Immunity Boost: Benefits of Breast Milk
Using Nutrition to Lay the Foundations for a Healthy Immune System From the desk of Dr. Catherine O'Halloran, ND...
Our immune systems are active all the time, fending off bacteria, viruses and other pathogens every day without our knowledge. A child’s immune system, although immature, is no different. The distinction between a healthy immune system and ineffective immunity is based upon everything from our genetics to our environment to the food that we eat. Fortunately for children and adults alike, one of the easiest ways to improve our immune function is to provide the necessary co-factors through diet and supplementation.
Benefits of Breast Milk
Breast milk is an excellent way to maintain passive immunity past the first few months of life. Colostrum, the first milk your baby ingests after birth, is full of a particular type of antibody that protects all the mucous membranes from harmful bacteria and allows for healthy bacteria to colonize an infant’s gut without mounting an immune response. Breastfeeding also increases the size of the thymus gland, a small gland responsible for the maturation of immune components, called T-cells. The bigger the thymus gland, the more T-cells mature, leading to stronger immunity. Additionally, breast milk also contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals, in their most absorbable form, and perfect proportions of carbohydrates, proteins and essential fatty acids. These nutrients are critical for developing healthy immunity.
Catherine O'Halloran, ND Naturopathic Doctor
Catherine O'Halloran completed her Bachelors of Science in Anatomy and Cell Biology, with a minor in Psychology at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. Following that, she attended the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto and obtained her degree as a Naturopathic Doctor. CCNM is one of seven naturopathic colleges accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education.
Catherine chose this profession because she saw the need for a type of health care that treats the entire person, and not just the symptoms of disease. She strives to follow the guiding principles of the profession, especially treating the root cause of disease and utilizing the innate healing power of nature. Through her training at CCNM, Catherine learned each therapeutic modality, including nutrition, botanical medicine, lifestyle counseling, homeopathy and physical medicine. In addition, she has taken courses through the Benson Henry Institute of Mind Body Medicine at Harvard and has started training in craniosacral therapy.
Although Catherine treats a wide variety of patients, with varying diseases, she has a special interest in women's health and pediatrics. In her clinical year at CCNM, Catherine was fortunate to be on a specialty shift in pediatrics, treating conditions such as autism, Asperger's syndrome, ADHD and childhood epilepsy.
Catherine is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors, the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors and the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians. She currently holds a physicians license through Vermont.
More About OMBE Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine integrates the best of medical science with natural therapeutics such as botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutrition, pharmacology, and psychology. Naturopathy is based on the theory that the human body has an innate ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine treats the underlying cause of a patient's condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment.
Doctors of naturopathic medicine are experts in natural medicine, trained as primary care providers, treating all aspects of family health and wellness. Naturopathic Doctors emphasize holistic and preventive patient care focusing on developing comprehensive treatment plans for their patients. Naturopathic Doctors work to educate and empower their patients about their medical condition, encouraging them to take proactive steps in developing healthy lifestyle habits. At OMBE's Back Bay office, our naturopath works closely with other medical professionals and refers for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate so that patients receive comprehensive, integrated health care.
Naturopathic medicine provides effective treatment and prevention for managing chronic illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, immune disorders, menstrual irregularities, and hormonal imbalances. Common acute illnesses such as ear infections and allergies also respond well with naturopathic medicine.
During your initial naturopathic appointment at our Copley Square office, your naturopathic doctor will spend over an hour reviewing your main health concern, health history, and lifestyle factors. They may also perform a physical examination or order diagnostic tests to form a complete diagnostic picture. You will have time during this session to discuss your health condition in detail, review treatment plans, and any lifestyle modifications that may be beneficial for your health condition. If you are new to naturopathy or you have a question for our Naturopathic Doctor, please contact OMBE to schedule a complimentary consult at our Boston location.