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Gut Health Preconception
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine said, “All Diseases Begins in the GUT.”
The gut is the stomach, large and small intestines. It can loosely be viewed as a tube separate from the body that runs from the month to the anus. The gut has many roles including protection from invaders, appropriate digestion and absorption, vitamin production, detoxification, and immune system modulation. Damage to the gut flora can be caused by antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, pharmaceuticals, stress, poor diet, infections, disease, bottle feeding formula, old age, pollution, radiation, alcohol, toxic chemicals, dental work, and more.
How does the gut impact preconception Health?
Babies acquire gut flora from their parents. The belief that the womb is a sterile environment has now been found to be false. Various studies have shown bacteria to be found in the umbilical cord blood of healthy babies at birth, and in the amniotic fluid, and in the meconium of newborns. There is thought to be a mother to child transfer of bacteria through the placenta. Also bacteria is now thought to pass through the amniotic sac, so it is possible that vaginal bacteria may pass to the baby once the cervix is open thus exposing the baby to both the mom’s and dad’s flora found in the woman’s vagina. (1,2)
A baby gets its bacteria from its mother before birth and in the case of a vaginal birth through the mother’s vaginal passage, which shares her partner’s microbial bacteria. If the mom has healthy microbial bacteria she will pass along healthy microbial bacteria to her baby. If the mom has unhealthy microbial bacteria or toxins or infections these will be passed to her baby as well.
Why is this so important?
The bacteria of the mom is the foundation of the baby's gut flora and immune system. If the mother's gut flora is abnormal the child’s will be as well.
Donna Gates describes the foundation of our gut flora, which starts in the womb. As the mother's cervix dilates then the bacteria from the vagina starts to mix with the amniotic fluid. If there are healthy bacteria the baby is inoculated and this is the foundation in its gut. If the baby is breast fed then its first food is colostrum. Many animals must have colostrum in order to live.
Babies are born with an open gut (leaky gut). This allows the colostrum’s protein, peptides, and transferfacterin to get into the baby’s blood and begin to give the baby what he needs to protect him and build his immunity. The first colostrum does not have sugar in it, but at around six hours colostrum begins to have sugar which starts to build a mucus that closes the gut wall. This colostrum, along with the microbes the baby has already inherited or encountered, is the foundation for its inner ecosystem. If breastfeeding is continued, breast milk, the perfect food, feeds and further develops this inner mucosal lining. This is the body’s way of immunizing the baby to protect it from disease. (3)
A large portion of the immune system is right outside of the gut and the microflora helps support the inner ecosystem. Our body actually immunizes us through the inner ecosystem of the gut.
Microflora is in communication with our enteric nervous system, or the second brain, all the time. Our neurotransmitters are manufactured in our intestines. Microflora breaks down foods so we can digest them. If foods are not digested they do not do what they are supposed to. Microflora produce vitamins B and K, extract minerals from our food, and retain the minerals to build mineral rich blood. Alkaline blood prevents pathogens from growing in the blood. Minerals keep the blood alkaline.
If a mom has unhealthy gut flora she will, before birth and during a vaginal birth, pass that on to her baby. The baby born by c-section has very little flora. This baby’s flora then can become damaged further by repeated courses of antibiotics, formula, and toxins. (4)
Dr. Campbell-McBride explains that children born with damaged gut flora are more susceptible to disease. For children who do not develop normal gut flora, instead of the digestive system nourishing them it is a source of toxicity. Pathogenic microbes inside the digestive tract damage the gut wall allowing toxins and microbes to flood into the bloodstream and into the brain of the child. This often happens when breastfeeding has ceased as breast milk provides a protection against abnormal gut flora. Children whose brains are clogged due to toxicity miss important stages of learning and development. If these children are then given vaccines they may develop symptoms of autism and other pervasive developmental disorders and digestive disorders such as asthma, allergies, skin problems and auto immune disorders. (5)
Studies show that as many as 85 percent of women have a vaginal infection when they give birth and pass on dangerous pathogens to their newborn babies instead of the beneficial bacteria that create a foundation for wellness. What’s more is many women do not even realizes they have a vaginal infection. Because a woman’s immune system is lowered in pregnancy and her blood sugars rise due to higher progesterone levels, it is more common to have a yeast infection in pregnancy. (6,7)
Group B Strep (GBS) rates are higher in women with vaginitis: a lower immune system and unhealthy gut flora increase the chance of vaginal infections such as candida, Bacteria Vaginosis (BV) and trichomonas vaginalis which may increase your chance of being GBS positive. (8)
Women are routinely tested for GBS, and if they test positive they are given IV antibiotics in labor. Studies have shown that using penicillin specific to GBS reduce infection in newborns and does not wipe out ALL gut flora. Still it is much better to prevent overgrowth of GBS before hand by eliminating any systemic infection in the gut and vaginal passage. Antibiotics are a tool to be used sparingly because most of them do wipe out the good vaginal flora along with the bad pathogens, robbing the baby of the first gulp of probiotic rich flora as it is born, the foundation of health!
Many people blame vaccines for autism and learning disorders. Vaccines are harmful when they are given to an ecosystem that is already struggling because of an unhealthy inner ecosystem. Yes, there are times when antibiotics are necessary, but how much better to start a step before this, even before pregnancy, and create a beautiful, healthy inner ecosystem that will also populate your vagina and thus lower your chances of having GBS and of being asked/required to do antibiotics in labor. It is possible to lower GBS rates in pregnancy but that is another blog.
For many women, candida is not just in their vaginal passage but is systemic. One study showed that up to 70% of people have a systemic candida infection. Systemic means that it is all over the body. Candida has the ability to pass through mucus membranes and can show up in different areas of the body causing different symptoms. (9)
The inner ecosystem in your intestines determines what you are going to digest. If mother did not pass on to you bacteria that digests dairy, you are not going to be able to digest dairy products. People need to create the inner ecosystem to digest the foods they want and/or need to eat. You can eliminate lactose intolerance by healing your gut and introducing the right microbes.
Before conception is the best time to diagnose and treat any pathogenic infections in the body so that you do not pass them on to your baby. This is true for men as well as women as many pathogens can be passsed back and forth between partners. These are just a few examples of the importance of gut health and how it can affect your pregnancy and your newborn’s health.
If you are interested in creating a healthy gut I recommend working with me and running an excellent pathogen test called the GI Map. It is an FDA approved DNA/PCR assay test for detecting pathogens. Make Appointment
To learn more about Fermentation and creating a healthy gut check out Body Ecology Course Fermentatoin Course. You can use my affiliate link here: Fermentation Course.
To really understand Gut Health I Highly Recommend Gut and Psychology by Dr. Natasha McBride.
3. Understanding The Leaky Gut from the Body Ecology Lecture Series. Copy write 2003 body ecology all rights reserved.
4. The Benefits of a Probiotic Diet from the Body Ecology Lecture Series. Copy write 2003 body ecology all rights reserved.
9. "Biologists ID Defense Mechanism of Leading Fungal Pathogen." EurekAlert!
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