Probiotics for babies is something parent have asked about and the answer is that probiotics are essential for children. It’s a sad fact that some 35% of all children develop eczema before they reach the age of three.
Research indicates that such conditions are connected to gut imbalances and a lack of beneficial gut bacteria early in life. So if a baby’s gut develops as it should it prevents allergies, eczema, inflammatory conditions, and other problems.
The good news is that it’s fairly simple to lower an infants risk of developing such problems.
Baby’s first probiotic dose vital
Studies reveal that beneficial microorganisms are involved with the activity of hundreds of genes. And the mother’s own colony of microorganisms play an important role. How?
During childbirth, the baby receives gut flora from the birth canal of the mother. Thus the mother’s microorganisms end up inhabiting the baby’s body and intestines. If the mother’s gut flora is healthy, the baby will inherit a healthy gut flora too. But what if the mother does a C-section?
“There may be long-term risks of Caesarean we’ve not considered before,” says Sibylle Koletzko, of the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany. “I would discourage [them] for all non-medical reasons.” Researchers say that such births may be a factor in the rise in cases of asthma and allergies.
A study of 865 babies who were all exclusively breastfed for the first four months showed that those delivered by Caesarean section had more digestive problems and were more likely to develop food intolerances. According to New Scientist, “the explanation might be that babies born by Caesarean do not get a chance to swallow beneficial bacteria during birth; colonization of the gut plays a key role in the development of the immune system.”
The health of the mother’s gut affects the health of the baby
Why probiotics for babies needed
- Infections: can be passed on to the baby at the time of birth.
- Antibiotics: before or during pregnancy can create imbalances.
A baby’s gut flora is sensitive
Antibiotics: can weaken a baby’s gut flora inviting yeast and other “opportunists” to grow out of control. Symptoms of this are eczema, constipation, infections, diarrhea, and colic.
According to an Australian study, babies receiving antibiotics still had an abnormal gut flora four weeks later. Probiotic supplementation can compensate for much of this.
Happily, it’s possible to prevent and reverse many problems.
Studies have shown that many essential nutrients and microorganisms from the mother pass into the milk and benefit the child. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that breastfeeding mothers take a high-quality probiotic supplement to ensure that the baby is generously supplied with probiotic bacteria.
Consuming probiotics supports a breastfeeding baby
For some hours after giving birth, babies are very receptive to the mother’s first milk, the colostrum. This milk is extremely nourishing and packed with nutrients. During these first hours, beneficial microorganisms colonize the baby’s mucosal lining creating a protective barrier against harmful microorganisms.
A lack of a good microflora weakens the protective barrier on the baby’s gut lining. For this reason, the body might view certain nutrients as intruders and starts creating antibodies. Thus, a food allergy develop.
If breastfeeding is not possible
There are other ways to add healthy probiotics.
- Try making homemade yogurt. Most commercial yogurt as it is stripped of nutrients and contains very little probiotics. Kefir contains different bacteria that yogurt but the taste is similar.
- If you make fermented vegetables, try giving tiny amounts of the juice to the child a few times per day.
- Use a probiotic supplement. One way is to dissolve a capsule in a glass of water or juice and give the child a little now and then during the day.
Both moms and babies need probiotics to thrive!
Try consuming some fermented food daily. Fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi. Adding probiotics for babies has proven a cornerstone for lifelong good health!