Friday, November 18, 2005

Breastmilk and Immunoglobulins

I did a quick search for breast milk and immunoglobulins because I'm still breastfeeding David. Here is what Dr. Green's website gave me:

Immunoglobulins: All types of immunoglobulins are found in human milk. The highest concentration is found in colostrum, the pre-milk that is only available from the breast the first three to five days of the baby's life. Secretory IGA, a type of immunoglobulin that protects the ears, nose, throat, and the GI tract, is found in high amounts in breast milk throughout the first year. Secretory IGA does its work before it is digested in the stomach. Secretory IGA attaches to the lining of the nose, mouth, and throat and fights the attachment of specific infecting agents. Breast milk levels of IGA against specific viruses and bacteria increase in response to a maternal exposure to these organisms. Human milk has been called environmentally specific milk -- the mother provides it for her infant to protect specifically against the organisms that her infant is most likely to be exposed to.

David's IgA are elevated. His IgM was low but normal (and has gone down since) and his IgG is normal. In classic WASP, IgG is normal, IgM is low, and IgA is high. I am concerned since his IgM has gone down. The immunoglobulin IgM is of many antibodies present in blood serum when there is an infection. If David's IgM is low, his immune response will not react appropriately to infection and the infection could take over.

There are monthly immunoglobulin injections available, and Stanford will recommend them to David if his IgM goes below the range. The bad thing is that they are harvested from many different people, so with it comes the risk of getting a disease. I really don't want to go there. I know of a woman whose newborn baby has WAS and has been on immunoglobulins since I think 2 months of age. There have also been shortages of immunoglobulins in various parts of United States.

More references:
Breast milk from mom with CMV can be dangerous:

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