Antibiotics Minimize Breastfeeding Benefits
Antibiotics Usage And Its Effect on Breast Milk
A recent study has found that use of antibiotics among babies can minimize the benefits of breastfeeding for babies.
The babies treated with antibiotics while they were breastfeeding were more susceptible to infections and obesity.
This has set the alarm bells ringing among the medical fraternity and parents, as use of antibiotics is quite common and prevalent.
Breast milk provides good bacteria
Babies receive bacteria and specific sugar components from a mother’s milk, which promote the growth of gut bacteria in babies. This makes breast milk better than formula milk. This gut flora helps babies in warding off many diseases and infections.
How can be Antibiotics be harmful for babies?
Use of antibiotics in babies can hamper the growth of this intestinal flora, thus blunting the benefits of breast milk and compromising the health of a baby.
A weakened immunity and metabolism can make an infant much more prone to infections and obesity.
The side effects of antibiotics can last for a lifetime even in babies who have breast milk for a long duration.
Health authorities have been stressing the need of breastfeeding babies through either breastfeeding or using breast pumps to collect milk as mother’s milk has found to be highly beneficial to a baby and mom.
With this new revelation about the ill effects of antibiotics on an infant, antibiotics prescription has again come under a spotlight.
Findings of the study
The report was published online June 13 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Intestinal bacteria have an important function of regulating the production of fatty acids. These fatty acids in turn control the secretion of molecules that help the gut handle food and feelings of fullness.
When this function is compromised due to antibiotics, there is a chronic inflammation in the bloodstream that promotes obesity and obesity-related conditions, such as fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome.
In the study, researchers collected data on 226 Finnish children. The researchers asked children’s mothers’ breastfeeding related questions. Antibiotic use was found from purchase records of medicines.
Of the 226 children, 97% of the babies were breast fed for at least a month, and the average breastfeeding period was eight months.
The 113 babies who were not given antibiotics before weaning has fewer and lower weight as kids after weaning. It was observed that for each month of breast-feeding, the use of antibiotics was cut by 5 %.
Among the 113 infants given antibiotics during breast-feeding and within four months after weaning, there were more infections and the children were more likely to be overweight.
The researchers cautioned against giving antibiotics for every fever or infection. In fact, antibiotics should not be given for viral infections, as they are useless.
Implications of the study
Breastfeeding not only promotes healthy gut bacteria but also prevents introduction of unhealthy foods, which can prevent several lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
According to another report published in Lancet, breastfeeding can avoid 800,000 infant deaths.
In USA, many moms don’t breastfeed their infants mainly due to the lack of awareness and lack of breast pumping opportunity in their workplaces.
It has become very important for USA to promote more breastfeeding as USA is already fighting a war against obesity and diabetes.
Good eating habits are formed early and breast milk is a vital component of an infant’s diet.
A longer duration of breastfeeding can have far-reaching implications of the health of infants as they grow up.
Hence, every mother should breastfed her baby for as long as possible for a healthier world.
Author: Marissa Claire
Hi, I am Marissa. I am a wife of a very supportive husband and mother 3 precious kids. Even though my life is not picture perfect, I have too many blessings to be counted. I am an ordinary mom who has been through some tough times.
I have tried to collate the best information available and write personal & real reviews for the benefits of parents who are confused with the plethora of breast pumps available. I have made an effort to steer clear of technical jargons and used layman language which is understood by people like us.
Tags: Antibiotics, breastfeeding, breastmilk, formula milk, infections, obesity
Categorised in: News