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Breastfeeding Helps Baby Develop Healthy Bacteria

BySarah Yang
Updated
February 28, 2017
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Here’s another benefit to breastfeeding: It helps baby develop healthy bacteria in her gut! A new study in Genome Biology found that breastfed infants had more diverse microbes in their guts than infants who were formula-fed. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Diverse microbes? Bacteria? Isn’t that bad” It’s not. If baby has a wide range of bacteria in her gut, her immune system will be stronger. Experts say that although the microbes in breastfed babies’ guts were associated with a resistance to antibiotics, their immune systems were trained to cope by fighting off stomach bugs.

In the study, researchers analyzed stool samples from 12 infants (6 were breastfed and the other 6 were formula-fed). They looked at the genetic material in the samples to find the types of bacteria in babies’ guts. Experts believe that more research is needed to confirm the link between breastfeeding and healthier guts in babies, but that this was a good start.

Do you think breastfeeding helps baby’s immune system? Do you or did you breastfeed your baby?

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