Can You Program Your Baby’s Health? Microbial Programming

The post developed in cooperation with dr Patrycja Szachta.

The news of pregnancy is always the moment when our lives begin to change – for the better of course 🙂 A new life is growing in us, and we have 9 months to provide the baby with the best conditions for harmonious development. So we try to follow a healthy diet, live stress-free, spend a lot of time to relax and adjust physical activity to our condition. We arrange the room for the new family member and absorb dozens of books about pregnancy. And that’s just fine! Scientific studies have shown that the less we stress in pregnancy, the lower the risk of health problems after the birth of our baby. I am talking about the nightmare of the first months of a child’s life, that is baby colic or atopic skin changes.

The intestinal microflora, which is a unique set of microorganisms that colonize our digestive tract, is largely responsible here. The more the future mother is stressed during pregnancy, the worse her intestinal microflora is, and as a consequence the baby’s intestinal flora will also be impoverished.


Intestinal dysbiosis

Disturbed bacterial balance in the intestines is called intestinal dysbiosis. This condition is directly reflected in the increased risk of a number of diseases! Both in the future mother and the baby.  

It has been known for many years that colonization of a baby’s body with bacteria of maternal origin occurs at the time of delivery. The baby takes over bacteria present in mom’s vagina and anal area when passing through the birth canal. Since a baby’s body throughout the entire pregnancy is to a large extent isolated from the outside world from the outside world and microbiological factors, it absorbs all bacteria during delivery like a sponge. Therefore, the mother’s role is to ensure that they are only bacteria beneficial to the baby’s health. Our baby is not able to choose and take over only those healthy microbes and will be colonized with the entire microbiological spectrum it has contact with at the time of delivery and during the first few days of life.

We should do everything to ensure that our body houses good bacteria throughout the whole pregnancy. This will also reduce the risk of recurrent infections (which are especially risky in pregnancy), improve digestive tract function and also mood.

It is worth following a healthy, least processed diet (good bacteria need a large amount of dietary fiber) and minimizing daily stress (we already know that it disturbs the balance in the system of intestinal microflora). It’s also a good idea to take care of the general hygiene in your life, for example:

  • adequate amount of sleep
  • appropriate level of physical activity for pregnant women (here you can use  my set of exercises for future mothers:) )
  • as many little pleasures as possible, even a few pages of an interesting book 🙂


Probiotic therapy in pregnancy

Dear future mothers – do not forget about probiotics in pregnancy! This is the best way to rebuild damaged intestinal microflora, but also a great preventive solution to possible damage to this delicate intestinal ecosystem. There are also reports that the transmission of microflora from mother to child occurs not only during childbirth, but begins already during pregnancy! So it’s the right time to take care of your intestines, especially if you have not managed to do it before. The period of pregnancy and preparation for childbirth is the perfect time to assess your intestinal microflora in order to select the best (and above all safe during pregnancy) probiotic strains. Probiotic supplementation will allow colonization of both the genital tract and the intestines with good bacteria, which we can treat as the best gift for our child.


Microflora matters!

Some of you will probably think now whether this intestinal microflora really is so important for a baby ..? Well YES, it is! The impact of the first bacteria on a baby’s health, not only in the first months, but throughout the whole of his later life, is so important that a scientific term was created that describes it. I am talking about MICROBIAL PROGRAMMING.

As the name suggests, according to this theory, bacteria which colonize a baby’s intestine, “program” its health, affect the proper maturation of the immune system and the body’s metabolic balance. The better the microflora system, the greater the chance to reduce the risk of civilization diseases, such as allergies, obesity, autoimmune diseases, which have increasingly been called the plague of the 21st century.

Dear moms-to-be! Let’s get down to work! Every moment of pregnancy is good to take care of your microbiome and program the best health of your baby already at this earliest stage.

Anna Lewandowska

Athlete and nutrition specialist. Multiple medalist of the national in traditional karate in European and World Championships. Author of workout plans and books on healthy lifestyle that have helped her motivate over a million of people to change their lives for the better.

Founder of Healthy Plan by Ann, Diet & Training by Ann. CEO of Foods by Ann. Co-founder of Baby by Ann.

Wife of footballer Robert Lewandowski, the captain of the Poland national football team and Bayern Munich player. Read more »

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