9 Health Benefits of Probiotics During Breastfeeding
Your breast milk is the building block that helps strengthen your newborn’s body. When you add probiotics to your diet, you give your baby something extra. Here are some of the benefits of taking probiotics while nursing:
1. Breastfeeding leeches away a lot of nutrients from your body. This can leave your immune system weakened. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements can help strengthen your immunity. It is also a great way to regulate your fluctuating metabolism.
2. The gut makes up 60-70% of the body’s immune system, making beneficial bacteria and immune health synergistic. Plain breast milk can be effective for helping to build an infant’s immune system. However, when you supplement your diet with probiotics, you pass on some good bacteria to your baby. This helps strengthen and faster mature your infant’s immune system. The more beneficial bacteria that can be delivered to the baby’s gut microbiome, the better.
3. Babies being supplemented with probiotics show a decrease in acid reflux symptoms in comparison to infants who were not being supplemented. Probiotics help the food digest more quickly leaving the stomach emptier and less likely to aggravate reflux conditions.
4. Probiotics can improve the stool consistency and bowel movements of infants, so they help infants with constipation.
5. Eczema is characterized by the red, itchy rashes that occur on the skin of the baby, and it can be reduced by adding probiotics to your diet.
6. Probiotic bacteria are largely responsible for not only the absorption of essential minerals and nutrients, but the production of crucial vitamins such as folate (vitamin B9) and other B vitamins. It’s a key reason why taking a probiotic supplement while breastfeeding can help to generate a healthy life for your child. This group of vitamins helps in food metabolism, prevents anemia and keeps skin and nervous system healthy.
7. The threat of fungal infection is something that most mothers don’t find themselves worrying about when it comes to protecting their babies, but these types of illnesses are more common than many people realize. Fungal infection is especially common with breastfeeding, as fungus can take root in the child’s mouth. When the balance between good and bad bacteria in the child is off, the likelihood that thrush may result can be high. Fortunately, breast milk that is rich in probiotics can help to prevent thrush and other fungal infections.
8. Probiotics are known to offer benefits to fight colic. Although, babies don’t tend to be colicky after the first six months of their lives, it can be quite distressing for the baby and its parents. Babies with colic have inflamed guts and need a dose of friendly bacteria.
9. Diaper thrush or diaper rash is a common condition that is caused by yeast in babies. It’s the lack of good bacteria that allows the bad bacteria to thrive, affecting baby’s gut and stool pH, which in turn affects baby’s chance of diaper rash. Probiotics containing friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can not only help in the healing of existing rashes but also prevent these rashes from affecting the baby again.
To learn how to add more probiotics into your daily diet, check out 11 Probiotic Foods You Can Easily Add to Your Diet.