From birth, infants acquire their mother’s microbiota. This process of acquisition is influenced by several factors, including mode of delivery, antibiotic exposure and breastfeeding. Feeding human milk to newborn infants has important nutritional, physiological, immunological and psychological benefits that may impact on their long-term growth and development. The World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and for it to continue in combination with other complementary foods for at least one year of life. In a recent study, Haddad et all, investigated the association between a mother’s pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (“BMI”), human milk exposure, infant Body Mass Index-for-age z-score (BAZ) at 12 months of age and infants gut microbiota at 12 months of age. Stool samples were collected from pregnant women in their third trimester of pregnancy and later from their infants at 12 months of age. Findings from this study found that:
“These results underscore the importance of maternal wellbeing and healthy child-rearing practices on the establishment of the gut microbial community and the influence on infant BAZ, which have implications on health outcomes in later life and public health in general”, Authors of this study said.
Keywords: Human milk, Breastfeeding, Body Mass Index, Microbiota, obesity, per-pregnancy, Bifidobacteria, Bacteroides
Haddad, E. N., Sugino, K. Y., Kerver, J. M., Paneth, N., & Comstock, S. S. (2021). The infant gut microbiota at 12 months of age is associated with human milk exposure but not with maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index or infant BMI-for-age z-scores. Current research in physiology, 4, 94–102.
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