Linked im­mu­nity be­tween you and your baby

Little Treasures - - HEALTH FAMILY -

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

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