Probiotics are, in general, some of the safest types of supplements that you can use. In fact, probiotics are not only considered safe to use for nursing mothers, many health care providers actually recommend the use of probiotics by the mother who is nursing. Even beyond this, probiotics are generally considered safe to use for the infants themselves. To understand how probiotics can be safe to use and even beneficial for nursing mothers, it is important to understand a little bit about what probiotics are and about what it is that they do in the human body.
Probiotics are, at the most basic level, live beneficial bacteria. These are, of course, not the same strains of bacteria that are associated with infection or disease. These bacteria are the same types of bacteria that are typically found in a person’s gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria serve many purposes, from helping with digestion and the absorption of nutrients, to helping create something of a barrier between the body and various types of harmful substances, such as allergens. Probiotics are also thought to help to aid in the development and the functioning of the immune system.
When a nursing mother uses probiotics, she not only helps out her own body, but her baby’s body as well. By providing her body with a balance of friendly bacteria, the nursing mother can pass those healthy bacteria along to her baby. She will be helping to support her baby’s immune system, digestive system, and overall health. There are some studies that show that probiotic use by infants and by nursing mothers can even help to delay or prevent altogether a variety of conditions, such as asthma, eczema, and, in some cases, even colic. In fact, studies have shown that probiotics are much more effective at helping a baby with colic than simethicone, a gas medication that is prescribed for babies with colic.
There are some rare situations in which it is not recommended that a nursing mother use probiotics. Typically, these are situations in which either the mother’s or the baby’s immune system has already been compromised or weakened. If this is the case, you should speak with your health care provider about whether or not probiotics are right for your situation.
This entry was posted
in Breastfeeding, Family Health.