A person’s lifelong health is largely set during the 1000 days window from preconception through pregnancy to infancy. During these 1000 days research suggests that our gut microbes are playing an important role during conception, pregnancy and infancy! Therefore, looking after your gut can be considered vital.
During gestation, your infant can pick up some species of bacteria through the placenta, so it is important you are also looking after your gut.
When your infant is born the mode of delivery and gestational age can affect the development of their gut. One particular species of bacteria is very important during this time, Bifidobacteria. Species of Bifidobacteria work to ‘train’ your infants the immune system so they can respond appropriately to potential allergens or harmful bugs. Bifidobacteria also work to create a healthy gut environment and increase overall diversity by encouraging other beneficial bacteria to grow.
After this, their gut can be influenced by many factors including feeding method, geographical location, family members (including pets!), maternal diet and weaning. Our next posts will cover how this development can be disturbed and what you can do to support your infants’ gut.
Written by Rebecca Traylen, Head of Nutrition, Probio7