Using “Your Baby’s Microbiome”, by Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, as our reference today, let’s take a basic look at how colostrum and mature breast milk as well as delivery method assist in establishing a healthy intestinal microbiota for infants.
Contained in both colostrum and mature breast milk is a type of carbohydrate that is indigestible by the infant, it is human milk oligosaccharide (HMO). The lactobacilli in the infant’s mouth mix with the HMOs to break down the lactose, used for production of energy. The remaining HMO ingredients feed the intestinal microbes. Mix in the microbes obtained during the birth produced by the mother’s vagina during the final portion of the pregnancy, and the bacteria begin to multiply quickly to colonize the infant’s gut. This process also prevents the replication of harmful bacteria and begins “training” the newly forming immune system.
What about those infants who are not breastfed? It is well documented that artificial infant milk is “missing critical components such as hormones, antibodies, anti-inflammatory substances, specific strains of microbes, and the HMOs that feed the infant’s gut microbes”, Harman and Wakeford, p. 62. Formula provides nutrition for the infant, but does not even closely resemble human milk, and could even be introducing bacteria to the infant that are not normally found in the newborn gut, impacting the immature immune system.
The delivery type can also make microbial changes. Vaginal delivery provides the specific microbes for the infant’s colonization of the gut and the training of the developing immune system. Surgical deliveries, though, innately bring with them several factors that can have a different effect altogether.
Breast milk varies from feeding to feeding, week to week, month to month, and according to the needs of the infant, no matter the age. Infants will make their “microbial needs” known to the mother through both the intra-mammary pathway and the respiratory pathway. These, then program the maternal creation of the antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-infective properties to increase content in her milk, thus providing an ongoing and interactive source of protection to her infant.
Kathy Parkes, MSN-Ed, BSPsy, RN, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA
Professional Development Educator
Harman, T. and Wakeford, A. (2017). Your Baby’s Microbiome: The critical role of vaginal birth and breastfeeding for lifelong health. White River Junction, VT. Chelsea Green Publishing.
When you visit the Site, we automatically collect certain information about your device, including information about your web browser, IP address, time zone, and some of the cookies that are installed on your device. Additionally, as you browse the Site, we collect information about the individual web pages or products that you view, what websites or search terms referred you to the Site, and information about how you interact with the Site. We refer to this automatically-collected information as Device Information."
We collect Device Information using the following technologies:
Additionally when you make a purchase or attempt to make a purchase through the Site, we collect certain information from you, including your name, billing address, shipping address, payment information (including credit card numbers), email address, and phone number. We refer to this information as "Order Information."
We use the Order Information that we collect generally to fulfill any orders placed through the Site (including processing your payment information, arranging for shipping, and providing you with invoices and/or order confirmations). Additionally, we use this Order Information to:
We use Student Access Information to provide accurate tracking to Users and Clients on completion and use of the courses, as well as for analysis on how to improve our services.
We use the Device Information that we collect to help us screen for potential risk and fraud (in particular, your IP address), and more generally to improve and optimize our Site (for example, by generating analytics about how our customers browse and interact with the Site, and to assess the success of our marketing and advertising campaigns).
We share your Personal Information with third parties to help us use your Personal Information, as described above. For example, with your employer who needs to verify your completion or progress of your studies. We also use Google Analytics to help us understand how our customers use the Site--you can read more about how Google uses your Personal Information here: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/. You can also opt-out of Google Analytics here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
Finally, we may also share your Personal Information to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to respond to a subpoena, search warrant or other lawful request for information we receive, or to otherwise protect our rights.
As described above, we use your Personal Information to provide you with targeted advertisements or marketing communications we believe may be of interest to you. For more information about how targeted advertising works, you can visit the Network Advertising Initiative's ("NAI") educational page at https://www.networkadvertising.org/understanding-online-advertising/how-does-it-work.
You can opt out of targeted advertising by:
Additionally, you can opt out of some of these services by visiting the Digital Advertising Alliance's opt-out portal at: http://optout.aboutads.info.
Please note that we do not alter our Site's data collection and use practices when we see a Do Not Track signal from your browser.
If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information we hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. If you would like to exercise this right, please contact us through the contact information below.
Additionally, if you are a European resident we note that we are processing your information in order to fulfill contracts we might have with you (for example if you make an order through the Site), or otherwise to pursue our legitimate business interests listed above. Additionally, please note that your information will be transferred outside of Europe, including to Canada and the United States.
When you place an order through the Site, we will maintain your Order Information and Student Access Information for our records unless and until you ask us to delete this information. We are required to keep course completion records for at least 5 years in order to comply with certain accreditation requirements.
For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail using the details provided below:
5890 Monkland Avenue, #16, Montreal, QC, H4A 1G2, Canada
Last Updated: September 2018