Doctors recommend breastfeeding your baby if possible, as it offers many benefits for both parent and child. However, there are a few things you should know to ensure baby immune system support. Here are the best tips to keep your baby healthy through breastfeeding.
How Breastfeeding Affects Your Baby’s Immune System
Babies’ immune systems are incredibly fragile when they’re born, so it’s essential to do whatever you can to strengthen them. As it turns out, breastfeeding naturally provides what infants need to become healthy and develop immunities.
Passes on Parent’s Antibodies
Breast milk contains the parent’s antibodies, which can then help babies who haven’t developed their own. Since it takes at least two months for the immune system to mature, these antibodies play an important role in protecting infants when they’re most vulnerable to disease.
Provides Long-Term Heath Benefits
While scientists are still trying to figure out why this is so, numerous studies indicate that breastfeeding offers long-term benefits. Breastfed children are less likely to develop the following conditions later in life:
- Crohn’s disease
- Insulin-dependant diabetes
- Specific types of cancer
Supplies Essential Nutrients
Breast milk contains all the nutrients babies need to grow and strengthen their immune systems:
- White blood cells
These are the building blocks with which infants can build their bodies.
What To Remember While Breastfeeding To Keep Your Baby Healthy
From Wellements immune support to CDC recommendations, there are plenty of resources to help parents. You need to be especially careful if you’re breastfeeding, as substances you put into your body can pass to your child through breast milk. As you prepare to breastfeed, keep the following tips in mind.
Be Careful About What Medications You Take
Certain medications can be dangerous for children, even in the small amounts breast milk contains. You should consult with your doctor before taking medications, including over-the-counter drugs.
Don’t Use Recreational Substances
Recreational drugs — both legal and illegal — can pass to infants through breast milk. Children exposed to drugs and alcohol in infancy may have developmental issues.
Smoking can negatively impact your breast milk production in addition to harming your child. Nicotine is especially hazardous for children and can cause trouble sleeping and fussiness.
To ensure your baby gets the necessary nutrients, your doctor may recommend taking supplements. The most common supplements for breastfeeding parents are the following:
- Vitamin B12
Producing milk requires a lot of water. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking water after every breastfeeding session and whenever you feel thirsty.
Eat Nutritious Food
If you want to provide the most nutritious breast milk, you need to eat nutritious food. Try to eat foods high in vitamins and minerals while avoiding empty calories. You may also need to increase your caloric intake since your body needs energy for milk production.
In most cases, breast milk provides all the nutrients your baby needs. However, your physician may recommend supplements to boost your child’s immune system if necessary. From iron drops for babies to multivitamins, there are plenty of options out there.