When breastfeeding your baby, it gets a ‘small vaccine’ with each breastfeeding session. For a long time, doctors know that breastfeeding children are less common than those fed with formulated milk.
But plenty of researches today, clearly shows that breast milk helps babies to protect themselves from diseases in a number of different ways.
Moms milk help’s the baby from infections: The antibodies
What the baby needs immediately after birth, are the antibodies called immunoglobulin A – IgA. Nevertheless, babies consume this in small amounts while in the womb.
A newborn is literally all open to infections. That’s why mother’s milk contains large amounts of human-specific immunoglobulins – IgA from its first drop of milk. IgA sticks to mucous membranes and prevents them from infection. IgA is a packaging that protects against ‘swimming’ bacteria and viruses.
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Why antibodies are vital?
Antibodies are vital, especially at the beginning because the baby is born with a weak immune system. Gradually, it begins to produce its own antibodies, at the earliest after six to twelve weeks. The protection it has received through the placenta gradually weakens. That’s why the big amount of antibodies in breast milk is so important.
One infant receives daily more immunoglobulin (antibodies), than is contained in the so-called “A tropical travel vaccine“(TMB), that should protect the adult from illness for three weeks.
Mother’s milk helps the child until it gradually builds up its own immune system before it is fully developed in a few years. It has been shown that the children who continue to be breastfed get less sick than others.
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Babies best doctor is his/her mother
There’s no doubt the best food for a newborn is his/her mother’s own milk. The best option is for a child to be nursed by her own mother. Like mentioned above, mother’s milk contains IgA.
IgA of a particular woman is specifically designed to counteract harmful organisms, which once appeared in her own family.
In fact, the human organism is so well-established that the mother, through her milk, conveys to the baby antibodies, fighting against many of the diseases to which her own immune system has been exposed throughout her life. This applies to intestinal infections she has had, to respiratory infections, etc.
That is because, if the mother has ever had an infection, her immune system has engineered specific antibodies that will fight them more quickly in the next encounter with the bacteria.
These cells with immune memory settlement in the mammary glands, produce large quantities of IgA for the baby, which badly needs them. If the baby develops an infection that the mother has already experienced, it will react lightly to it, and will heal quickly.
Cow’s milk immunoglobulin -Iga is intended for its calf (not your baby)
Cow’s milk also contains IgA, but only one tenth of its milk concentration. It is questionable what the cow’s immunoglobulin is, yet keep in mind that it is intended for the calf. This is one of the reasons why it is extremely inappropriate to replace breast milk with cow’s milk.