Small yet immune

… or is it possible to boost the baby’s immune system before it is born or immediately afterwards?

It might seem that upon birth the baby’s digestive system is sterile. However, this is not exactly so. Research provides evidence that it is already in the mother’s womb that a baby is exposed to contact with intestinal bacteria. Hence a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle are important considerations for pregnant women. This means that it is already during pregnancy that a mother to be can positively affect the immunity of her baby, by taking care of proper supply of omega acids – especially DHA, vitamin D and iron in her diet.

The manner of delivery versus immunity

Many mums are surprised at the fact that the manner in which they give birth affects the immunity system of their babies. However, it is not without meaning whether we choose a natural birth or a Caesarean section. In one of the studies conducted, a higher level of bacteria causing intestinal inflammation and diarrhoea was observed in babies born by Caesarean section. In the same study, the babies born by natural labour exhibited low levels of harmful bacteria and high levels of Bifidobacterium which have a positive effect on the body.

The newborn baby – mother’s skin contact

Quick contact with its mother’s skin immediately after birth provides the baby with more of the so-called “good bacteria”, which protect the baby against infections. Babies who do not experience such contact become carriers of bacteria from other persons present in the delivery room. So do not be afraid of early skin-to-skin contact after delivery, because this is a unique moment for you and your baby.

The type of feeding – it really matters

In the first days and months of the newborn baby’s life, a crucial role is played by breastfeeding. Mother’s milk is easily digestible and delicate for the baby’s tummy. The so-called colostrum, or first milk, builds a kind of protective coating for the baby’s intestines, thereby limiting microbial penetration into the baby’s body.

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