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Antibiotics May Blunt Breastfeeding Benefits

Author: Dr Scott Pendergraft
by Dr Scott Pendergraft
Posted: Jul 12, 2016

Summary: Breast feeding the infants is essential for their immunity and metabolism. Antibiotics however can degrade the growth of immunity in infants.

Pregnancy medication includes antibiotics to keep the mother and baby safe from diseases during early weeks. However a recent study shows that the benefits of breast feeding can be dampened with the use of antibiotics in early stages of pregnancy.

In this research it is claimed that early administration of antibiotics on mothers who are breast feeding are more prone to obesity and infections. Interesting thing is that it is always believed that antibiotics are necessary to keep the young ones from catching infections of any kind. But now you need to be careful and proactive towards use of any antibiotic as such.

How Breast Feeding Helps?

Breast milk is not only the perfect source for essential nutrients but also transfers bacteria (necessary gut bacteria) and some specific sugars from mother to the infant. These transferred bacteria are the source of growth of gut bacteria in babies. The growth of intestinal bacteria is one of the most important benefits of breast feeding. However use of antibiotics hinders this growth.

The microbiota growth in infants is necessary to build up their metabolism and immunity later on in life. Use of antibiotics disrupts this biological development in kids and also offers some long term side effects. According to many gynecologists early use of antibiotics is known to modify the microflora growth in infants unfavorably. This can have lifelong consequences even on those babies who are breast fed for long.

Development of Obesity

The intestinal bacteria are regulators of fatty acid production in the body. They also influence how gut handles the feeling of fullness. This is why disrupt intestinal bacterial growth can affect development of obesity. Not just limited to these side effects, this kind of dysfunction can also result in bloodstream inflammation and onset of obesity related disorders like metabolic syndrome and fatty liver disease.

It is an established fact that babies who are breast fed have better ability to fight immunity as well as boosted mental development. Another important distinction among kids who are not breast fed is that they lack important microbiota like gut bacteria which is important for better immunity and metabolism.

A study carried on 113 babies found that those who were never given antibiotics during the period of breast feeding struggled with fewer infections later on. Also the weight was lower in such kids as compared to those who were breast fed but also were on antibiotics of some kind.


As a conclusion, experts suggest that infants should not be given antibiotics for every infection or fever. Also make sure the infant is not suffering from any viral infection as antibiotics are useless in virus caused infections. Breast feeding can be helpful in preventing obesity in kids later on in their life by giving them enhanced metabolism and improving their gut bacteria population.

If you are breast feeding your baby it is suggested that for maximum benefits you avoid any antibiotics referred in baby’s medication. Also, consult your doctor to seek better alternatives.

Resource Box: Tampa Abortion Clinic. Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women's Center in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women, including abortions, physical examinations, family planning and counseling. Abortion Clinic.

About the Author

Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women's Center in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women.

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Author: Dr Scott Pendergraft

Dr Scott Pendergraft

Member since: Mar 31, 2015
Published articles: 61

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