should bow down before it? Well oral rotavirus vaccines contain live viruses and are linked to causing a variety of negative side effects, including diarrhea, which is what the vaccine is supposed to prevent.
Ah well I shall just wait and see when the next piece of research appears that tells me breathing is after all best when chemically enhanced – don’t laugh, it could happen.
AnnA is an author and editor of the information site for women on hormonal health at http://www.bio-hormone-health.com