Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
An informative article about Probiotics (live bacteria which benefits human health) in breast milk appeared in Al Riyadh newspaper on June 4, 2010. The original article was published in Arabic and can be found at: البروبيوتك مجموعة من البكتيريا الصديقة تعمل على تعزيز مناعة الرضيع I found many points in the article to be rather interesting as well as confirming my beliefs in natural birth and breastfeeding, alhamdulelah.
My husband was kind enough to do a quick summary translation for us to read here. I hope you enjoy the article and welcome your story ideas as well. Now on to the English version of the story...Infant Health Benefits from Natural Birth and Breastfeeding...
The full title of the Arabic article is Probiotic is a group of friendly bacteria which increases infant immunities. The article was divided into three parts.
Part I – discusses pregnancy and natural delivery and lists seven reasons for cesarean [just to note, I don't completely agree with this list but this article isn't about that]:
- Chronic illness (mother) which would deteriorate in labor
- Mother has vaginal infection
- Twin birth
- Many previous cesarean deliveries
- Fetal distress
- Large baby
Research shows that infants born by cesarean are more likely to be ill or get infections.
Part II – discusses how natural birth promotes the growth of these helpful natural bacteria while they don’t appear in cesarean born infants for six months or more!
Breastfeeding also promotes the growth of this bacteria called Lactobacillus [which is also present in the vagina, thus explaining why they are present in only naturally born infants, subhan'Allah] and Bifidio bacteria which are called Probiotic.
Breastmilk provides antibiotics which land in the baby’s stomach, an important part of his immunity.
Because of these reasons, an infant born by cesarean is in even greater need of breastmilk.
Part III – discusses friendly bacteria in the breastfed babies, explains the Probiotic bacteria and the two most important types, and the history of the discovery of these bacteria.
Benefits of Probiotics:
- eases digestion of lactose
- prevents cancer
- decreases cholesterol
- prevents infection
- improves effectiveness of ulcer medications
- reduces infant’s instances of allergies in the colon
- improves effectiveness of nervous colon medications
Breastfed infants get the Probiotic benefits via breastmilk and if not breastfed for any reason, it should be added to his diet.
Mothers should continue consultancy with the pediatric doctor during the first year of the child's life to assess development (weight, head circumference, teeth, mobility, etc.).