Last update July 3, 2021
Botulism is a severe disease caused by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. The bacterium produces a paralyzing toxin which is used for treatment of muscle spasticity and other disorders.
Reportedly, a woman affected of severe Botulinum disease nursed her 8 months old son during illness. Neither bacteria nor toxin were detected in both mother’s milk and stools of the infant, who did not show symptoms of disease. Also, anti-toxin medication given to the mother did not produce side-effects on the child.
A high molecular weight along with a strong and rapid adherence to muscle plaque by toxin could explain its low excretion into breast milk.
When adequately and locally administered, serum levels of toxin should be low.
An infant born at 36 weeks of gestation, who had received intra-esophagus treatment with Botulinum toxin for achalasia during the last weeks of pregnancy, appeared healthy and did not show symptoms of hypotonia.
Mother’s milk shows neutralizing capacity against Botulinum Toxin. It has been shown that the secretory IgA is able to bind the B fraction of toxin, resulting in inhibition of toxin attachment to intestinal cells and hence impairing absorption. It would explain that severity of disease is lower among breastfed infants than bottle-fed ones, with no death cases reported and delay in appearance of symptoms among breastfed infants in cases of Infant Botulism type B.
We do not have alternatives for Botulinum Toxin.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.
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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2012 of United States of America
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