I was introduced to probiotics by our doula and chiropractor. I totally had no idea about probiotics, so I did a bit of research and find out what are probiotics and what do probiotics do in the body.
Probiotics are “friendly bacteria” that live in our intestines and help the immune system by discouraging the growth of harmful disease-causing bacteria.
Probiotics help keep a healthy balance of bacteria in the large intestine. By discouraging the growth of disease-causing bacteria, probiotics provide a boost to the immune system and help to prevent or treat a variety of ailments. Strains of these healthy bacteria have been shown to reduce colic in infants and also to prevent eczema and allergies when given to pregnant women and infants immediately after birth. Probiotics may also help reduce colic, the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, prevent all kinds of allergies, help manage lactose intolerance, promote bowel regularity, and prevent infections in the intestines and elsewhere in the body including bronchitis and pneumonia.
Jean-Yves shared with us the importance of probitotics for babies, infants and mothers-to-be in Kora organics by Miranda Kerr site:
Starting Life With a Compromised Gut
Babies inherit gut flora from their mother via the birth canal. If the mother has gut imbalances, so will baby. The balance of flora in babies’ guts plays a crucial role in their immunity, their brain development and their digestion. Digestive difficulties will manifest as allergies, bloating, gas, constipation, colic and reflux. These may be signs of poor gut health that can affect other areas of your baby`s health and development.
Probiotics derived from the bacteria of animals are less likely to remain in the intestinal tract of humans and may offer only temporary, if any, benefits; compared to strains derived from the human gastro-intestinal tract which offers superior colonization and effectiveness.
During birth, the initial colonization of a baby’s gut occurs as the baby passes down the birth canal. A baby born by Caesarean section misses out on this important health-promoting measure and healthy colonization of their gut will lag behind that of a baby born vaginally.
While Caesarean sections and formula feeding are early factors that steer the flora away from the ideal, the introduction of foods that have been sprayed with insecticides and herbicides and processed foods containing preservatives and other chemicals, further the unhealthy trend. Finally, medicines such as antibiotics can decimate the intestinal flora.
Professor Peter Dingle from Murdoch University’s School of Environmental Science, believes this delayed colonization can also become the gateway to more chronic conditions such as ADHD and autism.
“If you have a sick gut, bacteria isn’t functioning properly and you get cracks in the walls of your intestinal lining. These toxins from foods or the environment then pass into the blood stream and can travel up into the brain causing neurological and psychological problems”, Professor Dingle says.
Building a Colony of Good Bacteria for your Baby
Breast milk contains beneficial bacteria that helps establish healthy gut flora, especially if the mother`s gut health is in good shape. Breastfeeding is always recommended whenever possible.
If you suspect your baby has gut imbalances, probiotic supplements for infants provide the good bacteria needed to establish a colony of beneficial flora in your baby`s gastrointestinal system. By treating the problem as early as possible, you pave the way for your baby to have a strong digestive system and immune system. Both of these systems are the foundation of healthy growth and development in children, since illness and poor digestion rob the body of energy that should be spent growing healthy brains and bodies.
During Pregnancy and for Mothers Breast Feeding their Infants
A Norwegian study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers showed that mothers who consumed milk with a probiotic supplement during pregnancy and even whilst breastfeeding cut the chances of their child having eczema in half.
Previous studies have shown that giving probiotics to children may help prevent eczema, but this is the first study to look at the mom’s influence. “Our study is the first to show that certain probiotic bacteria given to the mother during pregnancy and breast-feeding prevents eczema,” said Christian Dotterud, who worked on the study.
Using Probiotics for Infants
The gut of babies is the center of their immune system and will affect their health every day for the rest of their lives. Nourishing the delicate ecosystem in your baby`s gastrointestinal tract with probiotics specially formulated for babies and infants may be one of the most important ways you can protect your baby`s health and add to the long-term beneficial health of your infant.
This is a very good Probiotics that Jax is having now: