Probiotics after C-section

Probiotics after C-section

The microbiota –a unique community of bacteria that lives in our gut begins from birth. As the baby moves through the birth canal it receives its first exposure to healthy micro-organisms. The main beneficial bacteria received from mum belong to the Lactobacillus spp. which helps the baby break down lactose in breastmilk to make energy. More Lactobacillus colonizes the mother’s vagina towards the end of the pregnancy in preparation for this momentous event. Babies delivered via caesarean get their first dose of microbes from skin to skin contact with their parents and hospital staff. Researchers worry that C-section infants are missing out on the first important steps towards developing a healthy immune and digestive system. This species can be found in a high quality product by Bioceuticals BabyBiotic 0+ Years Powder.

The benefits of a healthy microbiome

There are many lifelong benefits of a healthy microbiota from birth. Studies show that our native bacteria help our immune system to recognise between different substances in our environment and from the food we eat. They train our body to respond appropriately. Without proper training received from our good bacteria, the immune system goes haywire and overreacts to everyday substances such as pollens, dust and peanuts.

In addition to this there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that microbial colonization of the gut and respiratory tract in the period around birth plays a crucial role in a person’s predisposition to chronic inflammation and disease. Beneficial microbes in the gut are also important for the production of neurotransmitters vital for cognitive function, behaviour and a healthy mood.

More immediate effects experienced by a newborn include a reduced risk of infection and improved digestion and metabolism of food.

The microbiome during pregnancy

Eating a variety of healthy foods and exercising maintaining a healthy weight before and during pregnancy impacts a mother’s personal microbiome. This in turn impacts bacteria that she passes to her offspring. However, it’s not just during birth that bacteria play a role in the baby’s microbiome development but research shows it can affect the developing foetus. A recent study published reveals that the placenta harbors its own unique community of bacteria, like that found in the mouth. If there is an infection and the bacteria in the placenta are affected, it can contribute to premature labour.

Supporting an infant’s microbiota

If your child is delivered via C-section there are many other ways to support the development of healthy bacteria in an infant’s gut.

Gauze technique

There is a new technique being experimented with that doubles the numbers of vaginal bacteria that an infant receives after birth. It involves placing a piece of gauze in the mother’s vagina for one hour and removing it just before the C-section surgery. When doctors take the baby from the womb they immediately place the gauze on the newborn and cover from head to toe. Although a traditional birth delivers approximately 6 times more bacteria it is still an easy and efficient method that could be used to help jump-start levels of beneficial bacteria in an infant.

Avoid antibiotics

Getting a dose of antibiotics is a sure-fire way to wipe out both good and bad strains of bacteria. While antibiotics are life-saving and necessary in certain instances their routine administration as a precautionary measure for women who have tested positive for Group B strep bacteria is questionable. Antibiotics are given to the mother during labour to prevent rare infections in the infant.

If antibiotics have been given to the baby for infection, establishing levels of good bacteria at this crucial time is even more important. Inner Health Kids is safe for children aged between 0-12 years and is a specific product to help augment the loss in beneficial bacteria, especially due to antibiotics. The product contains a combination of clinically researched strains to support a healthy, normal gastrointestinal system.

Breastfeeding benefits

Another best practise in establishing your baby’s microbiome is breast-feeding. Breastfed babies experience higher levels of Bifidobacterium that helps their immune and digestive system to develop. Not only is breastmilk easier to digest but it gives babies vital nutrients that significantly boosts microbial health. Unfortunately breast-feeding is not always possible and formula is the next best food source. In this case probiotics can be supplemented to provide ongoing support so the baby isn’t missing out.

Probiotics for babies

If a vaginal birth and breast-feeding isn’t possible some studies support the use of probiotics. They help to colonize the babies gut in the same way other naturally sourced microbes do. It is important when selecting a product to choose one that is specific for babies as the contained bacteria is different to those found in adult formulations. This is where using Bioceuticals Baby Biotic which comprises of bifidobacteria strains that are found in breast-fed babies is of extreme value. In addition to this, it contains a prebiotic called inulin which provides food for the good bacteria and promotes their colonisation in the gut. It is a product safe to use from birth and supplementation can be continued throughout infancy.

Digestive problems in an infant

Colic, reflux and eczema are common problems in a baby, regardless of delivery method. Probiotics can be utilized as a safe and effective way to combat these issues. Bioglan Bio Happy Baby Probiotic can be used from birth and may help to relieve babies unsettled with colic, gas, bloating and mild constipation. If supplemented during pregnancy by the mother it may reduce the incidence of her baby developing childhood eczema.

Ways to give probiotics to kids

To administer probiotics to a baby, try some of the following suggestions:

  • Add to formula after heating and administer immediately

In a teaspoon or small bowl add a few drops of cooled boiled water and either:

  • Paste on the nipple before feeding
  • Paste on the teat before a formula feed
  • Insert into a child’s cheek before a feed

Once the baby has started on solids simply mix into yoghurt, pureed foods and cereals.

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