A Baby’s Immune System

Postnatal

To learn more about vaccinating women, read Vaccinating Women, Women Becoming Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women.

After reading the previous section, you know that newborns receive natural protection from their mother. However, this won’t prevent them from contracting (infection) severe illnesses if they aren’t vaccinated, stimulating their own immune defence system. Their system is very immature, even if they’re born at term and healthy.

A premature baby needs even more protection! They’re at a higher risk, are more sensitive to infections in general, and we know that vaccinations are effective and are very tolerable. Some specific vaccines can be added for very premature babies if necessary. This will provide greater protection based on recommendations from the attending physician. However, you should know that the remaining vaccines for a premature baby will follow the regular vaccination schedule starting 2 months after childbirth based on their chronological age, not the biological or corrected age.

From a public health perspective, babies under 1 year of age are considered a high-risk population for severe infections. This is why many vaccines are recommended during their childhood.

We have also noted that when a baby is vaccinated at the right time, their immune response is better, with fewer undesired side effects. Subsequent doses allow them to be protected over a more extended period for some vaccines, which makes them more effective.

Very few situations exist where it’s preferable not vaccinating a baby at the appropriate time. If the baby has a high temperature, we assume they’re already fighting something. Often, health professionals prefer waiting until they’re in better shape before stressing their immune system. A health condition that makes their immune system weaker (an autoimmune disease for example) may also delay a vaccine. Vaccinating them at that time may not be recommended, nor recommended in the order found in the regular vaccination schedule.

If a baby’s nose is running or they’re taking antibiotics, this doesn’t prevent them from getting vaccinated. Don’t forget to bring their immunisation record, because all their vaccines will be recorded in it. This tool allows health professionals to monitor your baby better.

Some parents refuse to vaccinate their baby. In Quebec, about 2-4% of parents choose not to follow the recommended immunisation program. Many are sceptical about results versus side effects, while others are scared of long-term consequences some vaccines may have for their baby. Others are anxious about the idea of giving their baby a needle.

I know that it’s not always easy to comb through the information found in the media, credible research and certain opinions. However, don’t forget that vaccines have significantly helped throughout history, and today they’re still proven to be effective.

It’s been proven that the measles vaccine doesn’t cause autism later in a child’s life. The same goes for hepatitis B vaccination and multiple sclerosis.

To continue reading, go to Vaccination Risks and Local Responses.

Discover our videos

Subscribe to a monthly or quarterly package now to access full videos.

Breastfeeding: Specific Situations

Breastfeeding: Specific Situations

Are you breastfeeding and it’s painful? Are you worried you can’t produce enough milk? Along with Dr. Julie Choquette, Marie
Breastfeeding : Engaging with my baby

Breastfeeding : Engaging with my baby

What happens during the first moments with your baby? How does the body prepare for breastfeeding? Marie talks with new
Childbirth in a Hospital with an Epidural

Childbirth in a Hospital with an Epidural

Marie accompanies Karine and Jocelyn to the hospital for the birth of their second baby. During this birth, the doctor
Osteopathy During Pregnancy

Osteopathy During Pregnancy

Osteopathy can help soothe pregnancy ailments. This alternative practice can help safely reduce discomfort for mother and baby. Marie, along

Discover other articles

Short tongue frenelum: to cut or not to cut

Short tongue frenelum: to cut or not to cut

Some newborns born with a tongue frenulum (a band of tissue just under the tongue) that is too short. They can’t stick out their tongue
Ear Piercing: Step-by-Step

Ear Piercing: Step-by-Step

Did you read the previous part, Who should pierce ears? Before the procedure: The baby shouldn’t be hungry or tired when getting their ears pierced.
Indicators of Perinatal Anxiety: GAD, Panic Attacks, OCD

Indicators of Perinatal Anxiety: GAD, Panic Attacks, OCD

I want to present the different anxiety disorders with their best-known characteristics.
Breast Engorgement During Breastfeeding

Breast Engorgement During Breastfeeding

Before talking about breast engorgement solutions, I would like to define engorgement. There are two types: vascular and late.

A Baby’s Immune System

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 2 min
0