Fast-forward toand bacteria are not viewed as contaminants but as ubiquitous and possibly important ingredients of breast milk. Special carbohydrates in breast milk, such as free oligosaccharides or glycans attached to proteins, then selectively nurture the good bacteria. Far from contaminating, breast milk bacteria may be instrumental in getting the gut off to a good start.
The human milk is fundamental for a correct development of newborns, as it is a source not only of vitamins and nutrients, but also of commensal bacteria. Bacteria located in both colostrum and mature milk can stimulate the anti-inflammatory response, by stimulating the production of specific cytokines, reducing the risk of developing a broad range of inflammatory diseases and preventing the expression of immune-mediated pathologies, such as asthma and atopic dermatitis. The first milk produced by mothers after the delivery is called colostrum and it is biochemically and functionally different from the mature milk Castellote et al.
When you think about it, breast milk is an evolutionary guarantee that our offspring will survive—and thrive—long term, which is why the health benefits of breastfeeding are extensive. This is why one of the first questions that I ask a new patient is whether she or he was breastfed as an infant. Breastfeeding for at least one year has also been linked to better mental health, including less depression and stress-related and behavioral issues—through age fourteen, though I would argue that this benefit extends into adulthood.
A large-scale analysis in humans reveals that indirect breastfeeding using pumped milk is associated with the depletion of oral bacteria and a higher abundance of potential pathogens compared with direct breastfeeding at the breast. The results will inspire new research about breastfeeding and human milk, especially related to pumping. Although previously considered sterile, breastmilk is now known to contain a low abundance of bacteria. While the complexities of how maternal microbiota influence the infant microbiota are still unknown, this complex community of bacteria in breastmilk may help to establish the infant gut microbiota.
Credit: Getty Images. What that means for infant health is unclear, scientists say. Infant formula makers design it to mimic human breast milk not only in nutrients but also by nurturing a similar set of microbes in the digestive tract.
Breast milk is the milk produced by the breasts or mammary glands of a human female to feed a child. Milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to eat and digest other foods; older infants and toddlers may continue to be breastfedin combination with other foods from six months of age when solid foods should be introduced. In preterm children who do not have the ability to suck during their early days of life, the use of cups to feed expressed milk and other supplements is reported to result in better breastfeeding extent and duration subsequently than bottles and tubes.
The human milk microbiotaalso known as human milk probioticsrefers to the microbiota community of microorganisms residing in the human mammary glands and breast milk. The human milk microbiota which could be source of commensalmutualisticand potentially probiotic bacteria to the infant gut microbiota. Breast milk is a natural source of lactic acid bacteria for the newborn through breastfeedingand may be considered a symbiotic food.
Children born by cesarean section are also more likely to become obeseor to develop autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and asthma. Lately, scientists have identified another major contributor to the infant microbiome. Pumped milk still carries most other riches of breast milk. Nevertheless, this news about the microbiome, emerging from studies done in the past few years, taps into a fraught issue for many women: medical recommendations and societal pressure to breast-feed, combined with policies, or physical problems, that often make it all but impossible to do so.
Steven Townsend does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. A variety of factors, such as mode of delivery cesarean or vaginal birth and antibiotic useinfluence this population of bacteria. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends exclusively breastfeeding babies for the first six months of life when possible.
Breast milk from nursing moms who pump could have lower levels of good bacteria and higher levels of potentially harmful bacteria, according to a new study. The long-term project is a collaboration to explore the effects of genetics and environmental factors on participants' health over time. For this study, researchers analyzed breast milk samples from the mothers to see what microbes they contained. Breast milk was previously thought to be sterile, but it does contain bacteria, the authors wrote in the paper.