Boosting a child’s immunity.
Infections are everywhere, many are very catchy, and we cannot dodge every bullet! There is no magic “immune booster” to keep a child healthy, but the following can help, right from pregnancy through to toddler days.
1. During pregnancy:
– Eat a varied diet
– Avoid excess antibiotics and anti-acids
– Don’t smoke
– Avoid excessive stress (excess stress can affect the baby’s lung development!)
– Breastmilk is a “soup” of healthy stuff!
– It has superb nutrients as well as antibodies, prebiotics and anti-bacterials
3. Newborn skin care:
– The skin is a possible site of penetration of infection as well as allergens
– To preserve the skin barrier, use bland products, avoid harsh soaps and keep the skin moisturized with a bland emollient.
4. Establishing a healthy microbiome:
A healthy set of bugs (“microbiome”) in our guts, airways and on our skin is vital to establish a good immune system. At birth, babies have relatively scanty microbiome, which develops rapidly over time. The early microbiome shows plasticity- in other words it is easily “changed”- it is easily disturbed BUT can also be looked after and optimized.
SO: How can we promote a good microbiome in the baby?
– Breastfeed if possible
– If breastfeeding is not possible, consider formula with synbiotics (pre and probiotics)
– Use gentle products which do not disrupt the developing microbiome
– Use products which support the skin barrier with a moisturising function (emollient)
– Encourage touch and skin-to-skin contact – which transfers healthy microbes from parents to babies
– Promote Interaction with nature, plants, soils and clean air.
– Avoid excessive antibiotics
– Avoid excessive anti-acids