Over 700 species of bacteria in breast milk
Another fascinating piece of research that proves what I have written in Calming Colic on ways to prevent and help colicky babies.
I really like this research as it confirms patterns I had been seeing in babies consulting me with colic. I noticed that babies could have colic from long traumatic births but often saw the most colicky babies after c-section and even more colicky babies after a planned c-section, my thoughts being that these babies didn’t even know they were going to be born and so were quite traumatised. In fact I started a discussion on this on Facebook a few days ago before I found this research.
This research shares some wonderful facts that I have summarised below with my comments to help decipher them.
The beneficial bacteria in breast milk that nourishes the breast fed babies contains over 700 different species!
The study also reveals that the milk of overweight mothers or those who put on more weight than recommended during pregnancy contains a lesser diversity of species
The beneficial bacteria in breast milk of mothers who underwent a planned caesarean is different and not as rich in microorganisms as that of mothers who had a vaginal birth. (Christian’s comment: Because the mother hasn’t actually gone into labour with a planned c-section then none of the usual birth triggers have occurred, like hormone changes. Also the baby can be very stressed which lowers beneficial bacteria content as also explained in Calming Colic)
However, when the caesarean is unplanned (intrapartum), milk composition is very similar to that of mothers who have a vaginal birth. (Christian’s comment: this means that labour has started and so hormone and stress triggers have started and the mother and baby at least know labour is underway, even if it ends in a c-section. However, if a labour has needed to turn into a c-section delivery then it has probably got stressful for the baby which in itself can be a colic trigger).
So what does this mean to the parent who has a colicky baby? Basically what we can do at present is use the best probiotics we know of and use it to colonise the baby’s gut, either by the mother taking it and breast feeding or putting it into their formula feed.
I use Opticbac for your child’s health as it uses a particular strain of bacteria which has been found to be most prevalent in newborns according to much research, including a study I have referenced below.
R. Cabrera-Rubio, M. C. Collado, K. Laitinen, S. Salminen, E. Isolauri, A. Mira. The human milk microbiome changes over lactation and is shaped by maternal weight and mode of delivery. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012; 96 (3): 544 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.112.037382
R. G. LoCascio, P. Desai, D. A. Sela, B. Weimer, D. A. Mills. Broad Conservation of Milk Utilization Genes in Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis as Revealed by Comparative Genomic Hybridization. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2010; 76 (22): 7373 DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00675-10