Presentation Information

Dr. Stephanie N. Langel

Breast Milk Immunology and Its Impact on Neonatal Health

  • Speaker: Dr. Stephanie N. Langel , Ph.D.
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 ACM CPD, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

Breast milk is a diverse array of immunological components, such as antibodies, cytokines, growth factors, and immune cells. These maternal immune factors can prevent infections and promote immune tolerance in the neonate. Antibodies, particularly secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), provide a first line of defense at the mucosal surfaces of the infant's gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, offering protection against many infectious organisms. Beyond direct pathogen defense, breast milk immunology influences neonatal health through various mechanisms. Maternal immune factors modulate immune development by promoting the maturation of immune cells and aiding in the establishment of the infant microbiome.

These processes have been associated with protection against autoimmune diseases and allergies as well as improved nutrient absorption and reduced risk of gastrointestinal disorders. However, breast milk is still an understudied immunological compartment and there is much to be learned about human breast milk and its role in neonatal health. This presentation will define the immunological components in breast milk, the scientific evidence of breast milk's protective potential and the gaps in knowledge. Understanding and harnessing the power of breast milk's immune-boosting properties can pave the way for interventions that enhance neonatal health outcomes and lay the foundation for a healthier future.

Live Presentation Schedule

Feb 12, 2024