The immune characteristics of the newborn often show that the immune system is not mature enough and its function is not perfect; it has not been exposed to various pathogens in the extrauterine environment, nor to a variety of antigenic substances such as food protein; during pregnancy, it is affected by the maternal antibody which passed through the placenta, which makes the newborn have a physiological hypoimmunity.
Most of the serum immunoglobulin (Ig) of the newborn is the IgG of the mother passing through the placenta. The synthesis ability of its own IgG is low and the content is also small. With the growth and development of the baby, the blood circulation will gradually increase and the concentration of IgG will rapidly decrease. The production and reserve of neonatal leukocytes are relatively small. When they suffer from infection and serious diseases, they will increase the consumption of leukocytes, thereby reducing phagocytic function and bactericidal activity.
Therefore, every parent should pay attention to strengthening the immunity of newborns and reducing the chance of the baby’s illness. The immune status of the newborn is closely related to its nutritional status, feeding type and benign stimulation after birth. Parents can make plans to improve the immunity of the baby.
Scheme 1: reasonable nutrition.
The neonatal stage is characterized by high nutritional demand and limited digestive and metabolic functions. Therefore, sufficient nutrition is required to ensure the growth and development of the newborn, and excessive feeding is not allowed, so as to avoid excessive burden on the gastrointestinal tract of the newborn. Proper control of reasonable nutrition has the most decisive impact on the enhancement of physical fitness and resistance.
The balanced nutrition can meet the needs of the body and improve immunity. Protein is the main component of immune cells and antibodies. Once the protein is deficient, the immune function will decline. Vitamin C can stimulate the body to produce interferon, and supplement enough vitamins can increase antibody, eliminate virus and bacteria, so as to enhance immunity. Other nutrients such as carotene and folate, vitamin B12, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron, zinc and enzymes are also related to immune capacity.
Scheme 2: vaccination.
Although immunoglobulins from the mother provide some antibodies during the neonatal period, the newborns are still highly susceptible to many infectious diseases. Vaccination is an effective way to resist pathogens. Early effective vaccination can prevent the most harmful infectious diseases to the newborn, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B and so on.
The function of the cellular immune system during the neonatal period is mature, and it can react to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Therefore, the bacillus of Calmette and Guerin vaccination after birth can play a corresponding immune effect on tuberculosis infection. It has been proved that a good immune response effect can be obtained after the inoculation of the hepatitis B vaccine in the neonatal period. After birth, the hepatitis B vaccine should be vaccinated immediately, and then vaccinated twice at the age of 1 and 6 months.
Scheme 3: breastfeeding.
Breast milk contains more immune active substances than milk substitutes. It can supply all the nutrients needed by the newborn: protein, fat, lactose, vitamin, iron, especially the anti-infective antibody (immunoglobulin) and anti-infective active leukocyte, bifidofactor, lysozyme, etc. in breast milk. They can enhance the immune function, prevent the growth of harmful bacteria, and reduce the growth of the baby’s chance of infection. Due to the lack of antibodies from the mother, immature autoimmune system, poor defense function of skin and mucous membrane, premature infants are vulnerable to the invasion of pathogenic factors, so they need breastfeeding more.
Scheme 4: newborn massage
Massage causes a series of benign reactions of the nervous, endocrine and immune systems of the whole body through the mild stimulation of the skin senses of the newborn, which can promote the secretion of gastrointestinal hormones, help to increase children’s appetite, promote food digestion, absorption and excretion, and speed up the growth of body weight. Massage can also activate the baby’s whole body muscles, making the body more robust. In addition, skin stimulation has direct and indirect effects on the enhancement of immune function, which is beneficial to the healthy development of the body and mind of the newborn.
In addition, the baby’s carer should develop a good habit of washing hands frequently. It is also very important to strengthen the ventilation in the room.