Sharing here what I shared on my Instagram account lately.
Before I share the most natural ways to pass immunity to your infant, I would like to point out that this post is not about whether or not you should vaccinate your child.
There are so many articles on that topic that you yourself should research about, and for this topic, I cannot compress all the research and articles and debates in one post.
Instead, I am sharing this because usually, when we hear the term immunization, we automatically think of vaccines, when in reality, there are also natural ways mothers can pass on immunity to their children, and by doing these, we are upping their chance for healthier bodies for years.
Ready to read? Here we go!
1. PASSIVE IMMUNITY – The very first immunization you can give your child is very effortless, actually. Your body is at work without you even knowing it. On the last three months of your pregnancy, your body starts to produce ANTIBODIES and passes them on to your unborn child through your placenta. This is called passive immunity and it is really done by your body to prepare your child for his/her arrival outside the womb.
2. VAGINAL DELIVERY – Upon birth, your child’s very first immunization is through your birth canal – the mother passes on her microbes (vaginal and bowel) to her child for good reason. THIS is a must-read article. To quote:
“Another element of the microbiome crisis is the sharp rise in the number of births via Caesarean section. This form of medical intervention saves the lives of many mothers and babies. But when the procedure is not medically required, it unnecessarily interferes with an important stage of development.
Traditionally, the initial inoculation of a newborn baby with the mother’s microbiomes happens when a baby travels through the mother’s birth canal.
A C-section thus disrupts an age-old transmission process, and the effects are real and serious. A child born by C-section is significantly more likely to develop allergies than those who were born naturally, due to an absence of microbes that are critically involved in the development of the immune system.
To make matters more dramatic: since a baby girl born by C-section has permanently lost essential microbes, as an adult she cannot pass these essential microbes on to her own offspring.”
THIS is also a must-read article, and in here it states: “When an emergency cesarean is performed after membranes rupture and labor has begun, the baby acquires fewer of the mother’s microbes than it would during a vaginal birth, BUT many more than from a scheduled cesarean. These differences in the gut microbiota were found to persist in children until at least 7 years of age.”
My take here? Of course if medically necessary, we would all go for a cesarian birth, but if not — vaginal delivery is the BEST way to go. Second best would be emergency c-section after labor has begun. The last option would be a scheduled cesarean birth.
3. BREASTFEEDING – After vaginal delivery, your child’s source of immunization is BREASTFEEDING. Did you know that for when you breastfeed your newborn, you actually share your immunity with your child so that your child can focus on developing important systems (Nervous and Skeletal) in the body in order to survive? Because of the limited space in utero, continued skeletal and neurological growth cannot be accomplished while in the womb and so they must continue at an accelerated rate outside, hence the power of the activation of the enteromammary pathway (sharing of immune systems).
You can read my previous post on breastfeeding and its benefits HERE.
4. ILLNESSES ON THE FIRST YEAR – I mentioned that breastfed children do get sick, but usually not as grave. Today, I just read THIS VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE – Cancer Scientist and Professor Mel Greaves spill some details on his 30 years worth of research on leukemia and children, and it just confirmed so many things for me, like the importance of allowing your child to actually get sick instead of preventing it or treating it RIGHT AWAY.
According to Professor Greaves, “For an immune system to work properly, it needs to be confronted by an infection in the first year of life,” says Greaves.
“Without that confrontation with an infection, the system is left unprimed and will not work properly.
And this issue is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Parents, for laudable reasons, are raising children in homes where antiseptic wipes, antibacterial soaps and disinfected floorwashes are the norm. Dirt is banished for the good of the household.
In addition, there is less breast feeding of infants and a tendency for them to have fewer social contacts with other children. Both trends reduce babies’ contact with germs. This has benefits – but also comes with side effects. Because young children are not being exposed to bugs and infections as they once were, their immune systems are not being properly primed.
When such a baby is eventually exposed to common infections, his or her unprimed immune system reacts in a grossly abnormal way,” says Greaves. “It over-reacts and triggers chronic inflammation.”
Our bodies have been designed to adapt to our needs. My personal take from these learnings would be:
* To really do our part in preparing ourselves for a vaginal birth (unless medically necessary).
* To breastfeed as long as possible (direct feed as much as possible).
* Stop over-sanitizing.
* Don’t treat children at the first sign of fever – fever is not the illness; it’s a sign that your body is fighting an infection naturally (your body temp needs to be raised so the virus will not survive). Let it run its course.
* Expose children to other children and the outdoors – to dirt, to germs, to the real world.
Hope this article was interesting and helpful. Would love to hear your thoughts!