Eli5- How do infants receive immunity through breast milk?


Is it a whole hodgepodge of antibodies that the mother has learned to create throughout her life? Is it only illnesses that the mother (& infant) develop at the time? I feel like I should know this.

In: Biology

The infant can’t make antibodies at all until about 6 months of age, and remains fairly immunocompromised until around the 1 year mark. Breast milk from the mother contains whatever antibodies she has floating around in her blood, which will include stuff targeted at previous and current pathogens that she has encountered.

It’s both It’s not only antibodies that the woman has had over time but if a woman is currently sick the baby will get the antibodies that the woman’s body is developing. If the baby is sick then the mom’s body can pick up on that through breastfeeding and make antibodies for the baby.