Breastfeeding and Gut Bacteria

January 8, 2019 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff

The Question: Do bacteria found in mother’s breast milk and on her areola contribute to her infant’s gut bacteria?

The Study: The study recruited 107 mother-infant pairs during the first year of the infant’s life. The bacterial composition of the breast milk and areolar area and the infant’s stool was determined.

The Results: The bacteria in the infant’s stool was closely associated with the bacteria of the mother’s breast milk and areolar area. As a control, the researchers compared the infant’s bacteria to that of a woman not their mother and found no correlation.

Comment: This study adds to the body of evidence that breastfeeding infants is a contributing factor in the health of infants.

Read More: JAMA Pediatrics, 07/17