Probiotics and Breast Milk

Our bodies have finely balanced systems, tuned to keep us growing. At times, we may feel we can barely function. For some problems, is it safe and is it helpful to take probiotic supplements?

It makes sense that probiotics, that help with digestion, can also help with skin, breast and mental health. Our gut health is connected to the other ‘ecosystems’ in our bodies. There is positive research for the use of probiotics for various conditions.

However, there is more detail to learn about exactly which strain of probiotic, how much to take and for which condition.

Another drawback is that most supplements can be pricey. You can’t use W.I.C coupons or health insurance to purchase them. Furthermore, bottles and blister packaging is more trash that Mother Earth can’t digest.

Please know that your baby is receiving prebiotics and probiotics through human breast milk (your own or donor milk.) Human breast milk is finely tuned to the needs of human infants and is important for their developing gut membrane. Breastfeeding and breast milk feeding is the best way to provide probiotics for infants.

Keep it simple and start with your own diet for probiotics.  Nourishing wholesome foods enable your body to regain balance in your digestive tract and improve your health.

1. Probiotics are in fermented foods. That includes sauerkraut, miso, tempeh, yogurt, kefir, quark cheese, natto, sour pickles, and more.

2. A prebiotic is the indigestible fiber on which probiotics grow. Onions, asparagus, chicory, garlic, dark leafy greens (and many others) provide prebiotics. These are easy to find in a grocery store.

3. Avoid refined foods: white flour, white sugar, white rice. Avoid additives and processed foods. These have no nutritive value.

Sometimes antibiotics or chemotherapy, for example, may disturb your good gut flora. Taking probiotic supplements for a while might help your body  restore it’s balance. In addition to wholesome foods, you could try a supplement from a reputable company. See how that affects you.

What do I mean by reputable? The FDA has approved of probiotics as safe in general as a food supplement, not medicinal. Other than that, probiotics aren’t tightly regulated for what is in each product. Like with herbal supplements, you need to ask questions.

Check the company website.
What is the research for their claims?
What kind of certifications do they have to insure their product quality and/or Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)?
Write and ask specific questions. You should know that you’re getting what you paid for and what you need.

As always, if you are not feeling better, definitely discuss this with a knowledgeable health care provider.

Most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you. That is the best way for your body to regain its balance.