In these days of the Corona Virus, as much as people may deny, life is happening as we know it. Yes there are still people having babies. I would like to take a moment to go over the different types of immunity and how they can affect us all in these crazy times.
Passive Immunity. This is something you receive from another being, such as a mother, through an umbilical cord or through breastmilk. It can help you to fight a disease in the here and now if you are sick, it may (but no guarantee) also help you develop immunity to a potential host down the road, but, it depends on how the passive immunity is acquired, as in how it is acquired from the mother. For example if the mother has corona virus and she is able to breastfeed and not give the corona virus to her children then this would help to prevent a corona virus outbreak down the road if there was no vaccine. The only other way I hypothesize it might help prevent a corona virus is if the person were able to overcome corona virus while breastfeeding and take it to the next level of immunity by fighting back with their own immune system at the same time. This is called passively acquired immunity.
Passively Acquired Immunity is mostly occurring when we receive a vaccination. When you are given attenuated, or dead viral cells that your own immune system is allowed to develop immunity to in a passive way without getting sick. It can also be when you are around another sick person who has infected other people around the same time, but you, yourself has not spread the virus even though your body has been a host. Both of these types of immunity happen fairly quickly and may or may not prevent viral spread in the future.
The last type of immunity is the strongest: Active Immunity It is when you get sick, and your body fights back, your immune system remembers the blueprint of the virus and will always be able to fight it off. You may still be able to pass on passive immunity to others through breastfeeding or having children. Life goes on after viruses and this is our bodies’ way of saving future generations.
The CDC’s stance on breastfeeding, is currently supportive of breastfeeding, yet does not fully specify how. Everyone makes their own choices. Some breastfeed longer, some shorter, some more, some less. Every milk is different but luckily made especially for your baby and comes at a small expense of the mother. Aside from this, mama milk is also very, very nutritious and promotes a lifelong quality connection between a mother and her child. It is impossible to social distance while breastfeeding in my opinion, but boy is it worth it! As an IBCLC and a mom I sure do feel encouraged by the CDC’s stance on breastfeeding. Be sure to ask your doctor for more information. We are here to fight, not flight- lets work together and stay strong and peaceful.