Although anyone can read this article and learn something about gut health, this post is specifically directed toward mothers. Mothers, regardless of the age of your children, it is important to know the role you have already played in establishing their gut flora. You must know what you can do to help them build a stronger healthier gut.
As we now know, the state of our gut and what lives inside it, our gut flora, largely determines our immune health, emotional health and overall vitality. Many of the health issues that have befallen us and our children have much to do with the state of our gut flora. If your gut flora is dis-regulated and unhealthy the rest of body will suffer.
Therefore, the one thing mothers need to know is that our children received a large portion of their gut flora from us in infancy. (1) Our gut flora provides the blueprint for our children’s gut bacteria.
Where it ALL Begins
Until a child is born, he/she is safe and protected in the sterile womb of the mother. Scientists believe that an unborn child’s gut is a blank slate at this point in development, ready to be created at birth.
If the child is born vaginally, the mother’s birth canal contains microbes from her intestinal flora which is the baby’s first source of gut bacteria. By swallowing amniotic fluid in the birth canal, the baby get’s his first inoculation of gut bacteria. (1)
Upon delivery, the newborn’s gut bacteria will begin to form through a variety of factors ranging from the mode of birth and internal factors, as well as external factors. This includes interactions with doctors and the environment. (1) If not born vaginally, the newborn does not get that first important inoculation of gut flora from the mother’s birth canal. Although vaginal birth is optimal it is not always possible. (2)
The good news is, all is not lost in the development of a healthy gut flora. Research shows that the delivery mode of infants only partially affects the development of their gut bacteria. Another main contributing factor is how the newborn is fed. It is believed that the newborn’s gut bacteria is fairly well established after the first week of life.
The benefits of breastfeeding a baby is shown to be highly impactful in the development of beneficial strains of bacteria such as Bifidobacterium spp. This is especially important for babies born premature as their gut flora is more prone to higher percentages of pathogens such as Enterococcus faecalis, E. coli, Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus haemolyticus. (1)
There is only one problem. If our gut flora provides the blueprint for our children’s gut bacteria, then the condition of our gut bacteria passes onto to our children. This means that if our gut flora was imbalanced our children’s gut flora will be imbalanced.
The Generational Breakdown
The fact is, we received our gut flora from our mothers. And so the state of our mother’s gut flora directly effects our gut bacteria. There has been a major influx in of the use antibiotics since our great-grandparents generation. This has played a major role in wiping out many of the good healthy strains of beneficial bacteria in our guts, opening up the door for pathogens to rule.
It’s unfortunate but true.
What You Can Do About It
The good news is, regardless of the state of your mom’s health or the mode at which you birthed your child, you can still make a MAJOR impact on your child’s gut health.
There’s SO MUCH you can do to turn this downward spiral up and in a different direction! YOU can take charge of your health and future and that of your child’s.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IN LIGHT OF THIS RESEARCH
When you are ready to take back control over your digestive health:
- Join The IBS Platform and meet others worldwide who want to take control of their digestive health and get their lives back. This community is a free science based Facebook group where others are committed to finding the answers to solve IBS-D, IBS-C, IBD, Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis. To Join the group, CLICK HERE.
- Create a Strategy: This week we are offering a chance for you to get clarity on your individual struggles with your digestion and form a strategy unique to your symptoms. For IBS-D, Click HERE For IBS-C, Click HERE