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Thread: Am I baby's protection from colds?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    92

    Default Am I baby's protection from colds?

    Hubby caught a virus this past weekend which i was able to fend off untill two days ago when both baby and i got sick. Was this just a conincidence? i was surprised baby hadn't caught it sooner since we all co-sleep. do my antibodies pass on to my milk? if i had been able to fight off the virus, would baby have gotten sick at all? just wondering....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Am I baby's protection from colds?

    your antibodies pass to baby, so often baby will be the last to get sick and get the weakest version of the sickness in the family. good for you!!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: Am I baby's protection from colds?

    The incubation period for a cold or flu is usually a few days, so it's not too surprising that there was a window during which your DH was coughing and sneezing and you and baby were fine, but probably incubating the pathogen. Your DH brought the cold home; a few days later, you and baby started getting symptoms.

    That being said, breastfeeding does provide significant protection to the baby. Antibodies created by mom in response to infection do pass through the milk, and tend to lessen the duration and intensity of an illness in the baby, and often prevent the baby from becoming ill in the first place. If you had been able to fight off the infection completely, your baby still might have become sick- baby's not immune to the illness, right?- but the antibodies you would give him would likely make the illness less severe.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Am I baby's protection from colds?

    thank you for your responses! this is awesome mother nature is amazing. yay for breastfeeding moms!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,984

    Default Re: Am I baby's protection from colds?

    What Mommal said. Breastfeeding doesn't protect babies from all illnesses, but the antibodies passed through mom's milk do enhance baby's immune response and tend to lessen the severity of illnesses. A mom generally won't create antibodies for an illness she hasn't been exposed to, so mom needs to be exposed to pass on antibodies through milk. I have actually had the opposite worry - that because I didn't get sick, maybe I wasn't giving my sick baby (who caught the illness from someone else) antibodies. But my doctor assured me that as long as I was exposed, I would be creating antibodies even if I didn't get sick.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Am I baby's protection from colds?

    so what's my baby's problem she catches everything!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,962

    Default Re: Am I baby's protection from colds?

    As JoMo said, breastfeeding doesn't provide perfect protection against illness. Anyone who tells you that breastfed babies "never" get sick is deluded. Or they live in a bubble. One thing that impacts how often a baby gets sick is whether or not there are older kids, and their germs, in the house. My first LO got sick much less often than my second, at least during the first 6-12 months or so. But my second was always getting some snotty cold that her big sis dragged home from preschool!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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