Antibiotics & Your Gut Microbiome

When a pregnant woman takes antibiotics, she’s changing her gut microbiome which is why it’s so important to only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary. Abnormal gut flora may be a major contributing factor to the rise in a wide variety of childhood diseases and ailments. Plus, things like having a c-section can also take a toll on the gut microbiome.

Antibiotic Use in Womb Shows Higher Chance of Child Developing Asthma

A Danish study of over 30,000 kids showed that children whose mothers took antibiotics during their pregnancy were more likely to develop asthma, compared to mothers who didn’t take antibiotics. The study found that children exposed to antibiotics in the womb were 17% more likely to be hospitalized for asthma before the age of five. It also showed that the more antibiotics the mother took while pregnant, the higher the risk of the child developing asthma. The mothers who had four or more antibiotic treatments during pregnancy had three times the chance of their child with asthma compared to mothers who only had one antibiotic treatment. This study also showed that if the mother currently had asthma, the child would be twice as likely to develop asthma if she took antibiotics during the 3rd trimester (compared to mothers with asthma who did not use any antibiotics).

Antibiotic Use During Pregnancy Shows Higher Risk of Child Being Obese

A study from the International Journal of Obesity followed 436 children until their 7th birthday. Compared to children who were not exposed to antibiotics during their mother’s second or third trimester, those exposed had 84% (33–154%) higher risk of obesity, after multivariable adjustment.

Disclaimer: Obviously if you’re very sick and an antibiotic is the only thing that will help you get better, please take the antibiotic. In these cases, not treating your illness could be more risky for your baby’s health than exposing him or her to an antibiotic.