Have you ever wondered why so many babies and children these days seem to suffer from a variety of types of digestive distress such as colic, rashes, diarrhea or constipation?
In order to shed some light on this phenomenon, we have to understand the importance of good digestion and “intestinal integrity” in the mother, father and baby.
Few people understand that it is crucial that mother`s and father`s attend to their inner ecosystem (the microbial balance in their bodies) as important preparation for conception and childbirth.
Most of us are aware that probiotics like those found in yogurt are “good for us“, but unfortunately many of us are not aware of their specific impact in terms of building a strong basis of heath, good digestion and optimal immunity for ourselves and our babies and children. Since we haven’t understood what the consequences are, or what is at stake, we often overlook the health of our gut when we are preparing our bodies to conceive or to give birth to a child.
Did you know that babies are born sterile and establish their inner ecosystem, only once they enter the world?
So then how does a baby acquire his /her unique microflora you might wonder? Many people are shocked to discover that babies are “cultured” by their mama’s vaginal microflora as they make their descent into this world!
So what this means is, if mama’s microflora is imbalanced (mother’s vaginal microflora is established by her gut microflora), then baby will begin life with compromised digestive and immune capacity. What is even less understood is that the state of the father’s inner ecosystem also contributes to baby’s health, since during the act of making love, the father is passing on his unique flora ratios and shaping the nature of the mother’s microflora as well!
If one or both parents have a history of digestive problems, allergies, PMS, mental health issues such as depression or anxiety or learning disorders such as dyslexia or ADD/ADHD, then baby starts life out with compromised microflora- making him or her more susceptible than others to digestive, immune and mental/emotional discomforts as they continue to grow and develop.
As a result, baby is at risk for developing colic and other digestive distresses that could have been prevented by the parents taking care to restore their inner ecosystem during the pre-conception and pregnancy period.
So what can parents and parents-to-be do? How do we restore our gut flora?
First we have to eliminate those things that kill our good microflora or feed pathogenic bacteria:
1) We must eliminate all refined sugar and flour from our diets as these types of refined forms of sugar feed the pathogenic flora that create toxicity and inflammation in our gut.
2) We must upgrade the quality of the animal products that we consume to being antibiotic free, from compassionately raised and free range or grass fed animals.
3) We can drink, bathe and shower in water that has been filtered of chlorine (which is an antibiotic).
Next we have to make the following additions to our diet:
1) Cultured foods (add 24 hour brewed homemade yogurt, kefir milk, cultured vegetables, kefir water etc.)
2) Alkalize our blood with mineral rich foods such as cooked greens, seaweeds and bone broth.
3) Take at least 6 months of supplementation with a broad spectrum probiotic supplement containing 14 or more different strains of beneficial bacteria.
The aforementioned practises must be adopted by couples planning to conceive, and by pregnant and breastfeeding women for anyone seeking to prevent common childhood disorders such as asthma, eczema, colic and tummy aches while promoting optimal immune health in the developing baby and child.
For people who don’t have severe digestive problems or a long history of antibiotic use, the aforementioned recommendations will be adequate to restore the gut flora in most cases.
However, in more severe situations such as autism, IBS and other chronic or persistent cases of digestive distress and mental illness, the family must in addition adhere to a grain free diet for 6 months to 2 ½ years to restore the gut back to its optimal state of health.
For more information about how to get started on that path check out our private consulting services or visit:
Want to learn how to make cultured foods at home that please even the kids (and kids at heart)? If you said yes, then check out our Cultured Kids e-course page where we show you a video of how we transform a standard North American lunch into a wholesome probiotic feast!!!
* This post is part of the Probiotic Food Challenge Linky at Real Food Forager.