The mom-Baby Immunity Project
Baby humans are born with a functional, but very immature immune system. During pregnancy, some of mother’s immune factors move across the placental barrier providing a small amount of immunity once the baby is born. However, the infant can continue to receive additional immunological protection from breast milk, as their own immune systems begin to develop and make their own protecting agents. While stress can weaken an adult’s immune system, few researchers have examined how maternal stress impacts the child’s developing immune system. This projected aims to fill this knowledge gap. This project followed mothers from the third trimester of pregnancy until 6 months postpartum, collecting psychological and immunological measures from the mother at pregnancy, and the mother and baby at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months postpartum.