Natural Immunity

A normal exposure to disease is necessary to initiate a full immune response. This results in a true antibody memory that can last a life-time and be passed on to the next generation.

We have a natural design to protect our babies from the diseases of childhood when they are young and vulnerable. A lasting antibody memory to a disease acquired naturally provides protection and is passed on to the next generation through antibodies that circulate from the mother to her child in the womb. Also -

  • Babies, even those who are born prematurely have been shown to already have high levels of protection to diseases such as tetanus and whooping cough at birth.23
  • The immune system of a baby is supported by breastfeeding. Breast milk contains vital antibodies and cells to boost the developing immune system for the entire time a child is breast-fed; not just in the colostrum that is produced for the first few days after birth.24
  • Human milk favours the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut that prevent infections from taking hold.25

Once it was expected that children would catch and recover from diseases such as chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella. It also ensured immunity to the disease to protect them as adults.

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23 D’Angio et al, Immunologic response of extremely premature infants to Tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae and polio Immunisations, Pediatrics,1995; 96(1):18-22
24 Arnold D.W., Larson E., Immunological benefits of breast milk in relation to human banking, Am. J. Inf. Con. 1993; 21: 235-242
25 Jane Sheppard, Breastfeeding for a strong Immune System, www.healthychild.com