My baby was given antibiotics in his first days of life. I have read studies that indicate that diversity of gut flora is changed long term. Is there anything I can do to help him regain this diversity before he starts solid food? He is breastfed and I won’t be giving him anything else until six months, but is it worth my taking probiotics or exposing him to environmental factors?
You would be safest discussing diet modification with a paediatrician/ midwife/ dietician or similar. I don’t think anyone here is qualified to give safe and effective advice for a newborn/ breastfeeding mother.
My (rudimentary!) understanding is that a newborn gets much of its microbiome during the birth: from contact with the mother’s vagina, skin, even traces of urine and faeces.
There has been some research on C-section babies to mimic or replace this. Rob Knight (of American Gut Project) was involved. He wrote a book on the gut microbiome which might be worth a read. He tested his own (C-section? Antibiotics?) baby’s nappies regularly!
Then the baby gets additional probiotics and prebiotics in breast milk, and from skin contact when feeding or cuddling (so not just mother). Presumably these depend on the quality of the mother’s diet, and the gut and skin microbiomes of her and other caregivers.
There is some interesting research out there on the skin barrier/ skin microbiome and its importance in overall health. For example moisturising newborns skin daily (so strengthening the skin barrier) reduces incidence of atopic eczema … and subsequent incidence of asthma and hayfever!
Between my sibling and I we have eczema, hayfever and asthma. Neither breast fed, healthy wholefood/ home grown childhood diet, numerous courses of antibiotics for tonsillitis. I cleared my eczema simply by switching shampoo. Many ingredients trash the skin barrier/ skin microbiome … and they are in *everything* including products marketed for babies and for sensitive skin.
Hope something in my ramblings helps!
Infants have upper danger of impediment from pneumonia, including loss, pediatricians often prescribe antibiotics such as amoxicillin, ampicillin, and penicillin, even if they aren’t positive that it’s a bacterial infection.