The live active cultures found in yogurt and probiotics have been shown to promote healthy gut bacteria in adults, with positive effects on digestion and bowel regularity.
A new study suggests that consumption of probiotics by mothers may also be beneficial for their breastfeeding babies.
In a study of 57 moms, those that took a daily probiotic supplement had higher levels of iron, calcium and other nutrients in their breast milk than those that did not. Their babies also gained slightly more weight. The experimental group was supplemented with two synbiotic capsules containing different probiotic strains 30 minutes after dinner for 30 days.
UCLA physician Stephanie Canale recommends breastfeeding mothers take a probiotic, such as PRO-Women from Hyberbiotics.
For mothers who want to see how their diet affects their breastfeeding babies, Dr. Canale has developed a simple breast milk test that measures levels of iron and calcium and other nutrients.
“I developed these tests as I was concerned about my own breastfed baby gaining weight fast enough. Now we are delighted to offer these tests to any breastfeeding mother, from the comfort of their own home.”