Fermented Foods in Pregnancy

Why are fermented foods so important in pregnancy?

When a child is still in the womb, there are no bacteria inside.  All the bacteria that line the skin and intestines come from the birth canal of the mother (if born vaginally) or from the hospital (if born via cesarean birth). Next, breastfeeding is the source of microbes. For the first 21 days of life, the infant has an open door policy regarding which microbes will become settlers. Therefore, the quality of the bacteria of the mother, by-and-large dictates that of the child.

When a baby is fussy often, or has colic, it is likely that there is a less than optimal profile of bacteria forming in the GI tract (intestines), causing indigestion and pain. These babies are more likely to be unhappy in their bodies.  They are more likely to suffer from rashes, and develop asthma and allergies as they develop. They are more likely to have exhausted parents.

I also believe that the more recent regressive type of autism, ADHD and other neurological diseases are a result of bacterial imbalance.  This is due, in part, to the “bad” bacteria releases toxic by-products that irritate and damage the nervous system over time.  Thus, I believe autism is a multi-factorial illness that occurs in children who have pathogenic bacteria and yeasts thriving in their intestines, causing widespread problems in the immune system.  Add 26 vaccines in the first 36  months of life to a compromised immune system and you get the perfect storm we are currently naming Autism.  Many children with autism improve on a wheat-free, dairy-free diet.  However, what is the most important ingredient for recovery is strengthening the population of beneficial flora in the body.  Please search Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride‘s work to learn more about this.

For all these reasons and more, I believe that all pregnant women (and especially women who are not yet pregnant!) should consider a comprehensive stool test to explore the “floral landscape” residing within.  If spending $200 on a comprehensive stool test is not possible, then proceed straight to supplementation with fermented foods.

The single most valuable way to support your child, is to avoid stressors, rest appropriately when pregnant, eat well and eat fermented foods with every meal.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg August 9, 2011 at 3:56 am

Can you recommend any other reading/websites on this topic? I’d love to read more.

redblossom September 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Look for Natasha Campbell McBride’s book on GAPS (Gut & Psychology Syndrome). She’s amazing! I think it’s in my resource list?

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