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Infant Microbiome and Breast Feeding

August the 1st-7th is World Breastfeeding week….. So with this in mind, I would like to create some “food” for thought around building the immunity and suitable Microbiome in the mother and baby to ensure that the effectiveness of the breast milk is optimal. This will support the nutrition and building the immunity of the child, setting a base footprint for future health…..and their children’s health.

In the words of: Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Associate Professor, New York University.

When a baby is born, the immune system of the baby is completely naive. It has to learn to tolerate the good bacteria and to attack the enemies. And to do that, the right bacteria have to arrive first because the message will be: ‘tolerate me’.
This maternal bacteria that are related to milk and that milk promotes are the good guys which will be tolerated by the immune system. And later, other bacteria will arrive at the right time and the immune system starts getting trained, educated we say, in how to differentiate the friend from the enemy, the self from the non-self.
This is extremely important and if you upset this process, which is so crucial in the early-life, then we may have consequences later.

Breastmilk

Breastmilk provides perfect nutrition, plus immune components, antibodies, and additional microbes. Breast milk provides human milk oligosaccharides, special sugars that are indigestible to the baby but can be digested by the newly seeded microbes in the baby’s gut. These special sugars feed the bacteria received from the mother during the birthing process and enable the “right” kind of microbes to thrive and colonize thus crowding out the harmful pathogens and optimally helping to train the immune system.
Recent research suggests that breastfeeding might result in “Epigenetic” changes that confer with the benefits of lifelong health, including optimal brain development, and development of the infant’s immune and metabolic systems.

Epigenetics

It’s not just genes that make us. In its modern sense, epigenetics is the term used to describe inheritance by mechanisms other than through the DNA sequence of genes. … It works through chemical tags added to chromosomes that in effect switch genes on or off. Epigenetics is termed as meaning “above the genes” and differs from genetics in that is something that can switch the gene expression on or off…
So how do we ensure the right “biome” is seeded in the infant.
Whilst the infant is developing in the womb, it may receive some exposure to microbes via the placenta, amniotic fluid, and the mother’s womb. This “reservoir” of microbes will be passed on to the baby during vaginal birth and breastfeeding, so it is important that the mother pays special attention to eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy. (plenty of fresh vegetable & fruits, high-fiber, and fermented foods & reduce process foods)

BALANCED HEALING will able to assess the pregnant mother’s nutritional needs through screening and consultation and then develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counselling & support.

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