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Maternal Immunity Transfer To Infants

Passive Immunity 101

2 mins to read Apr 1, 2021

Immunity is the state of being protected against diseases or infections either by the immune response generated by vaccination or previous infection, or by other nonimmunologic factors. 


A Baby can gain a passive immunity to illness in two ways: the artificial way through vaccination and the natural way through his mother. Yet, in this article we will only discuss the natural way and its risk factors. 


Whilst in the womb, a baby acquires passive immunity from antibodies transmitted from his mother’s blood to his through placenta in the form of IgG, constituting a temporary shield against diseases and infections his mother is already immune to, for only few weeks after birth.  

So, the passive immunity you transferred to your baby during pregnancy is temporary. However, it is up to you to extend its efficiency until your baby’s immune system is more able to assume its defensive functions, by way of antibodies through breastfeeding.  

Yes, it’s true. The colustrum your breasts produce during the first days after birth and the milk afterwards may provide your baby with stronger immunity thanks to their content of IgG and IgA.

That said, we advise you to try breastfeeding your baby since the first day and for the longest possible period. If breastfeeding is impossible for one reason or another, ask your doctor about the possibility of replacing your milk with an infant formula that is full of minerals, vitamins, essential nutrients for growth and immunity, as well as probiotics. Given that the major role of probiotic bacteria is to improve the immune system’s function by reducing the number of IgA plasma cells, increasing the phagocytosis rate, raising levels of T white cells and natural killer cells, in addition to treating diarrhea and boosting gut’s immunity and ability to fight illnesses. 


Read More: What You Need To Know About Your Child’s Immunity

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