When you mention bacteria, most people immediately think of harmful disease-causing germs. However our bodies are full of bacteria and they are integral to our bodily functions. These “good” or “helpful” bacteria are beneficial for your health and especially for the digestive system.
Probiotics are part of these “helpful ” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics occur naturally in your body. But you can also find them in some foods and supplements. The most common natural foods that contain probiotics are yogurt and chocolate.
How Probiotics Support Infant Health
1. Prevents Eczema
During breastfeeding, the presence of probiotics in the diet will help prevent diseases like Eczema. According to a study in the “Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology”, the consumption of probiotics by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers increased the immunoprotective potential of their breast milk. “Transforming growth factor beta 2” is an anti-inflammatory substance that is increased by the consumption of probiotics.
During a study conducted in Finland, Probiotics while breastfeeding were shown to protect children from Atopic Eczema administered to the mother before delivery and during breastfeeding.
2. Prevents Constipation
There were limited studies regarding the effects probiotics had on a child with chronic constipation. A study conducted in Italy looked to shed some light on this topic. The test was conducted from Jan 2008 to December 2008 on 44 infants admitted to the gastrointestinal ward of a hospital in Naples. The results suggested that regular consumption of probiotics improved the bowel movements in the infants.
3. Boosts Immune System
As a newborn’s diet is based exclusively on a mother’s diet, it is essential for a baby’s digestive system to develop immunity. When probiotics in the mother’s diet are passed onto the child, it helps fortify the immune system and lets the digestive system mature faster.
The gut comprises roughly 60 to 70 percent of the immune system. Inoculating a baby’s gut with probiotics through breastfeeding is an important strategy to strengthen the baby’s overall health. The inclusion of probiotics in a mother’s diet during pregnancy is also an effective way of boosting immunity.
4. Fights Fungal Infection
Thrush is a fungal infection that can infect a baby’s mouth during breastfeeding. The bacteria responsible for thrush are usually present in our immune system and are kept in check. However, when there is bacterial imbalance, it can cause infections and our immune system will not be able to cope up with the sudden growth.
Probiotics are known for their ability to regulate the good bacteria in the body. This helps fight thrush and should be a vital part of the mother’s diet during breastfeeding.
5. Promotes Digestive Health
GAP Syndrome or GAPS is a condition where there is a connection between the functioning of the digestive system and the brain. It can lead to serious health complications and stunted growth. Autism, ADHD, Schizophrenia and mood disorders can all be considered results of GAP syndrome. Probiotics help in actively assisting the digestive system and the smooth functioning of the immune system. They are essential inclusions in a mother’s diet as they affect the digestive system and other areas too.
Probiotics are essential components of a newborn’s diet. Whether consumed naturally or through supplements, probiotics are highly effective in boosting a baby’s immunity, fighting off infections and ensuring the best of health.