How Breast Milk Protects Newborns • Kelly. Mom. com. Written by Jack Newman, MD, FRCPCSome of the molecules and cells in human milk actively help infants stave off infection. Doctors have long known that infants who are breast- fed contract fewer infections than do those who are given formula. Until fairly recently, most physicians presumed that breast- fed children fared better simply because milk supplied directly from the breast is free of bacteria. Formula, which must often be mixed with water and placed in bottles, can become contaminated easily. Yet even infants who receive sterilized formula suffer from more meningitis and infection of the gut, ear, respiratory tract and urinary tract than do breast- fed youngsters.
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An infant (from the Latin word infans, meaning "unable to speak" or "speechless") is the more formal or specialised synonym for "baby", the very young offspring of a. During the first 6 months of life, infants should be exclusively breastfed. This means that the healthy baby should receive breastmilk and no other fluids, such as. Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and whites of the eyes to turn yellow. There are two common problems that may occur in newborns receiving breast milk. Types of Cancer. Breast Cancer – Everything you need to know about the causes, treatments, and prevention.
The reason, it turns out, is that mother’s milk actively helps newborns avoid disease in a variety of ways. Such assistance is particularly beneficial during the first few months of life, when an infant often cannot mount an effective immune response against foreign organisms. And although it is not the norm in most industrial cultures, UNICEF and the World Health Organization both advise breast- feeding to “two years and beyond.” Indeed, a child’s immune response does not reach its full strength until age five or so. All human babies receive some coverage in advance of birth. During pregnancy, the mother passes antibodies to her fetus through the placenta.
These proteins circulate in the infant’s blood for weeks to months after birth, neutralizing microbes or marking them for destruction by phagocytes- immune cells that consume and break down bacteria, viruses and cellular debris. But breast- fed infants gain extra protection from antibodies, other proteins and immune cells in human milk. Now infants can getall their vitamin Dfrom their mothers’ milk; no drops needed withour sponsor's. Thera. Natal Lactation Completeby THERALOGIX. Once ingested, these molecules and cells help to prevent microorganisms from penetrating the body’s tissues. Some of the molecules bind to microbes in the hollow space (lumen) of the gastrointestinal tract. In this way, they block microbes from attaching to and crossing through the mucosa- the layer of cells, also known as the epithelium, that lines the digestive tract and other body cavities.
Other molecules lessen the supply of particular minerals and vitamins that harmful bacteria need to survive in the digestive tract. Certain immune cells in human milk are phagocytes that attack microbes directly. Another set produces chemicals that invigorate the infant’s own immune response.
Breast Milk Antibodies. Antibodies, which are also called immunoglobulins, take five basic forms, denoted as Ig. G, Ig. A, Ig. M, Ig.
D and Ig. E. All have been found in human milk, but by far the most abundant type is Ig. A, specifically the form known as secretory Ig. A, which is found in great amounts throughout the gut and respiratory system of adults. These antibodies consist of two joined Ig. A molecules and a so- called secretory component that seems to shield the antibody molecules from being degraded by the gastric acid and digestive enzymes in the stomach and intestines. Infants who are bottle- fed have few means for battling ingested pathogens until they begin making secretory Ig.
A on their own, often several weeks or even months after birth. The secretory Ig.
A molecules passed to the suckling child are helpful in ways that go beyond their ability to bind to microorganisms and keep them away from the body’s tissues. First, the collection of antibodies transmitted to an infant is highly targeted against pathogens in that child’s immediate surroundings.
The mother synthesizes antibodies when she ingests, inhales or otherwise comes in contact with a disease- causing agent. Each antibody she makes is specific to that agent; that is, it binds to a single protein, or antigen, on the agent and will not waste time attacking irrelevant substances. Because the mother makes antibodies only to pathogens in her environment, the baby receives the protection it most needs- against the infectious agents it is most likely to encounter in the first weeks of life. Second, the antibodies delivered to the infant ignore useful bacteria normally found in the gut. This flora serves to crowd out the growth of harmful organisms, thus providing another measure of resistance. Researchers do not yet know how the mother’s immune system knows to make antibodies against only pathogenic and not normal bacteria, but whatever the process may be, it favors the establishment of “good bacteria” in a baby’s gut.
Secretory Ig. A molecules further keep an infant from harm in that, unlike most other antibodies, they ward off disease without causing inflammation- a process in which various chemicals destroy microbes but potentially hurt healthy tissue. In an infant’s developing gut, the mucosal membrane is extremely delicate, and an excess of these chemicals can do considerable damage. Interestingly, secretory Ig.
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Jaundice in Healthy Newborns. Jaundice, a common condition in newborns, refers to the yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes that happens when there is too much bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin (bill- uh- ROO- bin) is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Normally, it passes through the liver, which releases it into the intestines as bile (a liquid that helps with digestion). Jaundice happens when bilirubin builds up faster than a newborn's liver can break it down and pass it from the body. Here are some reasons why: Newborns make more bilirubin than adults do since they have more turnover of red blood cells. A newborn baby's still- developing liver might not be able to remove enough bilirubin from the blood.
A baby's intestines absorb bilirubin that would normally leave the body in the stool (poop). Severe jaundice (when levels of bilirubin are high, usually above 2. In rare cases, jaundice may be a sign of of another condition, such as an infection or a thyroid problem. Doctors recommend that all infants be checked for jaundice within a few days of birth. Types of Jaundice. The most common types of jaundice are: Physiological (normal) jaundice: Most newborns have this mild jaundice because their liver is still maturing. It often appears when a baby 2 to 4 days old and disappears by 1 to 2 weeks of age.
Jaundice of prematurity: This is common in premature babies since their bodies are even less ready to excrete bilirubin effectively. To avoid complications, they'll be treated even when their bilirubin levels are lower than those of full- term babies with normal jaundice.
Breastfeeding jaundice: Jaundice can happen when breastfeeding babies don't get enough breast milk due to difficulty with breastfeeding or because the mother's milk isn't in yet. Mommy And Daughter Dating Sites. This is not caused by a problem with the breast milk itself, but by the baby not getting enough of it.
If a baby has this type of jaundice, it's important to involve a lactation (breastfeeding) consultant. Breast milk jaundice: In 1% to 2% of breastfed babies, jaundice is caused by substances in breast milk that can make the bilirubin level rise. These can prevent the excretion of bilirubin through the intestines. It starts after the first 3 to 5 days and slowly improves over 3 to 1. Blood group incompatibility(Rh or ABO problems): If a mother and baby have different blood types, the mother's body might produce antibodies that destroy the infant's red blood cells. This creates a sudden buildup of bilirubin in the baby's blood.
Incompatibility jaundice can begin as early as the first day of life. Rh problems once caused the most severe form of jaundice, but now can be prevented by giving the mother Rh immune- globulin injections.