If you have ever had a little one, you can probably relate to the feeling of not being able to resist kissing your baby regularly. Their chunky, soft, mushy cheeks are so irresistible, aren’t they? Well, the urge to smother your baby in kisses isn’t just emotional, but biochemical too. There is a real health benefit to kissing your baby.
When a mother kisses her baby, she takes in pathogens from the baby’s face that the baby would otherwise ingest. By the mother ingesting these pathogens, her immune system makes antibodies, which are then stored in her breast milk. The infant then nurses and receives exactly what she needs to prevent illness.
“When a mother kisses her baby, she ‘samples’ those pathogens that are on the baby’s face. Those are ones that the baby is about to ingest. These samples are taken up by the mother’s secondary lymphoid organs like the tonsils, and memory B cells specific for those pathogens are re-stimulated. These B cells then migrate to the mother’s breasts where they produce just those antibodies that the baby needs.” says Lauren Sompayrac, author of How The Immune System Works.
Our bodies and our mothering instincts are amazing, aren’t they? Go on mamas, kiss those babes!