How to Pass the Healthiest Bacteria to Baby

Women’s gut bacteria changes during pregnancy. Each trimester it is altered.  Starting a pregnancy as healthy as possible is important, and effects more than just yourself and the pregnancy – it effects your growing baby, possibly lifelong effects. As I stated previously, we are not perfect. The majority of us do not have a balanced gut flora (bacteria). Although I do wish I could turn back the hands of time and have healed my gut before or during my second pregnancy, I cannot. My son is so wonderful, but I truly believe that, in utero, the bacteria passed to create his gut foundation is the core of his sensory, speech, and emotional issues. But alas, I cannot go back. I can learn, though. And so can you. Read the first part of this article HERE. So here is what I have learned:
  • If antibiotics are needed before or during pregnancy, repopulating the gut with good bacteria (probiotics) and eating a healthy diet (no processed foods – all REAL foods) will help counter-act the harmful effect of the antibiotics.
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  • Toxins flow from the gut throughout the body and into the brain. This poses many challenges to the nervous system. These toxins prevent normal functions and the processing of sensory information. (Which explains my son’s sensory issues)
  • Basically ANY toxic exposure can be what tips the scale and causes a chronic illness, allergies, even symptoms of autism. I’m talking about exposure to toxins through medications, pesticides, air pollutants, etc – our lives are filled with ample toxic exposure. But a strong and healthy gut foundation can help prevent these chronic problems from ever beginning.
As noted by Scientific American: "Scientists have long wondered whether the composition of bacteria in the intestines, known as the gut microbiome, might be abnormal in people with autism and drive some of these symptoms. Now a spate of new studies supports this notion and suggests that restoring proper microbial balance could alleviate some of the disorder's behavioral symptoms." It is not possible to avoid all the toxins we are exposed to. It is, however, important to be proactive is trying to avoid what we can. (Especially while pregnant!) The following are ways to reduce exposure to help promote a healthy gut flora:
  • Avoid medications whenever possible
  • Seeding your baby at birth (C-section births) is a great way to further introduce vital bacteria to your baby. (Read more HERE)
  • Vitamin D plays a HUGE role in a healthy gut.
  • Eat real foods – and organic whenever possible.
  • Eliminate processed foods (and food dyes) from your diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Breastfeed exclusively if possible.
  • Trash the plastic containers you use for food storage and avoid plastic wrap.
  • Invest in a high quality water filter – don’t drink the tap water. (I love my Berkey!)
  • Use natural cleaning products
  • Use natural, organic products on your skin and hair.
  • Dump the non-stick pans and use glass or cast-iron.
  • Avoid spray-on sunscreens – look for mineral based versions.
  • Avoid bug spray with chemicals like DEET.
  • Minimize your stress levels (Stress alters your bacteria!)
  • Quit smoking
There is no time like the present to start healing your gut!  What do you plan to do to help balance your bacteria?   gut6   References: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0923250808000028 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332725 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24390916 http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/339182 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/27/seeding-baby-microbiome.aspx#_edn7 http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/12/27/seeding-baby-microbiome.aspx#_edn7
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