Restoring microbiome health after antibiotics.

By NewbornBaby  30 August 2022 

Image courtesy of NewbornBaby

In an uninterrupted physiological birth, babies are naturally exposed to their mother’s gut microbiome, first in the birth canal (specific vagina flora and some fecal flora), and then via skin and breast milk after birth.

In modern obstetrics there are many exposures to antibiotics and other interventions which can interrupt this natural colonisation process.

Antibiotics are very commonly used in pregnancy, labour, and birth, and are routinely administered in a C-section delivery.

With close to 50% C-section rates as well as antibiotics being used for common pregnancy health issues such as UTIs, GBS, and early membrane rupture, we are seeing health related consequences in both mum and baby.

Although at times necessary and lifesaving, they can have short and long-term consequences for the microbiome of both the mother and baby. Here you will find out what can compromise yours and your baby’s microbiome, and what you can do to restore it.

Most common things that compromise a mother and her baby’s microbiome during pregnancy, birth, and infancy:

  • Antibiotic exposure – at any time prior to or during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, or direct to infant.
  • Exposure to stress, environmental toxins, and a poor diet (high in processed foods and low in fresh, wholefoods).
  • Birth Interventions: C-section, GBS positive, synthetic oxytocin induction or epidural can reduce exposure to the ‘good’ birth canal and ‘mum’ microbes AND in-turn result in exposure to antibiotics and ‘abnormal’ hospital pathogens.
  • Lack of breastmilk, and exposure to Formula: Antibiotics and the ‘cascade of intervention’ is associated with breastfeeding complications and an increased likelihood of formula use within the first 6 months of the recommended exclusive breastfeeding period. Antibiotics also increase the likelihood of suffering mastitis by 25 times, and mastitis is a common reason for mums to stop breastfeeding.

More about breastmilk

After the initial exposure to a mum’s microbiome during birth, breastfeeding becomes the most significant factor shaping the infants developing microbiome until they wean.

Breastmilk contains all the components specifically designed to modify and nurture a babies developing microbiome.

Lack of breastmilk, exposure to antibiotics and formula impacts the baby’s microbiome at a crucial time and contributes to many common complications for mum and bub, such as:

  • Breastfeeding complications like mastitis, poor flow, supply issues, blebs, blocked ducts, and nipple thrush.
  • Colic, reflux, and digestive issues for bub.
  • Increases the likelihood of allergies and intolerances as an infant AND later in life.
  • Can contribute to lifetime disease risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and immune disorders.

What you can do to help restore the microbiome after antibiotics

  • Breastfeed exclusively if you can and for as long as you can.
  • Eat a plant-based wholefood diet (rich in PREbiotics and polyphenols to support a health microbiome).
  • Avoid stress and toxins.
  • If using formula add PRE & PRObiotics.
  • Use PRE & PRObiotics for mum and baby.

How probiotics can help mother and baby

Probiotic use can be especially important if you or bubs are required to take antibiotics for any reason as they can help restore the ‘beneficial flora’ which are also impacted during and post a course of antibiotics (think of it as the ‘collateral damage’).

Probiotics help restore the gut and breastmilk microbiome, improve baby’s gastrointestinal health and improve breastfeeding outcomes – including reducing the likelihood of mastitis.

The evidence-based strains (Lactobacillus Fermentum CECT5716) found in products such as QIARA, is one of the only strains that has ‘maternal transfer’. This means, when taken by mum, the probiotic passes from her gut into her breastmilk and through to the baby during feeding.

Probiotics also help to improve all breastfeeding outcomes by…

  • increasing breastmilk beneficial flora, which helps relieve and prevent mild mastitis.
  • Reducing inflammation in the gut and breast.
  • Improving the health and function of the breast tissue.
  • Benefiting baby’s gut and immune health immediately AND via extending breastfeeding duration.

Probiotics such as Qiara are an important consideration for this life stage and especially important for mitigating the side effects of antibiotics for both mum and baby.


Qiara is a family of breastmilk isolated probiotics for pregnancy, breastfeeding, infant, kid and adult. Supporting lifelong gut health with our awarded brand, most highly rated “Vitamin and Supplement” for Mum at @TellmebabyAU 2020 and 2021. Evidence-based for 7 health outcomes including : reducing mild mastitis, restore gut flora after antibiotic recovery, restoring good bacteria after csection, supporting immunity, improve good bacteria growth and supporting gastrointestinal health. Read over 2000 brand reviews and probiotic insights @Qiaraprobiotics : Buy online