Your baby’s healthy immune system
- Your baby’s digestive system plays a big role in her healthy immune system.
- “Friendly” bacteria can be found naturally in your baby’s digestive tract.
- Learn how to support your baby’s immune system.
What is the immune system?
Your baby’s immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to keep her healthy. Approximately 80% of your baby’s immune system is found in her digestive tract.
Did you know?
Our digestive tracks are full of both potentially helpful and harmful bacteria—there are actually more bacterial cells in our bodies than human cells! Maintaining a balance of good bacteria is a very important part of a healthy immune system.
What does the immune system do?
It works to protect the body against foreign “invaders”—or things like germs and viruses—that can cause disease and illness. Part of the process includes the release of antibodies (little proteins that lock onto these foreign “invaders”), which helps the rest of the immune system do its job.
If the immune system is not working properly, the body is susceptible to a number of illnesses and conditions, including allergies.
Keeping her immune system healthy
What you feed your baby from the start may make a difference in supporting digestive health and the development of a healthy immune system.
Breastmilk contains a number of components that help support the immune system. Additionally, breastmilk promotes balanced immune functions by helping to reduce the risk of an infant developing allergies. This may be partly related to the protein content of human milk, which does not trigger allergic reactions.
For infants who are not exclusively breastfed, the choice of formula can also play an important role in the development of the immune system.
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