Back to Children's health
How long do babies
carry their mother's
During the last 3 months of pregnancy, antibodies
from the mother are passed to her unborn baby
through the placenta.
This type of immunity is called passive immunity
because the baby has been given antibodies rather
than making them itself.
Antibodies are special proteins the immune system
produces to help protect the body against bacteria
The amount and type of antibodies passed to the
baby depends on the mother's immunity.
For example, if the mother has had chickenpox,
she'll have developed immunity against the
condition and some of the chickenpox antibodies
will be passed to the baby.
But if the mother hasn't had chickenpox, the baby
won't be protected.