Australian research has discovered the risks to your baby if you take antibiotics while pregnant.
Research reveals there is a 20 per cent increased risk of your baby or child being hospitalised for an infection, reports ABC news.
Professor David Burgner from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute conducted the study, which looked at data from more than 750,000 pregnancies from 1997 to 2009 in Denmark.
Scientists crosschecked birth records with the mother’s antibiotic use, and hospital admissions of children with infections.
“We found children born to mothers who were prescribed antibiotics during pregnancy may have up to a 20 per cent higher risk of being hospitalised with infection,” he said.
They found the more antibiotics the mum took and the closer it was to the delivery date, the greater the risk.
“Males were at higher risk of infection if their mothers had taken antibiotics and the increased risk for both genders persisted throughout childhood,” he said.
“We are not saying to pregnant women ‘don’t take antibiotics’, just that they should be used carefully in pregnancy,” Professor Burgner said.
Lead author Dr Jessica Miller said researchers were not exactly sure of the cause of the higher risk.
They said it could be that the antibiotics impact the make-up of the bacteria in the mother’s gut, known as the gut microbiome.
“Impact on the gut microbiome could increase the susceptibility to infections in early childhood, possibly by suboptimal development,” she said.
The way the baby is born also made a difference, with vaginally born babies at a slightly higher risk of developing infections.
Australian Medical Association president and obstetrician Dr Michael Gannon said doctors could not stop giving pregnant women antibiotics.
“Pregnant women do need to take antibiotics for infections such urinary tract infections, or if they’re having surgical procedures,” he said.
“But it’s highly plausible that antibiotics could change the mother’s bacteria.”
Late last year another study found that the bacteria in a mother’s gut before and during pregnancy can influence the future health of her children. Read more on that HERE.
The research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
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