Newborn`s Intestinal Flora

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Newborn`s Intestinal Flora

  Autor NN Team Data: 30.04.2009

Newborn`s Intestinal Flora

Intestinal flora, i.e., all microorganisms that populates the digestive system begins to form during delivery, is enriched in the first days of life and balance in the first months of the child. The foetus has sterile digestive system, no bacteria colonizes it. But these bacteria have an important role in good health, so populating the intestine begins at birth, when the child takes the mother's bacteria from the vagina and cervix. This will continue in the early days, if the little gets colostrums, but he will get bacteria from the air also and from the people that take care of him. Why is this bacterial flora of the gut so important? It has several functions. Plays a role in immunity, representing the first barrier to pathogens that enter the body through the digestive system, aids digestion and the proper functioning of the intestines.

Intestinal flora contains not only "friendly" bacteria but also harmful bacteria because their penetration in the body is inevitable. But normally, the good bacteria keep under control the bad ones. Problems arise when the good bacteria are attacked by certain chemicals, or by various other reasons cannot face the avalanche of harmful bacteria. In this way alimentary toxic infections and intestinal flora imbalances appear.

Cases that can destroy the balance of bacterial flora are diverse:

  • Changes in eating: weaning, diversification, change of the formula.
  • Significant changes of the temperature (when the weather heats up suddenly).
  • environmental changes (when travelling to a distant place, the digestive system 'meets' other bacteria that are not common and imbalances occur, even if those new bacteria are not harmful. That is what is called "Traveller's diarrhoea", which is much more common in children than in adults.) Less seldom we are travelling to remote places with so small a child, but it is good to know this aspect.
  • Food infections
  • Antibiotics. They are designed to eliminate harmful bacteria, but can kill the good ones also, creating intestinal imbalances. As a result of these factors, bacterial flora of the bowel loses its balance, which translates as diarrhoea or constipation, intestinal gas, bloating, cramps.

To protect the delicate bacterial balance of the digestive system, we can administer the child probiotics when necessary ('good' bacteria which is found in foods or food supplements), prebiotics (substances that feed the 'good' bacteria, found, in turn, in food or pills) or symbiotic (combination of prebiotics and probiotics).

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