Researchers at CDC’s National Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD) released a recent study claiming that nursing mothers should stop breastfeeding for a few days whilst their children receive the rotavirus vaccine. The NCIRD’s reasoning claims that breastmilk provides an immune boost for the body which would counteract the action of the live rotavirus vaccine.

During the administration of this vaccine, the child will receive a form of live attenuated pathogens, together with a number of other toxic substances such as mercury compounds and aluminium salts. These substances are toxic to the body and cause nerve irritation and damage to the nervous system.

If you examine the CDC’s opinions carefully, you will see what their research really proves; it is clear that breastmilk is in a position to prevent the harm of a live virus because the immune system gets such a huge boost of strength. Instead of seeing this as a good feature and encouraging breastfeeding, the CDC highlights the strength of breastmilk as a negative effect and even advises against it.

Unfortunately, although many mothers start out breastfeeding, it isn’t maintained for very long. In 2005 79% of mothers in the Netherlands started with breastfeeding after birth. After a month only 54% will receive breastmilk. After three months, it is 35%, and after six months of only 25%. This decline has various causes ranging from a lack of confidence to a lack of education regarding breastfeeding difficulties.

The science of breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has several proven health benefits for both mother and child.

1. Breastfeeding satisfies the emotional needs of the baby.
2. By breastfeeding, the mother decreases her risk of breast cancer.
3. Breastmilk encourages a higher IQ.
4. Breastfeeding facilitates the shedding of meconium (sticky substance in the intestines).
5. Breast milk contains antibodies against diseases and helps in the development of the baby’s immune system.
6. Breastfeeding protects against Crohn’s disease, reduces the risk of uterine cancer and prevents asthma.

Mothers who do not breast feed often turn to infant formula milk. Unfortunately, formaula has a lot of negative side effects as it increases the child’s risk of Type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes or insulin dependent), allergies, middle ear infection and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Breastfeeding and Islam
At a time when not a lot was known about the benefits, breastfeeding was still recommended and even compulsory. According to the rules of Islam, breastfeeding is a proven right of the child, and there is no disagreement in this regard. Exceptions are made for mothers who are unable to fulfil this requirement for whatever reason. In the Qur’an Allah says:

“Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period].” (2:233)

SubhanAllah, our faith is full of wisdom! Now, more than 1400 years later, the beneficial properties of breastmilk have been proved and breastfeeding is recommended by many organizations.
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