Prenatal Gut Health Testing
Prenatal Gut Health Testing: Whether you are planning to get pregnant soon or are already pregnant, did you know that your baby will inherit your gut flora?
Bearing in mind that around 80% of the immune system is in the gut, this very important area needs to be populated with all the right microbes to help it function optimally. The balance between the beneficial bacteria and pathogenic (bad) bacteria is critical. This also applies to babies, whose immune systems strengthen from the moment they enter into the world. So, if you want to give your little one a head start in life, it may be time to think about the quality of your gut flora.
During pregnancy, your baby’s gut will be sterile in your uterus but as he or she passes through the vagina, your microflora will be ingested by your baby. This is the natural starting point for your baby’s own microflora to develop. Breast-feeding will further increase your baby’s gut flora and will be a reflection of yours.
If your baby is born by C-section, recent research suggests that C-section babies at Day 3 of life have a very different gut flora to babies, who have had a natural birth. Certain strains of beneficial bacterial were shown to be missing. This problem can be addressed by Harley Street IBS & Autoimmune Clinic.
If you have had antibiotic therapy on several occasions, have you considered that this will have had a detrimental effect on the balance of the bacteria and yeast in your gut? Antibiotics kill off the beneficial bacteria and this makes space for the pathogenic (bad) bacteria to overgrow. Loss of beneficial bacteria also makes space for yeast overgrowth, which can itself lead to many health problems. Perhaps you suffer with IBS symptoms? Like most women, you probably want to do your best for your new baby. However, this is an area that is so often overlooked as most women don’t realise the implications. It is a poorly understood area of health. However it can easily be rectified before pregnancy, in early pregnancy or even in the later stages of pregnancy by Prenatal Gut Health Testing.
If you have been on the oral contraceptive pill, Mirena coil or hormone implants, your gut flora may be also be out of kilter. The Morning After Pill also has a detrimental effect on gut flora. This group of drugs makes a woman more prone to yeast overgrowth (Candida).
A poor gut flora will hamper your little one’s immunity, predisposing him/her to infection. It’s very common for small children to get frequent ear infections and tonsillitis. Some babies have digestive problems right from birth, presenting as colic.
We are often asked to treat babies suffering with severe colic and eczema; and children with recurrent ear infections and/or tonsillitis. So often the mother has digestive problems and diagnostic medical tests on her reveal that she does indeed have a poor gut flora.
It has also been discovered that mothers of children with learning difficulties, including autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia, all have gut flora problems (gut dysbiosis). This most interesting research has been carried out by Dr Natasha McBride, whose interest in the subject came about, when she discovered that her own son was autistic. Her pioneering work has shown that by rebalancing the gut flora, that the severity of autism may be reduced.
Your diet also dictates what kind of gut flora you have. A diet rich in sugary and processed carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, biscuits, cake and pastries) will promote the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast. This is why a healthy diet pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy is vital.
So what can you do to ensure you pass on a healthy gut flora to your baby?
If you have taken antibiotics, have suffered with IBS or other digestive problems; or have been on the Pill, it would be worth considering Prenatal Gut Health Testing at Harley Street IBS & Autoimmune Clinic, particularly if you suffer from bloating or constipation. You will need a consultation first so that a full case history can be taken. The tests are carried out at our medical laboratory. If the results are positive, a natural medicine prescription, which is safe in pregnancy and lactation, and a special diet can be given to help rebalance your gut flora and prepare it for baby. We can also give you treatment for IBS, if necessary.
If you are interested in Prenatal Gut Health TestingContact Deborah’s Medical Secretary for an appointment