4 reasons your baby’s gut needs attention right now
by Dr. Tanya Altmann
There’s a silent epidemic most parents aren’t aware of and it’s related to your baby’s gut health. Scientists from UC Davis have discovered something is off in the development of the gut microbiome (good and bad bacteria in the gut).
It didn’t happen overnight, but over the past generations that microbiome's been changing, and now we have a massive imbalance that’s spiraling into an epidemic. This imbalance occurs when a key good bacteria is missing from baby’s gut microbiome, allowing the bad bacteria to dominate, and conditions such as colic, eczema, allergies, obesity, and asthma to increase now or down the road.
Below are 4 reasons why I tell parents to pay attention to their baby’s gut health now.
1. Babies are born with a sterile gut
For generations, babies have collected a variety of bacterium during the birthing process, some directly from mom’s microbiome. While some are bad bacteria, like E. coli, staph, and strep, others are good bacteria. One specific strain of good bacteria that nature intended to be passed from mom to baby is called B. infantis.
There are a few things that make B. infantis special. First, it’s the only strain of bacteria that can digest special carbohydrates found in breastmilk that otherwise go undigested by babies. Those special carbohydrates are then converted into extra nutrition and help fuel B. infantis so it can grow and eventually outpace the bad bacteria. That’s why it’s critical that moms pass this good bacteria to babies during the natural birthing process. B. infantis is meant to be the champion colonizer of the gut microbiome.
2. B. infantis is missing
Research shows that B. infantis has been missing for three generations and that its absence is causing the massive imbalance in babies' gut health. Without B. infantis, babies experience a disruption of the newborn gut microbiome that can cause both short- and long-term health consequences: colic, eczema, allergies, asthma, diabetes, and obesity.
Fortunately for parents, activated B. infantis is now available to feed your baby. Evivo is the only baby probiotic that’s primed and ready to return B. infantis back to your baby’s gut as early as day one. In a clinical study, infants who consumed Evivo mixed with breast milk once daily had B. infantis restored in their gut 100 percent of the time and also had an 80 percent reduction in bad bacteria.
3. Spike in autoimmune conditions
The rise in autoimmune conditions has been linked to more harmful bacteria in the gut during the first six months when critical immune system and metabolic development occurs. This is the time when we want to ensure our baby’s gut microbiome is being populated with the right bacteria. These health issues weren’t as prevalent 100 years ago, providing even more evidence that B. infantis is the missing link today.
4. Three generations are experiencing a massive imbalance
Recently, scientists discovered that anyone born after 1980 likely doesn’t have B. infantis in their own gut microbiome to pass on to their baby due to the unintentional consequences of modern medical practices like c-sections, antibiotic use, and formula feeding over the past century. Each of these necessary interventions, although helpful in their own way, has interrupted the mom-to-baby transfer of B. infantis during birth. As a result, B. infantis is missing in 9 out of 10 babies born in the U.S. today.
Dr. Tanya Altmann is a leading pediatrician, Founder of Calabasas Pediatrics and best-selling author. Her expertise lies in baby nutrition and gut health, but she also speaks to everyday parenting issues. Altmann is the author of What to Feed Your Baby, Baby and Toddler Basics, and Mommy Calls, as well as editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ parenting books, The Wonder Years and Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. Dr. Tanya has made numerous media appearances and contributions over the years, but she would say her most important role is being a mom to her amazing three boys.