4 Ways To Enhance Your Child’s Immunity With TCM
4 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR CHILD’S IMMUNITY WITH TCM A Newborn’s Immunity During the last 3 months of pregnancy, the mother passes antibodies to her unborn child through the placenta. Antibodies are specialised proteins which can attach to the surfaces of bacteria and viruses and destroy them. Therefore, the baby’s immunity is only short-term as […]
4 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR CHILD’S IMMUNITY WITH TCM
A Newborn’s Immunity
During the last 3 months of pregnancy, the mother passes antibodies to her unborn child through the placenta. Antibodies are specialised proteins which can attach to the surfaces of bacteria and viruses and destroy them. Therefore, the baby’s immunity is only short-term as the antibodies are given to the baby and the baby is still incapable of producing their own antibodies. In fact, this temporary immunity starts to decrease after the first few weeks or month after the baby’s birth.
The mother can now choose to breastfeed her baby since the mother’s milk is well-known to be beneficial to newborns during the first few months of life. Mothers can prolong the passive immunity of the baby with the antibodies found in breast milk. This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of exclusively breastfeeding a baby in the first 6 months of life and up to 2 years and beyond, while complementing with foods.
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The Immune System in TCM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), immunity depends on the strength of Zheng Qi （正气）, present in your body. When your Zheng Qi is strong, your body is able to stave off infection and illnesses. However, a weakened Zheng Qi will result in the invasion of external pathogens and hence, disease occurs. However this is the case for normal adults. Young children have an immature immune system, especially in the lung, spleen and kidney systems. This explains why children are extremely susceptible to respiratory problems such as cough, flu, bronchitis and gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, bloating and poor digestion. This is especially true for premature babies born before full term as their lungs may not be fully mature.
Enhance your Child’s Immune System with Chinese Medicine
Since a child’s immune response does not reach its full strength till at least 5 years old, how can you help to protect your child from the countless amount of bacteria and viruses he or she is exposed to daily?
While TCM believes our inherent constitution （先天） is determined by the child’s parents and at birth, we can supplement the acquired constitution （后天）with good nutrition during their growing up years. Healthy eating has many benefits which they will bring into adulthood. Other than helping the child maintain a healthy weight from young, it also prevents the onset of chronic illnesses. Healthy eating habits from young are also more likely to stay with the child if he or she learns them as a child.