This is a question that all prospective and new parents need to ask, as a matter of some urgency. Yet it is a question not asked nearly enough, and too often the answers focus on the importance of vaccine immunity.
The strategy for maintaining and strengthening our natural immunity as children and adults is well known, particularly by those whose understanding is not dominated by the “only vaccines will protect us” ideology of the pharmaceutical medical establishment.
Maintaining and strengthening natural immunity is important throughout our lives, so I would recommend that every new and prospective parent learns about the important principles to which this blog referred. But I am aware that this blog did not deal with the immune system of babies and infants. It should have done as it is slightly different, not least because a baby's immune system is not fully developed when they are born, and for a few months afterwards.
In the Womb
The foetus, especially during the last 3 months of pregnancy, is protected by the mother’s antibodies through the placenta, and this protection continues through to when the baby is born. During birth, the baby picks up the mother's antibodies during its passage through the birth canal. The importance of natural birth has become more apparent in recent years. Babies born vaginally have different gut bacteria (their microbiome) than those delivered by caesarean. It has been discovered that vaginally born babies obtain most of their gut bacteria from their mother, caesarean babies have more bacteria associated with the hospital. This suggests that vaginal birth gives babies a better natural immunity, although whether this persists into later health is not known.
However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of this protection from the mother depends on the mother’s own level of immunity.
Immediately after the Birth
After birth, the mother passes more antibodies to the baby from the colostrum, and then during breast feeding. Breast feeding, for as long as possible, is one of the best ways of protecting the child from infections. Breast milk contains the proteins, fats, sugars that help build and strengthen the baby’s immune system.
So when a mother comes into contact with an infection, again depending on the strength of her natural immunity, she will make antibodies to help her fight it, and these are then passed on to the baby through the milk.
It is important to stress the importance of breast feeding because in (too many) parts of the conventional medical establishment, especially in certain periods of the recent past, the vital part breast milk plays in developing a baby's immunity has been heavily discounted.
Formula milk is just NOT an adequate substitute. Nutritionally it might be an acceptable alternative where it is necessary, but it does little or nothing to strengthen the child's immune system.
As the child becomes more self functioning, and the immunity received from the mother declines after just a few months, they will start to make their own antibodies. As they come across infections, children will increasingly rely on their own natural immune system.
Yet a baby's immunity is a delicate matter, and there are some important things that can be done to protect them further - all similar to the things we should continue throughout our lives.
1. A healthy diet; with lots of fruit and vegetables; the avoidance of processed foods, including processed baby foods; and don’t ‘treat’ them with (too many) sugary drinks and sweets. Read up more on diet and nutrition from natural medical websites, or consult with a local natural health practitioner or nutritionist.
2. Good sleep is important, as this enables the child to refresh and recharge. A tired baby is more vulnerable to infection.
3. Keep the child active and stimulated, both their minds and their bodies. Exercise is always good for us, regardless of age; and physical and mental fitness is an important part maintaining and strengthening a healthy immune system.
4. Reduce levels of stress wherever possible; for instance, make sure that the baby knows that he/she is loved, and is being protected.
5. Avoid pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. In particular, don’t believe the vaccine propaganda we all get, ad nauseam, from the conventional medical establishment. If in doubt, read the patient information leaflets that will outline the adverse reactions of the vaccine, if only some of them - the one’s accepted by the drug regulators. For example, you will not find anything about autism; or about allergies; two of the biggest dangers of vaccination.
And antibiotic drugs are equally to blame for the decline in our children’s health - largely because they disrupt the stomach’s microbiome, the bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microbes that naturally live inside us, and fulfil an important role in our immune systems, enable the proper digestion of food, and produce the energy and vitality that helps us stay healthy.
I hope this gives you some idea of the things you can do to help your baby stay healthy; but a word of warning; point 5 above is very important indeed - but you will rarely hear about it from anyone within the conventional medical establishment, including the mainstream media.