Study: Breastfeeding Reduces Vaccination Fevers

A new study done in Naples, Italy, found that infants who are exclusively breastfed are less likely to have fevers after vaccinations than formula-fed infants.

baby breastfeeding

A typical response after vaccinations is a fever and some grumpiness. For some, these fevers may run high enough to warrant parents concerns. However, breastfeeding an infant may be able to reduce the risk of a fever after receiving the shots. The vaccination center in Naples, found that those who were breastfed exclusively were less likely to develop fevers than those who were formula-fed.

A total of 460 infants were watched to see if they became feverish after their vaccinations. Only 25 percent of exclusively breastfed infants developed a fever. Nearly twice as many formula-fed infants also developed fevers, about 53 percent. The infants who were only partially breastfed still developed fevers at a higher rate, 31 percent.

“This study suggests that breastfed infants are less likely to have a fever after immunization compared with those who are not breastfed,” conclude researchers led by Alfredo Pisacane, MD, a pediatrician at the Universit√† Federico II in Naples, Italy.

The researchers factored in outside influences that may have affected the rates of fevers developed. Factors such as vaccine dose, maternal smoking, maternal education, and the presence of other children in the household were all counted for, yet the positive effects of breastfeeding were still noted.

The reason why breastfeeding better protects against fevers is not yet clear. Breast milk may contain natural anti-inflammatory substances that reduce fevers. Breastfed infants also nurse more because of the comfort it brings, thus getting more fluids.

Laura Wilwerding, MD, a lactation consultant and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, says breastfeeding during vaccinations is also a great way to reduce the pain from the shots.

“This is another great reason to breastfeed,” says Laura Wilwerding.

The study is not completely accepted as accurate because mothers were taught to record their infants’ temperature readings instead of the researchers themselves. Still, the study will be published in the June issue of Pediatrics. – Summer, staff writer

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Summer is a mom of three, living life in the slow lane along historic Route 66. She writes, homeschools, gardens, and is still trying to learn how to knit.

About the author


Summer is a mom of three, living life in the slow lane along historic Route 66. She writes, homeschools, gardens, and is still trying to learn how to knit.

1 Comment

  • Vaccine-related febrile seizures can easily be completely avoided simply by keeping children vaccine-free.

    Vaccination is profitable for the medical-pharmaceutical establishment, because vaccinations lead to the use of anti-pain and fever-lowering pharmaceuticals, antibiotics to combat ear infections and inhalers for asthma, but is in my opinion a complete and utter disaster as far as children’s health and well-being is concerned.

    “Vaccines contain substances which are so noxious that they should not ever be injected into a human body.”
    Dr Viera Scheibner PhD, Australia

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