When we hear the word “bacteria”, we tend to picture in our minds millions and thousands of germs causing infection, illnesses,
diseases, and for some of us, even death. And when it comes to our babies, our tendency is to try our best to keep these bacteria out of
their tiny bodies. While it is true that some types of bacteria are the culprit in getting them sick, other types are very
beneficial to babies,
supporting healthy growth and function.
Health From Mum to Baby
The microorganisms that live inside the mum’s body are crucial to the baby’s own microbiota. Exposure to the mother’s
bacteria starts during pregnancy, and then through birth, and goes on during breastfeeding and skin contact. Exposure continues when the
little explorers learn to play and discover, touching and even putting objects in their mouths. The level of exposure to these bacteria
greatly determines how healthy the baby is going to be.
Since the mum’s microorganisms are the first ones that the baby will come into contact with, she must take real good care of herself
during gestation and breastfeeding, and take a daily dosage of probiotics. There are so many strains such as those that help control blood
glucose, and in turn reduces the risk of getting gestational diabetes. When the dosage and strain of probiotics is right, it will enhance
the health of the mum’s microbiota, aiding in digestion, making the immune system strong. And these benefits get passed on to the
In cases wherein the mum is not able to breastfeed the baby, your practitioner may prescribe probiotics that the mum can directly give to
the baby. During infancy, probiotics will improve the baby’s digestion and immunity. It also prevents the development
As the baby becomes a child, some probiotic strains could help decrease the incidence of behavioural conditions like ADD
What are the strains essential for the mother and child?
Lactobacillus rhamnosus – This strain regulates immunity, and stopping eczema and allergies from developing. It also
reduces the risk of getting behavioural conditions.
Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis –This strain promotes healthy blood sugar in mums during gestation, and reduces
children’s vulnerability to allergies.
- Bifidobacterium breve – This strain educes the risks of developing eczema in infants.
Bifidobacterium longum – This strain helps establish healthy gut environment during the early years. Hence, improved
Added Tips for Mums and Babies
Include lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and pulses that are rich in fibre. Fibre helps prevent constipation, and it is also a fuel
source for the good bacteria in the gut.
- Lower sugar intake in order to keep glucose at healthy levels during pregnancy.
Drink 3 to 4 liters of water every day during pregnancy, and 3 1/2 liters post birth, and especially if breastfeeding. This keeps the mother
and baby well hydrated.
Keep an active lifestyle. During pregnancy, mums may participate in yoga and tai chi classes, and also regularly take a swim or walk three
to four days a week.
- Relax and keep calm. When the mum becomes stressed, so does the baby.
- Learn to meditate and take mindfulness techniques on a regular basis.