By Dr. Deepak Kumar Gupta
Babies are born with a nearly sterile gut and they're completely dependent on their mom's healthy bacteria to kickstart their own microbiome. Using probiotics is one of the best options for increasing microbial exposure without increasing the health risk in mother and child. Gut bacteria provide the blueprint of future health for a brand-new human life. When an expectant mother has healthy gut bacteria, she gives high-quality nutrients to her developing child, providing a nurturing place to grow. In newborns and growing children, these bacteria form a symbiotic community of microflora that aid in digestion, immune regulation, assimilation of nutrients, breakdown of toxins, and much more. Probiotic supplement are a simple way to incorporate good bacteria into a mother's diet and improve her overall health during pregnancy and beyond. Adding probiotics to the mother's supplement regimen is also beneficial for the growing baby and the postnatal period. Probiotics can especially be important if antibiotics need to be taken for any reason after pregnancy.
Probiotics are extremely beneficial for pregnancy and postpartum health. By eating probiotic-rich foods or taking probiotic supplements, women can easily ward off pregnancy complications and improve postpartum depression symptoms. It even makes their breast milk better. Selection of probiotic-rich food can be done with the help of your qualified dietitians/nutritionist.
Your balanced gut flora keeps your baby strong
Your body is colonized by trillions of microbes from the moment you're born. The first of these microbes are given to you by your mom-from her birth canal and breast milk. This means the mother's gut microbes contribute to her baby’s microbiome. Mothers not only play a significant role in the development of healthy intestinal flora but also in building the immunity of her newborn child. If the mother's gut bacteria are imbalanced, the pregnancy begins off-balance. That's why gut health before and during pregnancy is important for both the mother and child's health.
Taking probiotics is one of the most important things a mother can do to keep her gut healthy and nurture a good environment for the development of her child's gut health. When the mother's gut is healthy, she is also defended against various pregnancy and birth complications.
Probiotics for infants and toddlers
Building children's gut health and immune system Probiotics are naturally found in your baby's gut. However, factors such as dietary changes, exposure to infections such as the common cold, and exposure to allergens and other environmental challenges have a dramatic influence on the composition of normal intestinal microflora. The natural, good bacteria of babies simply aren't enough to defend them from infections, foods allergens, toxins, and chronic illness while they grow. At present times, these factors are a constant challenge for developing immune systems in children.
Prevalence of eczema and allergies has become a major health problem, affecting around 5% to 20% of growing children. Children today are much more likely to develop such conditions because they aren't exposed to a healthy range of bacteria during childhood. It's extremely important to support healthy bacterial balance with proper probiotic supplementation which will provide an extra dose of good bacteria to maintain a healthy microbial balance. Maternal use of probiotics during pregnancy reduces a child's risk of allergies by as much as 50 %, specifically in eczema, asthma and atopic dermatitis. Ingestion of probiotic foods and supplements not only keeps your baby's gut lining in check but also supports a strong immune system in order to prevent and fight off infections.
Probiotics are extremely important for giving your child a strong foundation for optimal health. Taking a high-cultured probiotic also assists mothers in maintaining whole-body wellness as they nurture their growing child. For pregnant women and nursing mothers, many supplements are considered off the table. Probiotics, however, are considered safe for both the mother and her baby.
(The author is Gastroenterologist at Apollo Hospital. Views expressed are personal.)
DISCLAIMER: The article is for information purpose only. Consult a medical practitioner before starting any medication.