How breastfeeding enhances your baby's immunity

Breastfeeding has many benefits for the mother and the infant as well. Recent medical studies have shown the ability of breast milk to strengthen the infant's immunity and protect him from infections and infectious diseases that are widespread among children. Read on to learn the details of this medical study and the role of breast milk in strengthening children's immunity.

Published on:Mar 31st 2024 |Updated on:Jun 10th 2024
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How does breastfeeding enhance a child's immunity?

Researchers at Binghamton University in the United States have confirmed that breastfed children receive an excellent boost for their immunity, which helps them fight infectious diseases. The researchers closely studied more than 100 breastfed children in an African village where infectious diseases are common among children. The study showed that breast milk has a role beyond antibodies, the benefits of which experts have long discussed.

This study showed that the immune system in breast milk is an integrated system capable of enhancing the infant's immunity and its ability to fight diseases.

Breast milk contains everything needed to build a robust immune system capable of responding to and fighting infections. It contains antibodies, many types of immune cells, and much more.

This study showed that when breast milk was placed with bacteria that cause inflammation in a test tube, the breast milk increased the production of immune cells to fight the bacteria. The study's results also showed that breastfed children were less susceptible to infectious diseases than other children, and their resistance to infection was very strong, even after it occurred. The study showed that breast milk strengthens the child's immune system to resist infections and diseases.

What are the antibodies found in breast milk?

Colostrum and breast milk contain antibodies called immunoglobulins, a protein that allows the mother's immunity to be passed on to her infant. Colostrum milk contains large amounts of antibodies, which work to form a protective layer in the infant's nose, throat, and digestive system.

When a breastfeeding mother is exposed to viruses or bacteria, her body produces additional antibodies that pass through breast milk to reach the baby.

It is worth noting that formula milk does not contain such antibodies.

Other features of breast milk

In addition to antibodies, breast milk contains healthy fats, sugars, and white blood cells that help boost the child's immunity and ability to fight infections. Once the mother's milk enters the child's body, the disease-fighting elements work immediately, even before the baby's digestive system absorbs it.

Breast milk also contains natural probiotics, which are very important for forming what is known as the microbiome, which is a group of good bacteria that helps the body fight viruses and bacteria and reduces the possibility of the child contracting chronic diseases and cancers.

What diseases does breast milk protect against?

Antibodies in breast milk reduce the likelihood that the baby will suffer from:

1| Middle ear infection

A scientific review of a group of medical studies published in 2015 showed that exclusively breastfeeding during the first six months of a child's life provides 43% protection against acute otitis media up to the age of two years.

2| Respiratory tract infections

A field medical study published in 2017 showed that the infant's dependence on breast milk for six months or more after birth strengthens the child's immunity and reduces the possibility of suffering from respiratory tract infections until the age of four.

3| Influenza and colds

Breastfeeding the child by the mother for at least six months leads to a 35% reduction in upper respiratory infections, colds, and flu.

4| Allergies of all kinds

Babies who are exclusively breastfed during the first months after birth are less likely to develop food allergies, skin allergies, and eczema.

5| Intestinal infections

Studies have shown that breastfed children are 50% less likely to suffer from diarrhea than formula-fed children. They are also less likely to suffer from intestinal and digestive infections.

6| Child Diabetes

The incidence of juvenile diabetes and type 2 diabetes decreases by 35% in children who are breastfed.

7| Childhood obesity

Many medical studies have shown that the rate of childhood obesity and excess weight in children who are breastfed is 13% lower than other children.

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Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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