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Breastfeeding - question about antibodies

For those that have researched or asked docs -- I'd heard that while breastfeeding is good for giving your child antibodies to protect from illnesses, once you stop breastfeeding your child will still have to develop their own set of antibodies (obviously from getting sick and fighting it themselves.). I haven't seen too much info on this, so was wondering if anyone else had researched it or had information on it. (again, looking for real medical answers, not just assumptions)

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:53 PM on Dec. 16, 2008 in General Parenting

Answers (2)
  • Antibodies are only one factor in building a resistance to disease. Just because you have a high antibody level does not mean you are immune from any disease at all.

    There are malevolent diseases and childhood diseases. Malevolent ones are like polio. tb, the heps, rabies, tetanus etc and are not self resolving and without intervention death is possible. Good nutrition helps prevent so its important to give your child everything you can including breastmilk. However if you have had one of these you can still get it again - no lifelong immunity. Vaccines for these are inneffective as a result.

    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 3:06 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

  • As for childhood diseases like mumps and measles etc - they are self resolving and proper is needed to prevent complications. You cant prevent these illnesses with good nutrition or good hygiene. But good nutrition and hygiene will help the body get through the illness easier. You also get lifelong immunity to these. Vaccinations have been shown to give temporary artificial immunity but thats all.

    I would think children will make their own set because antibodies go up and down all the time. They will rise when there is a inkling in the body of an illness.
    keyaziz

    Answer by keyaziz at 3:07 PM on Dec. 16, 2008

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