Babies Born at Home Have More Diverse, Beneficial Bacteria, Study Finds

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

A new study comparing the gut flora of babies born at home versus those birthed in a hospital shows that home-birthed babies have more diverse bacteria in their gut flora and feces. Researchers aren’t certain why this is, but suspect it may have something to do with interventions a newborn experiences in a hospital that don’t occur at home, such as infant bathing and antibiotic eye drops, Rutgers Today reported. The fecal samples of hospital-born infants also showed greater inflammatory gene expression in a human epithelial cell model.

One thing this press release doesn’t mention is that previous studies have shown that babies with abnormal gut flora have compromised immune systems and are particularly at risk for developing ADHD, autism and learning disabilities, particularly if they are vaccinated while their gut flora is imbalanced.

In another study, researchers analyzed the gut microflora of healthy and autistic children and found the autistic children’s gut microflora had reduced richness and diversity. Further research showed that the mothers of autistic children also have abnormal gut flora, which is significant because newborns inherit their gut flora from their moms at birth.

This highlights the importance of taking care of your own gut microbiome if you’re a mom-to-be. You can positively impact your friendly gut bacteria by providing them with the nutrients they need to flourish in the form of prebiotics. Prebiotics are found primarily in fiber-rich foods, which is perfect because your good gut bacteria thrive on indigestible fiber. Inulin is one type of water-soluble fiber found in asparagus, garlic, leeks and onions that helps nourish your beneficial gut bacteria.

To get a healthier gut, the first step is to nourish your microbiome with real food. If you continue to eat a highly-processed diet and foods containing added sugars, you'll only be feeding the potentially pathogenic bacteria in your gut.

When you focus on eating whole, natural foods, you're supporting the growth of your beneficial gut bacteria. Research suggests the benefits of probiotics aren't limited to your gut, but also affect your brain.

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