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Monday, July 21, 2014

Babies + Drinking Water = ?? Is there a need? What happens if we give water to our baby?

I have been asked and have dealt with this question so many times and would like to repeat again. It is absolutely important and has been proven now scientifically. NO, your baby does not need water and parents are to avoid giving water to babies to avoid disrupting the Gut Flora of a baby.

** Please see the below references. For further reading, kindly click on the below since I think these are important and I would only get an excerpt to respect the writers/reports of the articles of the below.**

First of all…What is the Virgin Gut Flora? ~ take it from The Alpha Parent

"The gut of a baby is immunologically and microbiologically naive at birth. In non-fancy speak: it is near-sterile (Palmer et al 2007; Reinhardt 2009). Another important characteristic of the newborn gut is that, until around 6 months of age, it is "open". This means the spaces between the cells of the small intestine will allow large molecules to pass directly into their bloodstream. Consequently, as well as the beneficial antibodies in breastmilk passing into baby's bloodstream, allergy-triggering proteins from other foods, disease-causing pathogens and other 'nasties' can also pass through.

Further information on Gut Flora can be read here - Wikipedia.

Does my baby need water? ~ from
"Exclusively breastfed babies do not need additional water – breastmilk is 88% water and supplies all the fluids that your baby needs. Even in the first few days after birth, before mom’s milk has “come in”, colostrum is all that is needed to keep baby well hydrated (assuming baby is nursing effectively).

Exclusively breastfed babies do not require additional water even when it is very hot outside, as long as baby is allowed to nurse as needed. Even in extremely hot, dry weather your baby can get all the liquids needed via breastmilk. A number of research studies investigating the need for water in exclusively breastfed babies were done in various locations (both humid and dry) at temperatures ranging from 22-41°C (71.6-105.8°F) and 9-96% relative humidity...these studies concluded that exclusive breastfeeding provides all the fluids needed."

More about water, babies and Virgin Gut Flora. ~The Alpha Parent
“Mother’s milk, being the only mammalian food shaped by natural selection, is the Rosetta stone
for all food,” said Bruce German, a food scientist at the University of California. “And what it’s telling us is that when natural selection creates a food, it is concerned not just with feeding the child but the child’s gut bugs too.”

For instance, some of the sugars found in breastmilk promote the development of a substance called Lactobacillus bifidus, which makes the gut more acidic, thus helping to stop harmful bacteria from growing. Another substance found in breastmilk - Lactoferrin - binds with iron in your baby, thus starving harmful bacteria of the iron they need to multiply.

Furthermore, recent research has linked a component of breast milk called oligosaccharides (HMO for short) to the maintenance of the perfect virgin gut. Here's how it works: when HMO passes to the large intestines it produces short-chain fatty acids which beneficial bacteria feed on. This helps to maintain a healthy population of microbial in the infant's intestines.

"As the baby grows older and its digestive patterns change, the breast milk automatically regulates the bacterial levels to maintain a healthy balance that suits the baby's evolving needs" (Khalfan Al Ghazal 2012)…For instance, one study found at 1 month of age, beneficial bacteria (in particular, the Bifidobacteria strain) were more prevalent and present in higher numbers among exclusively breastfed babies than their formula-fed or mixed-fed counterparts (Penders et. al 2006). These beneficial bacteria strengthen the immune system so that in the long term it can fend off chronic health problems like food allergies and asthma (Donovan 2012; Chapkin 2012). The virgin gut is indeed, so important, that Peggy Neville, one of the foremost researchers on human milk and several other major scholars in their recently released "blue paper" asserted that it is "likely to be a critical determinant of infant immune function" (Neville et al 2012). Other researchers agree...

“The initial colonisation of the intestine is a moment of pivotal importance in long-term health, playing a profound role in imprinting of immune and systematic homeostasis” (Russel 2006).
“The nature of mucosal microflora acquired in early infancy has been proven to be critical in the determination of mucosal immune response and tolerance (Gronlund et al 2000; Ogra and Welliver 2008).”

The scientific world has agreed on this also. ~ National Geographic
"“We now recognize more and more that factors in breast milk influence the gut microbiota, which in turn sets up the immune system to have fewer chronic illnesses later in life..."

Entero-Mammary Pathway~ ScienceDirect
Symbionts Are Everywhere: Our microvilli produce siliac acid and fucose (9- and 6-carbon sugars) at the tips for commensal gut flora to feast and graze on. I call it 'pharming the gut'. Again, like much of life on earth -- hominids, insects, fish, frogs, mammals -- we have evolved with gut symbionts, encouraging them to take residence and producing incentives for their maintenance. We should strive to avoid screwing our symbionts...
The baby-mother relationship is another example of the ultimate symbiosis.
Babies receive everything from mom -- life, love, heat, immunity (IgM), food, and water. It's one of the most symbiotic relationships on earth outside of pair-bonded couples and tight knit families and communities. The baby is born sterile with no immune system, relying on mother's immunoglobulins to handle environmental viral or microbial assaults. If advanced hominids and other mammals outsourced 70-80% of its immune system to gut microbiota, what does the timeline for acquisition of gut flora look like in babies?

Kindly take heed and this is important. I saw the difference in both my kids.