New findings suggest that the immune boost babies receive from breast milk may be everlasting. It was previously believed that an infected mother would pass antibodies, which are short-lived proteins, to the child when feeding. Scientists discovered that mothers with a pre-conception helminth infection passed cellular immunity to their offspring by passing along pathogen-experienced lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell).
Further research is needed to see whether other beneficial effects of breastfeeding, such as transfer of healthy bacteria from mother to infant, has lasting effects on microbiome diversity and immune system health. For mothers struggling to obtain a good latch or produce adequate levels of milk for their child, we suggest you consult a midwife, naturopathic physician, or other health provider on ways to remedy the situation. A cup of simple raspberry leaf or fenugreek twice a day can go a long way.