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How probiotics during pregnancy can prevent infant eczema

Weekly pregnancy tip

 

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JOCELYN HAS BEEN FEATURED ON:

The more we study the human microbiome, the more we have come to appreciate the vital role these microorganisms play in human health, from digestion to immune function and even in mental health.

In pregnancy, your microbiome also sets the tone for your baby’s microbiome, which begins at birth as your baby moves through the birth canal and is first colonized by the bacteria and microorganisms that will influence the development of their own microbiome and immune system.

Your microbiome can be disrupted during pregnancy due to antiobiotic use or dysbiosis (an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy microbes in your gut). In addition, the transmission of your microbiome to your baby can be interrupted by cesarean birth and/or lack of breastfeeding.

Taking a probiotic in the 3rd trimester of you pregnancy gives your microbiome and extra boost of healthy and beneficial micro-organisms, and has been shown to decrease the risk of GBS infection, urinary tract infections, and preterm birth (more on these issues in future weekly tips!).

The most extensive area of research, however, is the role that probiotics in pregnancy plays in preventing infantile eczema. The risk of developing atopic dermatitis (eczema) is significantly reduced during the first two years of life in infants whose mothers received probiotics during the third trimester of pregnancy. This is a safe and effective way to promote healthy immune function in your baby, and to prevent eczema.

When choosing a probiotic, I recommend to my patients to look for a probiotic that provides a minimum of 10Billion CFUs per day in the third trimester, is refrigerated, and contains both lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species.

If you haven’t done so already, and want more evidence-based information for your pregnancy, sign up for my free cheat sheet: 8 shortcuts To A Healthy Pregnancy – and stay up-to-date with my weekly pregnancy tips and information about the My Health Pregnancy Plan program.

In health,

Dr Jocelyn Land-Murphy, ND

Terra Life

Disclaimer: The information and content provided is for general educational and informational purposes only and is not professional medical advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute therefore. Please consult the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for full details. 

References:

Hanson, L., et al. (2014). Feasibility of Oral Prenatal Probiotics Against Maternal Group B Streptococcus Vaginal and Rectal Colonization. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 43 (2): 294-304.

Pelucchi, C. (2012). Probiotics supplementation during pregnancy or infancy for the prevention of atopic dermatitis: a meta-analysis. Epidemiology, 23(3): 402-414.

Rautava, S. et al. (2002). Probiotics during pregnancy and breast-feeding might confer immunomodulatory protection against atopic disease in the infant. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 109(1): 119-121.

Ronnqvist, P.D. (2006). Lactobacilli in the Female Genital Tract in Relation to Other Genital Microbes and Vaginal pH. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 85 (6): 726-35.

Usui, R. et al. (2002). Vaginal lactobacilli and preterm birth. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 30(6): 458-466.

Zuccotti G. et al. (2015). Probiotics for prevention of atopic diseases in infants: systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 70(11): 1356-13671.

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