20 Responses

  1. P. Gopal
    P. Gopal at | | Reply

    Breast milk has secretory molecules that will prevent necrotizing enterocolitis. IgA immunoglobulin, macrophages, and IgG, which are delayed in premature babies, the IgA will help protect the mucosa in the gastrointestinal tract. Breast milk triggers bifidobacteria, which contains lactic acid and acetic acid that causes the spread of gram-negative organism to stop.

  2. Gabriel Beltran
    Gabriel Beltran at | | Reply

    Maternal diet constitutes breast milk composition crucial for immune development. Foods containing omega-3 improve DHA, known to modify neonatal function of neutrophils. The fatty acids composition, elevated DHA and arachidonic acid increase immune factors. The result is immunogenicity that mitigates diseases like necrotizing enterocolitis upon antigen encounter.

  3. Chandni Jivani
    Chandni Jivani at | | Reply

    Doctors have long known that infants who are breast fed contract few infections due to the high levels of IgA immunoglobulins in the breast milk. One of the well-known function of the IgA immunoglobulin is the protection of mucous membrane by preventing attachment of organisms. Enterocolitis involves the mucosa of both small and large intestine; however, infants who are breast fed have IgA antibodies which function to inhibit attachment of those bacteria (mucosal immunity).

  4. twynn
    twynn at | | Reply

    Because the breast milk is specific to each baby, it makes sense that the nutrients and IgA are transferred to the baby from the mother. Breast feeding early in life helps the infant avoid diseases and also keeps the baby from developing allergies to specific foods. However, people are “too busy” or lack knowledge of the true benefits of breastfeeding.

    1. A. Bhansali
      A. Bhansali at | | Reply

      That is all the more reason to promote healthy breastfeeding techniques and practices! As you mentioned and also as others have noted a bit before, mothers pass on incredibly helpful sources of their immunity and protect their newborns by sharing these with them such that when an infection rolls around, their children are protected. Not only that, but mothers also share their microbiota with their newborns and in this way help set up their children’s own personal microbiome and normal flora that prevents colonization by harmful pathogens. However, as you again mentioned, society has nowadays began to forgo breastfeeding for other nutrient tactics such as baby formula. This removes the amazingly helpful effects of breastfeeding and promotes a lazy attitude towards newfound immunity! There should be more campaigns that support breastfeeding not only as a way to nourish one’s young, but to also protect and share with them the fundamental system of immunological promotion! Thus, those ” 800 000 child lives”, could be saved all from more time breastfeeding from mother to baby. Indeed, it should be common practice to have daily activities where mothers enjoy peace and quiet while breastfeeding, not only helping their young, but taking a break to sit back and enjoy the life they have given birth to.

  5. P. Sherman
    P. Sherman at | | Reply

    Unfortunately, society’s attitude towards breastfeeding has prompted a dramatic decrease in breastfeeding rates. Many find public breastfeeding uncivilized or offensive, discouraging mothers from breastfeeding. This negative view of breastfeeding has a direct impact on the immune function of babies. If the disapproval towards this natural act continues, I fear the prevalence of infant illnesses like necrotizing enterocolitis will escalate.

  6. Michelle Brydson
    Michelle Brydson at | | Reply

    It is often a question asked of mothers in the first months of pregnancy, whether they plan on breastfeeding. This information enables nutritionist to be better able to work out a nutrition plan that will help enforce the mother’s plan to breastfeed. It is very likely that necrotizing enterocolitis will continue to be of critical health interest in premature babies.

    The WHO needs to understand that the societal roles of women have changed vastly from the avid “home-maker” to taking up an active role in the workforce. Because of economic constraints, many women are forced to help with the breadwinning. All this and more are stressors for the mother who chooses to breastfeed her baby. Other factors to be considered is the time frame in which the mother will breastfeed, the accommodation the job makes to support the mother’s breastfeeding (milk extraction) while she is away from her baby and does the mother have the familial support (be it single parent, or nuclear family) to ease other additional stressors, so as to foster the mother’s milk production to feed her new born baby for “2 years.”

  7. Diana Liaw
    Diana Liaw at | | Reply

    With the invention of breast pumps, the ease of providing a child with breast milk in the mother’s absence has increased. Although uncomfortable, the benefits of providing the child with improved immunity should motivate all mothers to make time and find solutions to busy schedules. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

  8. Lisa Benson
    Lisa Benson at | | Reply

    I am a mother of two grown children and when the first was born I did not produce enough milk to breastfeed. With the second I opted not to breastfeed. In hindsight I should have tried since I see possible consequences that may have been avoided. Not knowing that breastfeeding helped to create a healthy microbial atmosphere in the gut may be the trigger that has caused gastrointestinal upset in my daughter.

  9. MVesela
    MVesela at | | Reply

    Breastfeeding not only helps boost a baby’s immune system by supplying the essential antibodies to fight and ward off future diseases, but it also lowers the risk of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) as much as by half! The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any secondary means of feeding indisputably.

  10. S.Mashayekh
    S.Mashayekh at | | Reply

    Many women do not understand the many benefits for their child and for themselves by just simply breastfeeding. For example, breastfeeding has the ability to protect the child from illnesses, as stated above, protection from allergies due to secretory IgA, the ability of it to help boost your child’s intelligence, and protection from obesity due to less insulin in breast milk.

  11. H. Ngobili
    H. Ngobili at | | Reply

    Breast feeding is a natural method of nurturing babies. It is “human nature” to breastfeed and in general natural methods of doing things are safer and inexpensive. Most foods we as humans eat are genetically modify and have been correlated to many different health issues. The cost of foods are always on the rise. It is a cheaper option to choose to breastfeed a child. This can lead to a savings on the part of the citizen and the government which funds a lot of the nurturing for millions of babies. Breastfeeding a child can ensure a child gets the nutrients it needs which in turn can protect and prevent vitamin deficiencies and develop of diseases and/or sicknesses. It is in the nature of humans to breastfeed because that’s how our bodies are made.

  12. Samantha Williams
    Samantha Williams at | | Reply

    It is surprising to me that something as simple as breastfeeding is so effective at reducing the amount of cases of necrotizing enterocolitis. Unfortunately due to social stigma and scheduling conflicts for women in the workforce, breastfeeding is not as common as it should be. If changing the attitude towards breastfeeding doesn’t work another possible solution would be figuring out how to add synthetic EGF to formula as another way to combat necrotizing enterocolitis.

  13. mbilderback1
    mbilderback1 at | | Reply

    The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous and can not be overlooked when deciding how to raise a child. Prior to that point the baby only has IgG due to its ability to cross the placental barrier but, as many other posters mentioned, additional antibodies such as IgA. The article mentions feeding right after birth and this is crucial because in the first day the mother produces colostrum, which is sometimes referred to as the baby’s first vaccine, is concentrated with antibodies and its primary job is to coat the baby’s intestinal tract acting as a barrier to harmful bacteria. Due to the fact that the intestinal tract is where necrotizing enterocolitis attacks this colostrum would most likely be crucial in preventing the disease. After 10-14 days the colostrum is done and the mother produces mature milk so it is crucial to breastfeed starting from birth in order to prevent not only necrotizing enterocolotis but many other diseases while also providing additional nutritional benefits to your baby.

  14. Ayanha Lubin
    Ayanha Lubin at | | Reply

    Although the benefits of breast feeding are numerous and have been scientifically proven to benefit a child’s immune system, some mothers fear that it may actually do more harm then good. There have been rare reports that it is possible for a mother to pass on an infection to their child through breast milk, namely HIV or HSV. In fact, the CDC advises women who are HIV+ to forgo breastfeeding all together.

  15. L.Kennel
    L.Kennel at | | Reply

    It is very important that expecting mothers be educated about this life threatening disease. As a mother of one already it was never brought to my attention that non-breastfeeding could lead to this disease. It is amazing the big difference breast feeding makes on a child’s life. Mothers should definitely be educated on this disease and ways to prevent it if complications arise that inhibit breast feeding.

  16. Peter M.
    Peter M. at | | Reply

    Overall this article seems to make sense. Unless there is a particular reason, breast milk is good for the baby nutritionally and immunologically. Babies who are given formula rather than breast milk have been shown to be at a disadvantage to those who were instead given breast milk.

  17. Medhavi
    Medhavi at | | Reply

    Breast feeding is considered important for the development of the child immune system but it can also transfer various diseases from the mother to the child. In a recent article it was mentioned that the if the mother is infected with hepatitis B ,there are high chances that the breast milk of mother would also be containing the virus of Hepatitis B and can be easily transferred to the child by breast feeding. Same it is possible for the mother who has the untreated tuberculosis. But maternal infections possess very rare chances of transfer to child through breast milk so stopping breast feeding at the birth of child is not a good idea because it will affect the child development and the child would be deprive of all important nutritional and immunological advantages.

  18. A. Huezo
    A. Huezo at | | Reply

    The decrease in breast feeding is attributed to many factors that all have not been thoroughly researched. Cracked nipples, an increase in breast cancer, and a lack of time for working mothers are all reasons mothers have chosen to only use formula or start formula a short amount of time after birth. What most mothers know is only what they see in news headlines or what they read on the internet.
    What they don’t know, however, is the benefits from breast feeing their newborn. It helps with the establishment of the immune system, reduces the risk of allergies, and promoted healthy cell function. This brings me to the question: Does the lack of breast feeding also have an affect on TNF alpha in conjunction with TLR 4?

  19. B P 9 4
    B P 9 4 at | | Reply

    Breast-feeding is the natural precursor of the immune system. It develops the gut microbiota of the infant which possibly aids in recognizing non-specific components of microbes during an innate immune response. Although sometimes seen as negative in this over-sexualized society, breastfeeding is also beneficial for the mother as it saves money and burns calories. There are no proven negative effects of breastfeeding; it is of the body for the body.

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