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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Breast-Feeding is a “Good Gut” Instinct

Apr 28, 2015 05:49PM ● By Dawn Prati

Dawn Prati, a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Bambini Pediatrics in Poughkeepsie, NY

A hot topic among expectant parents these days is the microbiome—the environment inside the gut, where “good” bacteria protect the body from unwanted pathogens. So what does the microbiome have to do with babies? It turns out that breast-feeding builds a healthy microbiome in babies, which equates to fewer cases of allergies, eczema and other chronic illnesses that seem to be on the rise among some of my youngest patients.

Unlike formula, breast milk is unique to each individual child. Most people know that it contains the antibodies and fat that a baby needs, especially in those first few critical months of brain development. But it also contains many other ingredients, including oligosaccharides, that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. That’s especially important because babies are born with immature guts.

As natural as breast-feeding is, sometimes there are issues that make it a little harder for some moms and babies, such as prematurity, lip and tongue tie (a congenital tightness of connective tissues in the baby’s mouth), and mastitis (infection of the mother’s breast tissue). It is crucial for moms to have a strong support system early on so that they do not feel alone and give up breast-feeding altogether.

We at Bambini Pediatrics are committed to supporting families every step of the way. We have close ties to many of the leading lactation consultants in the area, as well as breast-feeding support groups that many of our Bambini moms attend.

Have a little one on the way? Come on in and schedule a meet-and-greet with the team at Bambini Pediatrics.

Dawn Prati, a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner at Bambini Pediatrics, is currently accepting new patients. Bambini Pediatrics is located at 207 Washington St., Ste. 103, Poughkeepsie, NY. For info, call 845.249.2510 or visit