Loo Break: the top five ways to build your baby’s future health
The research suggests that the best place to start when it comes to giving a baby the best start health and immunity wise is in the gut….
This a huge subject (as you can see from the number of articles about it on this site!). I also know that if you already have a small person even with the best intentions you may not have the time to delve in to all the details (although if you do get a bit of a gap during nap time here is the quick link to dig deep!)
So - if you’re already convinced that good gut health is a great step on the path to protecting lifelong health, then here are the top five ways (in brief!) to help your baby out on this front in the early days of his or her life:
1) your own gut health: we have learnt that a baby’s gut may start to build as early as in the womb (previous thinking was this was sterile). So, your own gut health is important - especially as the first microbes your baby gets are from you. These are their gut pioneers. Click here for more on this (here) and how you can achieve this (here).
2) birth method: so often we cant help this and the worst thing to do is to stress about what happens if it doesn’t go to plan (I for one had a C-Section birth). We do know however that the way a baby is born does affect his or her gut microbiota (click here for more detail) with significant advantages coming from getting the microbes from the birth canal. However, if you have to have a C-Section, there are methods you can use (if you choose to) to give the baby exposure regardless. (Click here to learn more).
3) breastfeeding: not easy for everyone (wasn’t for me), but, this really does have huge benefits when it comes to building a health gut microbiome. It contains a number of very positive factors (click here for all the detail) but in particular it has what are known as Oligosaccharides which are powerful prebiotics. They play a huge role encouraging the growth of ‘good’ bacteria and weeding out the bad. Very powerful when it comes to building a baby’s gut and immunity.
4) Weaning: the scientific research on this is actually relatively lacking. However, we know a baby’s gut microbiota tends to stabilise around 2-3yrs old and the introduction to solid food plays a big part. So, keep to fresh, whole, organic foods - pesticide exposure can play havoc (click here for more) especially for a baby. As diverse as possible. Meat stock (gentle on the stomach) is also fantastic - click here to find out more.
5) Avoiding antibiotic exposure: you may have heard that living in overly clean and sterile environments are giving rise to more allergies and asthma? Well - this is where it comes from. Antibiotics kill bacteria - good and bad, including the ones in your gut and can cause imbalances. Now, course sometimes you just cant help it and if there is a bad infection that has to take priority. However, this extends far beyond the prescription sort. Antibiotic hand gels/soaps/santisers are now everywhere and unfortunately they are also used prolifically now in meat and fish (it also includes meat products like cheese/milk etc) so when it comes to these it is absolutely worth buying organic. Particularly when they are for a baby. Quality is definitely the priority when it comes to protecting a small person. Keep it clean of course - but soap and water and regularly washing hands and surfaces does just fine.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.