Dr. Rakel shares what pregnant women should know about probiotics.
I would first encourage pregnant mothers to develop a healthy eco system for the baby who is going to be coming through their birth canal. We do know that if moms need, and sometimes they do, if they are group B strep positive they need the antibiotics around delivery to prevent that transmission, that infection to the baby, but if unfortunately they do need that antibiotic and they do need a C-section and they decide not to breast feed, we are not giving the baby the bacteria it needs to create a healthy balanced immune system that might affect their health later on.
So if a mother does need a C-section or cannot breast feed or does have antibiotics around the time of delivery I would actually encourage them to use a probiotic and there’s two main families – lactobacillus and bifidobacter. We generally get, this is over simplification, but we general get lactobacillus as a baby comes through the birth canal and we get bifidobacter from feeding on the breast. And the baby is born with a sterile environment. We inoculate them with that healthy bacteria as they come into this world through that pathway or through feeding on the breast.
So remember, do as nature taught us, you know, that is always the rule that we shall always fall back on. Nature intended that to happen because it’s giving us what we need to live a healthy life in the future for our children. So I think starting with creating that opportunity for the baby to have that when it passes through that birth canal as ideal, sometimes probiotics are needed in high-risk situations.
About Dr. Rakel, M.D.:
Dr. David Rakel, M.D., attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and completed a family practice residency in Greeley, Colorado. He spent the next five years in rural practice as one of two physicians staffing a 14 bed hospital in Driggs, Idaho. As medical director for Grand Targhee Ski resort in Wyoming, he developed an interest in sports medicine and received his Certificate of Added Qualification in 1999.
Dr. Rakel completed a two year fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona from 1999-2001. He joined the University of Wisconsin Department of Family Medicine in 2001 where he teaches and practices, and is the medical director for the University of Wisconsin Health Integrative Medicine. Dave is board certified in family medicine, holistic medicine and sports medicine. He is also certified in Interactive Guided Imagery.