As you probably already know, breastmilk is the healthiest food you can provide for your newborn. The nutrient content is one of the many reasons that breastmilk is the perfect food. But did you know your breastmilk also contains live beneficial bacteria, enzymes and immunoglobulins? In this blog, we’ll focus on immunoglobulins.
Immunoglobulins are antibodies found in breastmilk. Breastmilk (unlike formula) is a live substance full of specific cells. The lactating mother transfers her immunities to her baby through breast milk. Remember that nasty virus you had back in ‘02? That cold you fought last month? You might not but your body does and by breastfeeding, you transfer the ‘code’ to fight that virus to your baby. How cool is that!?
IgA is one of the most important immunoglobulins found in breastmilk. IgA coats your baby’s gut protecting it from viruses, bacteria and diseases, making it much more difficult for your baby to experience minor and major illnesses and allergies. IgA can not be made in a factory or a kitchen. It is a live antibody made by the body and it is unable to survive the process it takes to make infant formula. You won’t find true live IgA on the shelf although some great formula marketing tactics might get you to believe otherwise.
By breastfeeding, you’re helping to protect your baby from illness, disease and a compromised immune system. The viruses you already fought in your own body will be recognized and destroyed by your baby’s body if they ever come into contact with those specific pathogens. Isn’t breast milk fascinating?