A mothers stress can trigger colic and an upset crying baby
Amazingly, it seems that a stressful pregnancy or birth can be a trigger of colic and allergy symptoms in your baby. Read on to find out why and how you can help your baby.
According to a recent article in Psychoneuroendocrinology, women who experience stress during pregnancy are more likely to have babies with dysbiosis or gut bacteria imbalance who then have a higher incidence of gastrointestinal issues and allergic reactions. Which could mean colic or lactose type allergy symptoms.
Stress during pregnancy has been linked to both physical and psychological problems in the child. This study suggests the infant’s gut bacteria balance may be an underlying factor.
In this study, the stress and anxiety levels of pregnant women were measured through questionnaires and by testing salivary cortisol levels (a stress hormone). Poo samples from 56 babies were also tested from one week until four months after birth. The researchers discovered a correlation between the mothers who reported high stress levels and presented high cortisol stress hormone levels and the diversity of intestinal bacteria in the babies’ guts.
The moms with high stress levels and high cortisol levels had babies with more Proteobacteria (bad bacteria) and fewer lactic acid bacteria (good bacteria) in their GI tract, which means they had a low diversity of beneficial bacteria. The presence of these bacteria also correlated with a higher incidence of bowel and allergy-related issues among the babies in this group.
The results of this study indicate a possible mechanism for health problems in children of mothers who experience stress while they are pregnant. According to the researchers, giving probiotics would likely benefit these children’s development. See below.
Pregnant women or women preparing for pregnancy know the importance of a good prenatal vitamin and dietary folate, but many may not think of a probiotic as an essential supplement in their nutritional regimen. In addition, pregnant women experiencing stress have a limited number of options for what nutritional supplements they can take. There are great herbs to support stress and adrenal health; however most are not recommended to be used in pregnancy. Probiotics, on the other hand, may be beneficial in helping to counteract the imbalance in gut bacteria caused by stress and are safe to use during pregnancy.
Maternal prenatal stress has been often associated with infant physical development and health, as well as psychological functioning and behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying these relations remain elusive. The goal of the present study was to prospectively investigate the development of the intestinal microbiota as a potential pathway linking maternal prenatal stress and infant health. The development of the infant intestinal microbiota was followed over the first 110 days after birth in a healthy cohort of 56 vaginally born Dutch infants. Additionally, the relation between infant intestinal microbiota and gastrointestinal and allergic symptoms was examined. Results showed that maternal prenatal stress, i.e., either reported stress or elevated basal maternal salivary cortisol concentrations or both, was strongly and persistently associated with the infants’ gut bacteria being unfavourably altered.
Infants of mothers with high cumulative stress (i.e., high reported stress and high cortisol concentrations) during pregnancy had significantly higher amounts of “bad” bacteria (which can cause colic) and lower relative abundances of lactic acid bacteria (i.e., Lactobacillus, Lactoccus, Aerococcus) and Bifidobacteria (good bacteria).
Furthermore, this change in bacteria balance pattern was actually related to more maternally reported infant gastrointestinal symptoms and allergic reactions (probably colic). In conclusion, clear links were found between maternal prenatal stress and the infant intestinal bacteria and health. This suggest a possible mechanism by which maternal prenatal stress influences the offspring development. These results suggest a potential for using probiotics to enhance the baby’s health and development in pregnant women with stress.
How to help your baby
This upset in your baby’s gut bacteria, which is a major cause of colic, can be corrected by using “friendly bacteria” drops. In his clinic Christian uses these with virtually every baby that he see’s for treatment with excellent results. Christian uses Biogaia Protectis because of its extensive research on being effective and safe. It also comes in easy to administer drops.
The book Calming Colic is the definitive guide on why your baby is upset and crying and how you can help them. When you purchase Calming Colic you will receive for free another 6 e-books on baby and mother health written by Christian Bates. These will help you improve yours and your baby’s health right now and into the future.
Both Calming Colic and Biogaia Protects are available to purchase from this website.