THE ROLE OF PROBIOTICS BEFORE AND DURING LACTATION.
PROBIOTICS AND THE BREASTFED BABY.
Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC, of Kellymom.com, recommends that probiotic supplements be used prophylactically to prevent thrush whenever mother or baby has to take a course of antibiotics (Bonyata, 2011). Prebiotics, soluble fibers that stimulate the growth of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract, can also be a helpful component in probiotic supplements.
Prebiotics are also present in a number of foods, and intake from food is usually more effective. Prebiotics are present in asparagus, burdock, chicory, dandelion root, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks and onions, grains, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, radish, and rutabaga.
PROBIOTIC AND MASTITIS.
In some cases, new mums can develop a painful inflammation of the breasts called mastitis. It usually occurs when milk ducts become blocked due to ineffective emptying of the breasts during breastfeeding. The trapped milk can quickly become infected with bacteria entering the breast through sore or cracked nipples leading to an infection that might require antibiotic treatment.
Studies have shown that an oral supplement with lactobacilli strains can reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria and lead to a faster recovery. Probiotics have also been recommended to prevent thrush episodes following the antibiotic treatment.
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Probiotics have also been used to treat colicky babies after a study showed that the strain Lactobacillus reuteri reduced crying episodes among affected infants. Moreover, there is growing evidence for their role in lowering the risk of allergies, including allergic reaction known as eczema, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity and coeliac disease.
The colonisation of the gut with probiotics has not been fully understood. Babies have their first contact with gut bacteria when they go through the birth canal. Afterwards, in addition to breast milk, probiotics are also found on the surface of breast skin and in infants’ mouths. The research suggests that there is some bacterial interaction during breastfeeding where microorganisms can be exchanged between an infant’s oral microbiota and the breast milk.
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