After the plethora of antibiotics prescribed in the 80s and 90s, it’s now common to see posters in pediatrician offices reminding care providers and parents that antibiotics do not help a cold, they are ineffective against viruses, and they are to be used with caution.
The overuse of antibiotics has left moms with poor gut flora. Antibiotics damage your normal gut flora, which leave your body open to become imbalanced with pathogenic yeasts, bacteria, and other microorganisms.
Antibiotics also create super bugs. When they’re overused, the bacteria that once responded to them quickly become more resistant.
Antibiotics do have their place, and we are fortunate to live in a time where they exist. When you’re dealing with an infection, especially in a vulnerable infant or mother who has just had an exhausting childbirth or surgical birth that made her susceptible to bacterial infection, antibiotics can be a life-saving intervention.
After you’ve had antibiotics, it’s important to replenish your good flora to help prevent what is called secondary infection and other conditions associated with poor gut flora like digestive upset, leaky gut, and even food allergies.
If antibiotics are taken it’s important to rebuild healthy flora after your good bacteria have just been wiped out along with the bad. Here are some things that can help you to get started recolonizing your gut as quickly as possible:
- Take probiotics while you take the antibiotics (though it’s likely that the antibiotics will wipe them out, they may help prevent secondary infection). Good quality probiotics can be found in your health food store in the refrigerated section, this is the brand I use (and a caution about using these high-powered probiotics here)
- Continue taking probiotics after discontinuing your antibiotics, for at least a week.
- Consume naturally fermented foods with live cultures with every meal. This includes yogurt, milk kefir, kombucha, Bubbie’s pickles, and real (live) sauerkraut.
- Consume chicken or beef stock daily. This helps rebuild the gut, which often is damaged with antibiotics, and provides essential amino acids that your body needs.
- Limit sugars as much as possible and focus on eating especially nutrient dense foods after a period of taking probiotics to give your body the nutrition it needs to make a complete recovery.
- Drink filtered water, avoid chlorinated water that can prevent the good bacteria from populating.
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