Did you know your breast’s skin can actually give your baby good bacteria?
Breastfeeding can be a divisive topic with mom having to weed through the suggested advantages and disadvantages before landing on her final decision. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association hopes to chime on the discussion by emphasizing that a baby’s gastrointestinal health is significantly improved if they are breastfed.
For moms who choose to breastfeed (or are able to) the study found that the good bacteria passed on through breast milk may be enough of a reason to commit to it. Specifically, the study found that 30 percent of the bacteria that makes baby’s tummy healthier comes directly from mom’s breast milk; 10 percent comes from the skin on the mother’s breast.
“We’re appreciating more and more how these bacterial communities — particularly in the intestine — help guard against the bad guys. We know from animal model systems that if you get good bacteria in your gut early in life, you’re more likely to be healthy,” said senior study author Grace Aldrovandi to HealthDay.
While breastfeeding may be an option some moms forgo, others may not have that option at all. Another study that focused on both pregnant women and newborn babies found that having a puppy in the home could also beneficially impact a baby’s digestive health.
“Early-life exposure to household pets has the capacity to reduce risk for overweight and allergic disease, especially following caesarean delivery,” explain the researchers.
The dogs are credited with helping babies increase their levels of gut bacteria, even in utero.
While the researchers behind the Journal of the American Medical Association study do recommend considering breastfeeding, they also note that further research is needed to determine the impact of baby formula on baby’s guts.