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Thread: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    39

    Default Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    Hi wonderful ladies!

    So, I got a flu shot, and I'm considering getting the new swine flu vaccine when it's released. I work at a school where there have already been six confirmed cases of swine flu this week, so it's a concern. My question is this: I know the flu shot helps because if I don't get sick then I don't expose my son to my germs. But can immunity from a flu shot actually pass through breastmilk, too? Will he have immunity of his own if he's exposed to the virus elsewhere, I mean? It seems to good to be true, but if you think about it, antibodies ARE passed through breastmilk, right? And a vaccine DOES create antibodies--I mean, that's its purpose, yes?

    So what do you think? Will my son have any immunity to the flu based upon a vaccine that I got?

    Thanks!
    -Christina

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    I asked my pediatrician and he said no. But I don't know if that's true or not. I know that when you are pregnant, if you get the shot more than 3 weeks before they are born, that they get some immunity from it. But I suppose that's because it is passed to them through the placenta and not just through milk...
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    The babies probably get some immunities from the vaccine's we get, but not all.... How much, not sure.... Im in the military and we're getting both series of the vaccine the October. We'll see how it goes.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    I know vaccines are a controversial issue, but I just wanted to make known that just because there's a vax for swine flu doens't mean one should get it! Swine flu isn't even deadly at this point, nor is it as bad as the regular flu, and you are putting strains of it directly into your bloodstream bypassing all immunological defense mechanisms of your body-not the way our body needs to deal with it. Kinda scary to me! Read more here. Hope that helps even though its not answering your question!
    Josiah born at home 1/26/2009, 50 months and counting , and Adlai born 6/26/12

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

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  6. #6

    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*janelle525 View Post
    .........just because there's a vax for swine flu doens't mean one should get it! Swine flu isn't even deadly at this point, nor is it as bad as the regular flu...
    It IS deadly and is WORSE than seasonal flu for YOUNGer people. They think its because older people have developed immunity from the outbreak in the 70s(?). So that's an argument in favor of getting the vaccine if you are young or if you are around young people a lot. If we get it and have a mild case of it, we could transmit it to an infant or young child who could die (especially if they have asthma or some other lung problem).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*margaloo View Post
    It IS deadly and is WORSE than seasonal flu for YOUNGer people. They think its because older people have developed immunity from the outbreak in the 70s(?). So that's an argument in favor of getting the vaccine if you are young or if you are around young people a lot. If we get it and have a mild case of it, we could transmit it to an infant or young child who could die (especially if they have asthma or some other lung problem).
    Not anymore than any other age group, the cases in which children have died have been sensationalized. That is what we are hearing from the media, that is what we fear, but in truth, there are no trends in deaths that are uncommon from the seasonal flu. Additionally, of those children that did die, a majority of them had underlying health issues
    Of the total hospitalized patients:

    * 60% of children had underlying medical conditions
    * 83% of adults had underlying medical conditions

    They also found that 32% of patients had at least 2 medical conditions that would put them at risk. We are constantly told that it is the young adult aged 25 to 49 who is at the greatest risk. Note that 83% of these people had underlying medical conditions. This means that in truth only 292 “healthy” people out of 1082 in 24 states were sick enough to enter the hospital -- that is 292 healthy people out of tens of millions of people, not much of a risk if you do not have an underlying chronic medical problem.

    and here is this from Dr Mercola:
    Majority of Children Respond POORLY to Flu Vaccine

    It is interesting to note that babies this age respond poorly to either the seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 vaccine. One of the largest studies ever done, found that children below the age of 2 years received no protection at all from the seasonal flu vaccine.7

    The recently completed study on the effectiveness of the new H1N1 vaccine reported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease found that 75% of small children below age 35 months received no protection from the H1N1 vaccine and that 65% of children between the ages of 3 years and 9 years received no protection from the vaccine.8
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    Please stay on topic. The question is whether protection from immunizations can be passed to baby through breast milk.
    Karen
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  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    We all make the choice best for us

    six cases so close to you - it's scary isn't it? Three of my neighbours and my bff have all swabbed positive for H1N1 as well. I think we may have had it but the doc I saw wouldn't swab us. It makes it more real when you see people around you getting sick.

    I'm not sure about the antibodies mama I know if we get a virus and our bodies produce antibodies we do pass those antibodies through out breastmilk to our lo's. It's possible that when your body reacts to the vaccine that those antibodies are passed through breastmilk, but sadly no one has really done any conclusive studies about vaccines and breastmilk (that I've been able to find). How old is your lo? The greatest risk of any sort of flu is for infants 0-6 months (however breastfeeding does help a LOT when it comes to fighting off these viruses), the next is 6-24 months, etc.... Until their immune systems are stronger they are at greater risk of getting sick. I'm always scared of RSV in infants, simply because there are a lot of deaths attributed to it even though the average 6 year old can have RSV and not even know it, know what I mean?

    If *I* were in your shoes, I would continue to practice good hand washing techniques and minimize exposure to your baby, and *act* as if he/she has no immunity - just to be on the safe side.
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default Re: Flu shot--can immunity be passed through breastmilk?

    I've wondered the same thing but never have heard that immunity is indeed passed through milk.

    One thing I try to do to protect my lo is to change my clothes as soon as I get home from work (I work in a hospital). I hope you both stay healthy!!
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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