>> Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bethany writes:

"What about babies who are nursing? Does their immunity in their gut come from what the mother's eating? And do you think it's more about immunity or being allergic to something that causes eczema?"

Good question Bethany. First of all, having allergies and issues with your immune system are one in the same. If you have an allergic reaction then it's your immune system that's reacting.

I remember when I was seriously ill several years ago and my immune system was a mess! Lo and behold I started having allergic reactions right and left. Drugs that I had been taking for years started giving me hives or breathing problems which sent me to the ER several times. I was even having reactions to the laundry detergent they used in the hospital or a great lotion someone gave me. Crazy! Once I started building my immune system back up I was able to tolerate certain things again. But it goes to show that the more unbalanced our immune system is, the more reactions you're going to have.

And, as a matter of fact, I was just reading about the subject of allergies and breastfeeding this week in Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell McBride...

"As far as the science knows an unborn baby is sterile. Its body has no bacteria, viruses or fungi living in it. When the time of birth comes, as the baby goes through the birth canal, it gets its first dose of microbes. Its skin, eyes, mucous membranes in the mouth and nose acquire their first microflora. Through swallowing liquids in the mother's vagina the baby's digestive system gets its first population of bacteria, viruses and fungi. So, whatever lives in the vagina of the mother is what the baby would get."

It goes on to say...

"So what happens after the baby is born? The most important thing that should happen is breastfeeding. Breast milk, particularly colostrum in the first days after birth, is vital for appropriate population of the baby's digestive system with healthy microbial flora. It is known that bottle-fed babies develop completely different gut flora to the breast-fed babies. That flora later on predisposes bottle-fed babies to asthma, eczema, different other allergies and other health problems. We all know that breast is the best! However, most things that are floating in a mother's blood will be in her breast milk. A mother with abnormal gut flora would have a whole host of toxic substances, which are produced by pathogenic microbes in her gut and maldigested foods absorbed into her bloodstream. These toxins will be excreted in her breast milk and fed to her baby. In particularly severe cases mothers of [autistic] children could not breast feed their babies because the baby would refuse the breast or just fall asleep after the first few mouthfuls of the breast milk. We know that some of the toxins, which are produced by abnormal gut flora, have the chemical structure of opiates, like morphine and heroine. If the baby gets these opiates in the breast milk then it is quite understandable why the baby falls asleep after the first few mouthfuls. Another reason for the baby to refuse breast milk is milk allergy. In a woman with gut dysbiosis the gut lining is damaged and leaky. It allows through partially digested proteins and antigens. Milk antigens have been detected in breast milk. I have seen a few cases when the baby took to the breast after the mother removed dairy foods from her diet. A lot of cases of severe eczema in babies can also be relieved by this measure."

It all stems from the immune system. And our immune system lies within our gut. Our gut contains an ecosystem that must be kept in balance. And your gut affects your baby's gut. I don't say that to make you feel guilty but rather to empower you. You have power over your baby's gut which can affect his future health!


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