In this article we cover the topic about baby health care, and this first care begins with the development of a strong immunity of babies. So let’s consider the immune system in babies and its characteristics in details.
Immunity is resistance to infectious and non-infectious agents and substances with alien (antigenic) properties.
Characteristics of the human immune system
In the body of any person there is a special protective mechanism that struggles with different viruses, infections and bacteria. When a causative agent penetrates a physical barrier, such as the skin, and is absorbed into the blood system, the immune system activates all its defenses by struggling with pathological elements.
White blood cells, leukocytes, are responsible for fighting off foreign items caused by viruses and bacteria. Leukocytes can distinguish between different types of causative agents that can lead to an infection. Their only task is to discover a causative agent, detect its type and eliminate it.
Inflammatory processes that are so often developed, when there is an infection in a body, is a way the body fights with the disease. Increased body temperature also accompanies the process of struggle. The human body has approximately ten species of leukocyte cells that eliminate disease-causing pathogens.
What is the difference between immunity of an adult and immunity of a newborn?
Immunity of a newborn has features that distinguish it from the immune system of an adult. Thus, leukocyte cells of only one type of ten ones in the immune system of newborn babies are active. The rest ones are “sleeping”. Accordingly, the majority of pathogens, that enter the baby’s body, just will not be detected, and thus an infection will develop.
How to protect and boost immune system of newborn babies
A baby is born absolutely sterile. His mucous membranes and the skin are so thin that they cannot protect the baby from penetration of bacteria into his body. Lymphocytes are not able to recognize the enemies and destroy them, acquired cell-mediated immunity is not working at full capacity, and it faces a large number of different antigens.
But this does not mean that a baby is weakened and he must be isolated from the outside world. Even with a weak immune system a baby has a solid defense. Even as pregnant, a woman gives her baby antibodies to those antigens she had herself. If she had a herpes virus, and antibodies have developed in her body, it is possible that her baby already had a protection against it.
If a baby is premature, his immunity is weaker than of that baby who was born in time. Such babies need special care. They must be protected from viruses and infections.
By the way, the antibodies that a baby has got from his mother disappear by six months of life. Since that time, a baby starts picking up an infection and being often ill.
Babies rarely suffer from colds immediately after birth. If they are breastfed, colds can occur by the end of the first six months of life, bottle-fed babies start catching a cold earlier. The fact is that even in the womb, besides basic infections, a baby gets antibodies as well. He also gets antibodies after his birth with the breast milk – that is why pediatricians insist on breastfeeding.
Breast milk is a great way to protect a newborn baby. It strengthens his immune system, protects his mucous membranes from various infections, and positively influences his digestive tract. Eating his mother’s breast milk a baby gets immunoglobulin, which is the reliable protection of his immune system. If you breastfeed your baby, you can be sure that he will not have intestinal infections. Those babies, who are bottle-fed, often suffer from colic and constipation. Probiotics are often prescribed in this case; they are beneficial for the gastrointestinal tract and strengthen the baby’s immune system.
The immunity of a newborn has an increased number of T suppressor lymphocytes. During the prenatal period, they were necessary to prevent the conflicts of the baby’s organism with his mother’s one. After birth, these cells prevent allergies in a baby.
In order to strengthen the baby’s immune system at home, here are a few simple recommendations.
First, as we’ve already said, it is breast milk.
Second, if the possibility of breast-feeding is impossible for some reason, baby’s diet should be thoroughly made.
Third, the newborn’s immune system is being strengthened while baby is sleeping. If the baby’s sleep is healthy, then he will have less health problems.
Fourth, careful hygiene of the room the baby is very important.
And finally, a baby should be shielded from the harmful effects of environment, in particular from passive smoking.
How did you cope with your baby’s health disorders? Share your tried-and-true tips with the rest of us!