The Importance of Good Bacteria

I have been meaning to write this blog since November last year, but was too exhausted and suffering from miserable morning sickness to do anything more than the essentials. Since then, I inflated and became more exhausted with my pregnancy and then wiped out after the birth of my lovely baby boy. He’s now 3 months old and mother-in-law is watching him while I write!

We are all aware that it isn’t good to take antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary, but it seems that people are less aware of the importance of replacing the good bacteria that are destroyed when we have to take antibiotics. This is something that I raise when I visit babies who are showing signs of food intolerances. I will always ask the mother if they have taken antibiotics while breastfeeding, and if the baby has been prescribed antibiotics. I will then ask if the baby is taking or has taken any probiotics. Nine times out of ten, the answer is, “No, why?”

When we take antibiotics, they kill off bacteria that are causing us to be unwell, and they also kill off the good bacteria that live within our gut, keeping the gut healthy.  The good bacteria will eventually regrow, but it is better for them to be replaced by taking a GOOD probiotic (not in the form of a yogurt or drink, but a supplement). There are loads of different ones on the market, but my favourites are Optibac because they do a product specifically for children that is dairy free and free from all nasties, which is essential when dealing with little people who are showing signs of dairy intolerance and cows milk protein intolerance.

Most families I suggest the supplement to, see positive changes in their babies and toddlers within a few days. It is as if, they have had a sore tummies, which made them grumpy and hard work, and the discomfort disappears, leaving a much happier baby.

Following the birth of my second baby in July, I had an infection in my episiotomy stitches and mastitis – yes, both in one go!!! I was given a heavy dose of antibiotics, and went straight to my lovely local health food shop and bought probiotics for my baby, and some for me – I have to practice what I preach, so that neither of us would have our good bacteria killed off by the antibiotics.

I recently made an appointment to see a doctor about more discomfort down there, and more pain in my breasts, but before I had a chance to see an actual GP, I went back to taking my probiotics (baby-brain had stopped me taking them) and within a few days, both bits were feeling fine again.

Now, probiotics may not be the miracle cure for everything, but they have certainly worked for me and plenty of my clients, and I always think that it must be better to try something natural before resorting to drugs or chemicals if you can. And Optibac have found that different strains of probiotic work differently: “Our expertise is in taking specific species and strains and using them to target different health conditions. This is very important as research continues to show that different probiotics will have different modes of action in the body.” So there are different probiotics for different issues, which I like. They even have a product called, “For Those on Antibiotics”!

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