Friday, October 14, 2011

Probiotics and Breast Feeding

Probiotics is a growing trend as many are discovering the healthy impact it has on the digestive system. Probiotics, quite simply, are good bacteria. These good guys have an important function in the body as it rids our intestines of unneeded micro-organisms, basically keeping it clean. It's like having your own cleaning crew...oompha-loompas if you will. Now, if I can get my kitchen it's own "Probiotics", life would be absolutely perfect!

Probiotics are essential to a balanced digestive system. Some of the benefits of this supplement are weight loss and increased energy.

As a breast feeding mother, my first question was whether or not it was safe for consumption. Quite happily, I've discovered that its not only safe, but recommended for breast feeding moms and colicky babes. From Live Strong...

Breast milk naturally contains prebiotics: starchy substances that promote the natural growth of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract. This causes the bacteria makeup of the gut of a breastfed baby to be slightly different than that of a baby who is fed formula. While prebiotics are healthy, a breastfeeding mother can also increase her baby's level of digestive probiotics by eating certain foods or taking supplements. Probiotics do pass into the breast milk, along with other nutrients from the mom's diet. In fact, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that breastfeeding mothers of colicky babies take probiotic supplements. Initial studies report that breastfed babies who get additional probiotics from mom's milk may get more relief from colic symptoms than what other natural remedies can provide. However, the authors of the 2010 "Pediatrics" article, "Probiotics and Prebiotics in Pediatrics," report that further research is needed. - Read more

Probiotics can be taken to prevent thrush or candida overgrowth if you're taking antibiotics when breast feeding. KellyMom shares this...

Yes, anytime mom or baby needs to take antibiotics, it may be helpful to use probiotics(acidophus, etc.) as a preventative. There is evidence in the medical literature that probiotics can decrease the risk of candida overgrowth (Drisko 2003, Payne 2003, Kopp-Hoolihan 2001, Lykova 2000). Antibiotics increase the risk of thrush and other yeast infections because they tend to kill off the "good" bacteria along with the bad. These good bacteria are what normally prevent an overgrowth of the yeast (candida) that is always present in our bodies. By taking probiotics, you replace some of the good bacteria in your digestive tract that are needed to prevent a yeast overgrowth. - Read More
The common type of Probiotics is Lactobacillus acidophilus. Probiotics are typically measured in billions of active cultures rather than milligrams. I've been taking 'em for a month now and have noticed a difference in my digestive system. I won't go into detail for dignity's sake :) :), but I will add that I have noticed further slimming down in addition to my Yerba Mate/Coconut Oil diet. As for baby girl, I haven't noticed anything on her end...literally. She seems content to nurse as much as normal. 


Check out Kelly Mom for more information about breast feeding and probiotics. 

Sources:
Why Probiotics are Important
Probiotics While Breast Feeding
Q&A Preventing Thrush

Additional Link
How Can Probiotics Help My Baby While Breast Feeding?

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