What does it mean to be “cultured“ at Birth?
As our babies are being birthed, they are literally being “cultured” by our vaginal flora.
“The medical science shows that the flora in the vagina comes from the gut. What lives in the woman`s bowel will live in her vagina… in women with recurrent thrush, no matter how many powerful anti fungal topical preparations are used, the thrush always comes back. Until she gets rid of it in the bowel, she is not going to be free from vaginal thrush. But why does this woman have an overgrowth of fungi in her bowel? Because she does not have a healthy gut flora to protect her from this fungus and many other microbial invaders. This woman has a condition called gut dysbiosis. She will not only have an overgrowth of Candida albicans in her gut but lots of other pathogenic microbes, causing many other health problems.“
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride MD, MMedSci(neurology), MMedSci(nutrition)
Babies acquire their particular microflora balance at birth through the skin, eyes and mucous membranes of their mouth and nose, as they descend through the birth canal.
What happens when moms have gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria in the gut)?
Mother passes on her own gut flora (for better or for worse) to her baby. The state of mom’s flora has the potential to either promote healthy digestion, immunity and mental capacities or it can compromise her baby’s health right from birth causing a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering for both ie: colic, mastitis, candida yeast infection, diaper rash etc.
Besides having a history of antibiotic use (antibiotics kill our good bacteria leaving no competition to keep the bad or pathogenic types in check) there are many other digestive, immune and mental indications that we need to restore our bacterial balance (or inner ecosystem).
Here are some key symptoms:
□ allergies and food sensitivities
□ vaginal yeast infections
□ difficulty losing weight
□ bi polar
□ OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
□ dyslexia or dyspraxia
□ poor concentration
□ sugar/carb cravings
□ poor digestion and digestive disorders
□ acid reflux
□ sleeping poorly and night sweats
□ joint inflammation and stiffness
□ bad breath
□ gum disease and dental problems
□ frequent colds and flus
□ frequent infections
□ chronic yeast problems
□ fungal infections
□ menstrual difficulties
If you suffer from 1 or many of the above symptoms you might be wondering how you can find the resources and the support you need to learn how to heal, restore or improve your current microflora balance, right?
Follow this step-by-step guide to improving your microbial balance in pregnancy:
- Eliminate white sugar and flour from your diet (switch to unrefined sugars like Panella/Rapadura for baking and whole spelt flour)
- Avoid natural sources of concentrated sugar ie: dried fruit, tropical fruits like bananas and mangoes etc. Instead include more sour fruits like kiwi, berries of all kinds and green apples.
- Acidify your colon (good bacteria thrive in a lactic acidic rich environment)- by eating plenty of cultured (or fermented) foods ie: unpasteurized sauerkraut, naturally brewed pickles, yogurt, kefir milk, kefir water etc.
- Eliminate all bleached, refined and deodorized fats like: margarine & vegetable oils like corn, soy and canola oil from your diet. Replace them with traditional fats like butter and coconut oil for baking and sautéing while using olive oil (raw only) for salad dressing.
- Alkalize your blood- modern people are often overfed, yet undernourished. Mineralize your blood by eating plenty of cooked green vegetables, crispy seeds, gelatinous bone broth and seaweeds.
- Take a probiotic pill with a wide variety of beneficial bacteria (10-14 or more strains) throughout your entire pregnancy and during breastfeeding.
- Upgrade the quality of the animal products that you consume to being from antibiotic free, compassionately raised and free range or grass fed animals.
- Drink, bathe and shower in water that has been filtered of chlorine (which is also unfortunately an antibiotic).
These lifestyle practices must be adopted by those who want to prevent common childhood disorders such as asthma, eczema, colic and tummy aches while promoting optimal immune health in their developing baby and children, such as couples planning to conceive, pregnant women, breastfeeding women -and moms seeking optimal health for their family.
For people who don’t have severe digestive problems or a long history of antibiotic use, the aforementioned recommendations will be adequate to restore the gut flora in most cases.
However, in more severe situations such as autism, IBS and other chronic or persistent cases of digestive distress and mental illness, the family must in addition adhere to a grain free diet for 6 months to 2 ½ years to restore the gut back to its optimal state of health.
What should you do now, if you didn’t know about this before having your kids?
These same steps apply for anyone who suffers from microbial imbalance. It is never too late to improve your own and your family’s health!