We Need to Talk About Your Baby’s Immune System

This post is sponsored.  This means I was asked to review or try something new, and then remunerated to share those thoughts.  Since you are reading this post, it ALSO means that I enjoyed my experience. If I hadn't thought it was worth recommending, I wouldn't have agreed to write about it. 

We Need to Talk About Your Baby's Immune System

We need to have a little talk.

It’s about your baby’s immune system.

It needs a little motivation.  A little push. After all, we want it working as hard as possible to keep your baby healthy and happy all year long.

What better motivation can we give it than to call in World-Renowned Motivational Speaker, Matt Foley?!

 

That’s an excellent question, Mr. Foley.

How do we get your baby’s immune system back on the right track?

Simple.  We do a gut check.

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics

Your baby’s digestive system has bacteria called probiotics living inside it.  Picture them as living in a miniature van, down by the river of your colon.  (I realize that’s a tad, well, gross, but stick with me.)

These bacteria campgrounds are a good thing! In fact, 70% of our Immune System is happening inside these little Good Guy Campgrounds.

Like all living organisms, however, they need to eat.  What do Probiotics eat? 

Prebiotics. (You totally knew that, didn’t you?!)

Yep.  Those Probiotic Hippies all sit around their little vans, fishing and roasting Prebiotics for dinner.

Prebiotics are carbohydrates that your body can’t digest.  Since they’re going to be (literally) flushed down the toilet anyway, the Probiotic Hippies put that waste to good use.

Happy, fat, well-fed Probiotics are more motivated to keep your gut happy. Happy Probiotics = Healthy Body.

Recent studies have shown that giving your baby probiotic supplements can really help grow those colonies and improve a wide number of health struggles, including acid reflux.  Nature’s Tummy Tamer: Using Probiotics to Help Your Fussy Baby  

So this begs the question:  Where do babies find the prebiotics those Probiotics are fishing for?  They partially find them in the form of Human Milk Oligosaccharides, or HMOs.  (Not to be confused with your health care plan.)

Those HMOs are delivered via breastmilk and are one of the “wonder ingredients” that make breastmilk so unique.  They are one of the reasons breastfed babies usually have stronger immune systems.

(If you’re formula feeding, hang with me.  I’ve got good news for you too.)

HMOs in Breastmilk

If you don’t count water, HMOs are the third most abundant solid component in breastmilk, right after fats and carbohydrates.

The most abundant type of HMO is called 2’FL HMO.  In addition to feeding probiotics in the gut, these HMOs also jump on rafts and sail through the bloodstream to reach the other 30% of the immune system around the body.

How’s that for a Power Prebiotic, eh?  It’s powerful and efficient to keep bad bacteria away from your baby, from his sweet little crown, to his tiny little toes.

Encouraging News for Formula Feeders

Abbott researchers have been studying 2’FL HMO in an effort to structurally recreate that magic and place it into infant formula.

Let me pause for a minute and let that sink in.

It means that, for the first time, infant formula will be able to get a little bit closer to the Milk Magnificant itself: breastmilk.

In a study being talked and shared in this article on WebMD, researchers followed 200 babies, comparing breastfed babies with formula-fed babies using formula with 2’FL HMO.  After six weeks, tests showed that babies using the formula with 2’FL HMO had immune markers more like the breastfed babies.

That’s progress, people!

There’s a reason why doctors tell you that breast is best.  It’s because, nutritionally speaking, it is.

But sometimes breast isn’t best for some families.  Sometimes there are factors and issues that lead to using formula instead.

It’s exciting to know that immune system supporters like these are right around the corner!  In a just a few weeks, parents will have the opportunity to move that much closer to a breastfed baby’s healthy gut.

If that doesn’t motivate those Probiotics to get moving, I don’t know what will.

Let’s get those Probiotics out of their van down by the river and onto the corporate mainstream of health!

This post was sponsored by Abbott, who has been studying HMOs for many years. They are committed to helping formula-fed babies have these immune-nourishing ingredients.  

We Need to Talk About Your Baby's Immune System


Meet Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor

Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at Incredible Infant and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007.  She's certified in baby sleep coaching (yes, that's a real thing), has served as an Expert Parenting Panelist for numerous events, and has been a featured writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, My Kid's Adventures, Cafe Mom, and others.  If it's 2am and you're desperate to read SOMETHING, click here for all her darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn't be allowed to blog.  


 

I ♥ Citations

HMOs on WebMD
Probiotics Benefits, Foods and Supplements
What are Probiotics

Comments

  1. I really appreciate your balanced approach to feeding. It is hard to find on the internet these days.

    • Thanks Jenny! I know what it feels like to be on both sides, so I try hard to be as encouraging as possible. Parenting is hard enough without tossing in extra judgments!

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