For the baby's intestinal well-being, it is also essential that the mother does not gain too much weight during pregnancy
Eating well, following the advice of the specialist, is not only important for the expectant mother, but also for the well-being of the baby. On the basis of what is done in terms of healthy nutrition, the population of the microbiota is "created", made up of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms, destined to create a system of "micro-laboratories" capable of helping to create and maintain the well-being of the unborn child. .
True birth, on this front, is a process that begins with fertilization and proceeds in the first years of a child's life, in what experts call the "first thousand days". They are very important.
Long live natural childbirth
The way in which the baby comes into the world and the nutrition in the very first months of life contribute to forming, broadly speaking, the bacterial population that will then "inhabit" mainly the small intestine.
"There is close communication that starts from intrauterine life between the mother and the fetus, a dynamic cross-talk. This underlines how important it is for women of childbearing age to reach pregnancy with excellent nutrition and a healthy microbiota. Mothers' knowledge of the microbiota has increased with social media and the internet, but they must not exceed this because, at times, Dr. Google gives incorrect or updated information ”.
This was remembered by Maria Lorella Giannì, associate professor of Pediatrics at the University of Milan, on the occasion of the congress of the Italian Society of Preventive and Social Pediatrics (SIPPS). The balance in the bacterial population of the digestive tract, in short, could be one of the keys that begins to determine future well-being.
On two points, in this sense, scientists agree. If possible, it is better to give birth naturally and proceed with breastfeeding. But we must not forget that paying attention to the scales while pregnant is also important in this respect.
Just think that when pregnant women are clearly overweight, the bacteria present in the feces of the new baby are qualitatively different from those of the mother who controlled the weight during pregnancy, with the baby having a "better" bacterial population in the latter case. ”, Consisting mainly of bifidobacteria.
Coming to the mode of delivery, vaginal delivery is certainly to be preferred, even though the microbiota, fortunately, can also change in a positive sense over the years. "Even a caesarean section can have an impact – resumes the expert. However, the latest discoveries indicate a temporal influence that can dilute over time, even in the first weeks after childbirth. In these cases, what makes the difference in restoring a healthy microbiota is the way the baby is fed. Another cause may be obesity in pregnant women, prematurity of childbirth and the use of antibiotics during pregnancy ".
The value of breastfeeding
"There is a very important ally in being able to restore dysbiosis (ie alteration) of the microbiota and it is mother's milk – Giannì points out – which is associated with a share of bifidus. The baby should be breast-fed for up to six months and perhaps continued, together with complementary nutrition, for up to two years, if mother and child want it ".
From an early age and then throughout life, we always keep in mind that "our" bacteria always accompany us and can play a role in well-being. Such as? Also through nutrition.
As part of a correct weaning, foods such as vegetables, pasta and legumes – perhaps prepared with a pinch of science and wisdom – can give the microbiota what it needs to stay at its best and carry out its activities as an invisible silent laboratory. . Obviously silent until, even if only for a disease, its components change. Then yes, problems can begin, so it's better to play ahead with the right habits. At all ages.