New report finds that baby poop is changing in some pretty significant ways

Emily Page Lockamy, Babble

A few years ago, when my first son was a baby, I had no idea what the term “gut health” meant. After nursing him for over two years and successfully introducing solids at 6 months old, I thought I had the whole ‘baby feeding’ thing down pat by the time my second son was born. But boy, was I unprepared for the tummy issues he had.

After weeks of eczema and extreme fussiness, I began altering my diet, since everything I consumed was getting passed to him through breastfeeding. Through much trial and error, research, specialist visits, and tears, I finally figured out that he had a “leaky gut” and food protein intolerances — that may or may not develop into allergies.

As a result, I’ve been dairy-free and gluten-free ever since. Not only do I now know all about gut health and the balance of bacteria needed in our digestive tracts to help us digest food and protect us from disease, but I think about it every single day.

When I recently saw an article detailing new research on how baby poop can hold more information than we thought about infants’ gut health, I knew I had to read it. The report, published this week in the journal mSphere, suggests that pH levels in human bodies are rising — and have been doing so since the 1920s — with the most rapid progression occurring after 1980. This matters because pH is a measure of acidity, which can provide important information about a baby’s microbiome — the community of bacteria centralized in our gut that impacts multiple bodily functions, including food absorption and immune response... Read more on Babble