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Feeding Babies in Traditional Culture - Page 4

post #61 of 77
Yes, you're both right, many babies don't get a good start in that regard, so if we're talking about the population as a whole, then yeah, I guess most babies would benefit from probiotic supplements (but if their food and medical treatment doesn't improve after a less-than-ideal birth situation, I'm not sure just supplementing will do much good). And some will have problems regardless of their birth experience. I guess I live a sheltered life in that regard, because my babies are home-born, not vaxed, etc., and most of my friends and family have also had home or natural births and don't make routine use of any of those other medical interventions like abx. Most of my friends even have pretty healthy diets (family not as much...). I sometimes forget my perception of reality or what the "norm" is can't be applied to the rest of the world.
post #62 of 77
Just to clarify... the gut flora of a healthy EBF babe is dominent in mixed strains of bifidobacteria, not just B. Infantis. That particular strain is recommended for supplementation because of its availability by itself and also the human origin of the strain. I have also seen it mentioned that it is a "gentler" bacterial strain but not sure what that means exactly.

Research I have read is that the gut flora in a babe changes over to an adult's more like 6 or 7, which also coincides with developing a more adult like immune system.

So it seems to me bifidobacteria supplementation is appropriate at least until that age if symptoms warrant. Bifido is also dominent in the colon of adults, and several recent studies show improvement in IBS symptoms when bifido is used.

While we are discussing supplementing EBF babes, I think vitamin D supplementation is crucial for bone and tooth health unless the mama has a traditional diet that provides 6,000 IU of D a day and thus can transfer "enough" D to the infant according to recent research.
post #63 of 77
In terms of supplementing EBF babies, if you have to supplement due to an inadequate diet on the part of the mother, wouldn't it make more sense to supplement the mother?
post #64 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nan'sMom View Post
In terms of supplementing EBF babies, if you have to supplement due to an inadequate diet on the part of the mother, wouldn't it make more sense to supplement the mother?
For vitamins and minerals (C, A and D mentioned previously, although C and D aren't actuallly vitamins but that's another topic completely) for routine health I would think that yes, supplementing via the mother would be a better way than trying to directly supplement your baby. For probiotics a baby would need to be directly supplemented. FWIW, I have to give my ds iron supplements (preemie with anemia) and also give him probiotics and it is a royal pain to get them into him so anything else I want to get in him I'd much rather take myself (cod liver/fish oil, vitamins, etc), plus I feel that it allows my body to regulate the supplements and hopefully supply what he needs and not more. Although I do wonder about how my supplements may affect my milk. I've been taking B vitamins (which turns urine bright yellow) and the other day I pumped some milk and noticed that it looked more yellow than usual.
post #65 of 77
Probiotics do come through breastmilk. So I personally wouldn't supplement the baby directly under 6 months at all, or under 1 if using a dairy or other allergen based probiotic, but rather give it to the mother and benefit them both.

IIRC, breastmilk was the way probiotics were first discovered.
post #66 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by krankedyann View Post
Probiotics do come through breastmilk. So I personally wouldn't supplement the baby directly under 6 months at all, or under 1 if using a dairy or other allergen based probiotic, but rather give it to the mother and benefit them both.

IIRC, breastmilk was the way probiotics were first discovered.

Well based on our experience I wished I knew to give probiotics to DS sooner than 8 mos. old. I took bottles and bottles of them myself and it did no good. He was EBF except for a few bottles of formula (and antibx) in hospital b/c I didn't know better then. He did take dairy based probiotics starting at 8 mos. He is not allergic to dairy but to 25 other foods, so I don't think the allergen exposure necessarily correlates here.

It is when the baby is younger that you are able to prevent allergies with sealing up the leaky gut with bifidobacteria dominance ... and obviously that depends on the health, diet and gut flora of mother. All breastmilk is (unfortunately) not equal.
post #67 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel J. View Post
Although I do wonder about how my supplements may affect my milk. I've been taking B vitamins (which turns urine bright yellow) and the other day I pumped some milk and noticed that it looked more yellow than usual.
I know that urine turns bright yellow after taking vitamins because the body uses what it needs and gets rid of the excess. According to Kellymom's breastfeeding resources, Vitamin B2 can color a mother's breastmilk as well. http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vi...ake-table.html
HTH.
post #68 of 77
Quote:
Before modern times, I suspect that many babies with severe food allergies simply wouldn't have survived. If a baby is allergic to some staple in the diet, he or she would probably be very sickly in early infancy (from the allergen in breastmilk) and then grow slowly, if at all, and then succumb to a minor illness- if they didn't die from anaphylactic reactions to allergens. I don't know if they were always able to specify what was wrong with "sickly babies" who died young.
I have a story about this. My dh was born/raised in India. He had feeding difficulties starting at a very young age. My MIL had some milk prodoction problems (she has hormone problems) and we are not sure which came first-- dh's refusal to suckle or her milk drying up. But in any case my dh refused to nurse on bottle or breast from 2 to 10 months old. My MIL fed him with a little medicine cup made for babies and that's what he survived on. She had to feed him drop by drop and a lot would be spit out or vomited out. This was baby formula that was available at the time. At 10 months he finally accepted bottles again after lots of trial and error, and he stayed on bottles for four years. Was a very picky eater, very thin kid and not very healthy.

My SIL (dh's sister) was born and MIL lost her milk at 2 weeks posptartum. SIL was a good eater but she just lost her milk. She had to start giving bottles. They brought a cow from the village and milked it and boiled it and that's what SIL was given. She was started on solids very early, with curd rice mixed with some dahl. At 4 years old she was found to have high eosinophils in her blood and she had asthma and food allergies. She is better now as an adult, seems to have mostly outgrown all but shrimp allergy.

My MIL said that traditionally babies in India are weaned no later than a year old, started on solids at around 4-6 months. My SIL just had a baby last July and she also had milk production and nursing problems and the baby ended up on bottles after awhile. They weaned the baby of formula at 6 months and put him on cow's milk and soft foods like those mentioned above. My MIL said that in rural India people nurse a lot longer and wean at around age 2, but that modern women wean earlier. We got into an argument because she doesn't think breast milk has any value after 6 months. :

Mothers in India traditionally are put on a bland, iron-rich diet after the birth and for a few months.

As far as allergies go, both my dh and SIL had/have them and my second daughter also has severe food allergies. I feel that dh might have been allergic to things in his mom's milk just as my baby was with mine. As far as traditional values-- most cultures I know of do not restrict infants from trying foods. India may have been influenced by the west in some of its values or perhaps they always fed the babies foods early on. I know that in Hindu tradition there is a "first foods" ceremony that is done at around 4 months old where the baby is given something sweet to eat, usually sweet rice, so that their life will be sweet. After that ceremony they are fed solid foods regularly.
post #69 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel J. View Post
For vitamins and minerals (C, A and D mentioned previously, although C and D aren't actuallly vitamins but that's another topic completely) for routine health I would think that yes, supplementing via the mother would be a better way than trying to directly supplement your baby.
I think I might not agree with this on vitamin D, based on studies showing 6,000 IU of D is necessary ...and who takes that amount? Also many many people are D deficient and don't know it. Your blood levels may effect the amount that you need and are therefore able to pass onto your child, and very few mamas get their 25 (OH) D levels tested. It just seems to me that supplementing the mother could be a shot in the dark with D.
post #70 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneS View Post
It is when the baby is younger that you are able to prevent allergies with sealing up the leaky gut with bifidobacteria dominance ... and obviously that depends on the health, diet and gut flora of mother. All breastmilk is (unfortunately) not equal.
Absolutely. I've got two children who were born at home, never given antibiotics or formula, etc... and they still ended up with allergies because I had leaky gut. My thought processs is to avoid further allergen exposure by giving it to the mother instead of the child under 6 months. In everything I've read, science doesn't know where that line is, though, to know where the benefits outweigh the potential risks of treatment in giving it directly to the child instead of filtering it through the mother. So I err on the side of caution, but that line is different for everyone.
post #71 of 77
caedmyn--I disagree. I believe that hating vs loving a food means a lot in terms of tolerance, nutritional needs etc. Our bodies have a very intelligent design. However, I also believe that being cautious and very observant is crucial as well. In many cases of allergies, yes, people tend to love a food that is not tolerated if it has gotten to the point of self-medicating. But initially, many children will instinctively stay away from a food that does not agree with them. So, ideally, a parent should be very observant and note if this occurs shortly after introducing a food. Many parents unfortunately do not respect their children's dislikes but simply force the food upon the child despite rejection, and eventually a poorly tolerated food turns into an addiction because shortly after ingestion it acts as a sort of medicine, much like drugs.
post #72 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
What they'd do if mama died and there was no wetnurse available, I have no idea.
There would likely be numerous other women who were nursing and they might take turns nursing the babe. I remember reading an account of this in a diary of a revolutionary-era midwife in the US; the mother was sick after childbirth, and one of the neighbors nursed her baby, while she recovered (there was even mention of a person massaging milk out of the sick mom so she didn't dry up). At any given time, in a traditional society, I would imagine there would be numerous women who were lactating- considering how long they breastfeed (anywhere from 3-7 years) and how many kids they have.
post #73 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJP View Post
Yes, you're both right, many babies don't get a good start in that regard, so if we're talking about the population as a whole, then yeah, I guess most babies would benefit from probiotic supplements (but if their food and medical treatment doesn't improve after a less-than-ideal birth situation, I'm not sure just supplementing will do much good). And some will have problems regardless of their birth experience. I guess I live a sheltered life in that regard, because my babies are home-born, not vaxed, etc., and most of my friends and family have also had home or natural births and don't make routine use of any of those other medical interventions like abx. Most of my friends even have pretty healthy diets (family not as much...). I sometimes forget my perception of reality or what the "norm" is can't be applied to the rest of the world.
Just wanted to offer a different perspective...my babes are homeborn, we use homeopathy exclusively as our medicine, they don't see conventional docs, have never seen any allopathic medicines etc. They all get bodywork (CST) from birth. I ate a fabulous diet-no grains nothing processed almost totally raw etc. and my kids all DESPERATELY needed probiotics. THey ALL have gut issues and multiple food allergies. I really think it's a prudent thing to do from birth if there are ANY questions about mamas integrity (gut wise) or history of gut problems. Just my .02
post #74 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by krankedyann View Post
Probiotics do come through breastmilk. So I personally wouldn't supplement the baby directly under 6 months at all, or under 1 if using a dairy or other allergen based probiotic, but rather give it to the mother and benefit them both.

IIRC, breastmilk was the way probiotics were first discovered.
That's true but the amounts may not be adequate. It depends on what mama is taking in, and what is taking hold in her gut to be able to pass through. And, as Jane said, all breastmilk is not equal.

Nothing was more abhorrent to me than giving my tiny baby something directly, but it was (in our case) necessary each time. In fact my dd got CLO starting at a month as well she was in such bad shape from being grown in a depleted body with undiagnosed celiac's.
post #75 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by krankedyann View Post
Absolutely. I've got two children who were born at home, never given antibiotics or formula, etc... and they still ended up with allergies because I had leaky gut. My thought processs is to avoid further allergen exposure by giving it to the mother instead of the child under 6 months. In everything I've read, science doesn't know where that line is, though, to know where the benefits outweigh the potential risks of treatment in giving it directly to the child instead of filtering it through the mother. So I err on the side of caution, but that line is different for everyone.
I hear you... but bottles and bottles of probiotics didn't help us and I doubt would help most people with the amorphous sx of "leaky gut" if that is all you did. Unfortunately tracing back to the original cause can take years, it's taken me that long to uncover my thyroid problem which can greatly effect digestion and gut flora balance. Many many mamas do not have the access, medical help, money and perserverance to undertake the long journey of healing many of us have here.

What do you think the potential risk of giving bifidobacteria to an infant would be?

A large amount of studies have shown it to be the dominent strain in healthy babes. And there is a lot of solid evidence that allergies and immune system problems are directly traceable to gut flora. I've never seen any evidence of risk of probiotic supplementation except on one extreme case with a beneficial yeast (S. Boulardii) which is not of human origin I believe. A search on Pubmed reveals probiotics in infants has been studied for years with no ill effects.

I have read volumes by now about how crucial the right gut flora is to have from day one and what exactly that means to a developing immune system. I fear that this is a very small window of opportunity that is being constantly lost.

(sorry everyone for getting a bit OT)
post #76 of 77
In the CausCaus they supplimented their babies with kefir from around 4 months , so probiotic supplimentation would be traditional. Also cultured milk in other countries was also fed to the babies. They ate tons of cultured food and that would go into the breast milk, and when they were old enough to eat it they would. I think probiotic supplimentation was just the food that they ate back then, it was what they all ate. We have gotten away from that for generations so our gut flora would not be what it was long ago.Children get their first shot of good bacteria from their moms when they go through the birth canal and the rest from breast feeding. I believe we need to make probiotics part of our food everyday not in supplimentation but in food.Before we get pregnant while and after, and then give it to our kids when they are old enough.
post #77 of 77
That's partially true. IT was also in the soil that clung to food they ate, but we have managed to denature out soil and wash it clean of any good stuff that may still be around. Traditionally they didn't take powders and capsules, that's for sure, but the world is not what it was back then. THey also weren't using medications to destroy gut flora, eating refined junk or inhaling/ingesting evironmental toxins. There are so many factors here that are our of our control (choices we made growing up and before we knew better, depletion of foods and nutrition, and environment) that supplementation may be truly necessary to some extent.
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