Linked immunity between you and your baby
When you’re pregnant, your antibodies are transferred to your baby through the placenta, and they often end up with a higher concentration of them than you do. “With this, they can be protected for weeks to months after they’re born,” says Dr Petousis-harris. The longer they are carried inside, the better their protection will be: babies born early have much weaker immunity than those carried to full term. Immunity is a complex business and is often misunderstood. For example, whether your baby is born naturally or via c-section has no bearing on its immunity. “What’s interesting is that even if the mother’s had pertussis herself, she actually doesn’t provide any measurable or notable protection through breastfeeding her baby against that disease – it has to come through the placenta. It’s really disease-specific as to how to much [immunity] benefit you get through breastfeeding.” However, many precious antibodies are still transferred through breastfeeding, and especially via the colostrum you produce before your milk comes in. Breastfeeding also protects your baby against gastro bugs that they could be exposed to via bottle feeding, and is recommended by the World Health Organisation as a complete diet for the first six months of a baby’s life.
IT’S RECOMMENDED WOMEN TAKE EXTRA
CARE OF THEIR HEALTH BEFORE, DURING AFTER AND PREGNANCY TO PROTECT THE IMMUNITY
OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR UNBORN BABY