Infant Microbiome and Breast Feeding

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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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A silent tragedy

There is a silent tragedy that is developing day after day in our homes and concerns our most precious jewels: our children.
Our children are in a devastating emotional state.
Over the past 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics about a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Statistics don't lie:
• 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
• A 43% increase in ADHD was noted
• A 37% increase in adolescent depression was noted
• A 200% increase in the suicide rate in children between 10 and 14 years has been noted.

What is going on and what are we doing wrong?

Today's children are over-stimulated and overloaded with material objects, but they are deprived of what is truly fundamental for a healthy and happy childhood, such as:
• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits
• Responsibility
• Balanced nutrition and good sleep quality
• Movement in the open air
• Creative play, social interaction, unstructured play opportunities and spaces for boredom.

Instead, these last few years we have filled them with:
• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent and permissive parents who let children "rule the world" and be the ones who set the rules
• A sense of right, of undeservedly everything without earning it or being responsible for it
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• A sedentary lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification and the absence of boring moments.

What to do?
If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we must wake up and go back to basics.
It is still possible ... with the following recommendations:

• Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you are in control of the helm.
• Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what they need, not just what they want. Don't be afraid to say "no" to your kids if what they want isn't what they need.
• Provide nutritious foods and limit junk food.
• Spend at least an hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching.
• Enjoy a daily family dinner with no phones or technology to distract them.
• Play with family board games or if the children are very young for board games, let yourself be carried away by your interests and allow them to lead the game.
• Involve your children in some homework or homework according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, arranging food, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.).
• Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure that your baby sleeps well. Timetables will be even more important for school-aged children.
• Teach responsibility and independence. Do not protect them in excess against any frustration or error. Making mistakes will help them develop resilience and learn to overcome life's challenges,
• Do not load your children's backpack, do not bring their backpacks, do not bring them the task they have forgotten, do not peel their bananas or oranges if they can do it alone (4-5 years). Instead of giving them fish, educate them to fish.
• Educate them to wait and delay gratification.
• Provide opportunities for "boredom" as boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. You don't feel responsible for keeping children entertained.
• Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it on the first second of inactivity.
• Avoid the use of technology during meals, in cars, in restaurants, in shopping malls. Use these moments as an opportunity to socialize, thus training your brains to work when they are in "boredom" mode.
• Help them create a "jar of boredom" with business ideas for when they are bored.
• Turn off phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
• Become a regulator or emotional trainer of your children. Educate them to recognize and manage their frustrations and anger.
• Educate them to greet, to take turns, to share without remaining without anything, to say thank you and please, to recognize the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values ​​that you inculcate them.
• Connect emotionally - smiles, hugs, kisses, tickles, reading, dancing, jumping, playing with them.

Thank you for the share.

Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos psychiatry.
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