Because a baby’s immune system is not fully developed when they are born, they initially get antibodies from their mothers. While they are in the womb, they get the antibodies through the placenta, which is why they will have strong defenses against viruses, bacteria and fungi when they are born.
Once the baby is born, they will continue to receive antibodies through their mother’s breast milk, though the amount of protection will reduce steadily over the first few months. This protection that is passed from mother to child is called passive immunity.
All five essential types of antibodies are present in breast milk, which is why, according to Wellness.com, babies who are breastfed early on are less susceptible to infection.
Babies cannot produce their own antibodies until they are around two to three months old, and their immune systems are not fully developed until about six months. This means that there is a period between three and six months when a child’s defences are lowest, while their immune system gets up to speed in order to produce antibodies at the normal rate.
Has this been your experience with your child’s health?