Antibiotics May Weaken Baby’s Immune System When Taken During Pregnancy

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Feb 10, 2017 09:40 AM EST

MIAMI - AUGUST 07: Bottles of antibiotics line a shelf at a Publix Supermarket pharmacy August 7, 2007 in Miami, Florida. Publix has decided to start giving away seven commonly prescribed antibiotics for free. The oral antibiotics will be available at no cost to any customers with a prescription as often as they need it. Publix will offer 14-day supplies of the seven drugs at all of the company's pharmacies. The supermarket chain operates 684 pharmacies in five states (Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pregnant women who take antibiotics might be putting their unborn's health as risk. A recent study showed that mothers who take antibiotiocs during pregnancy might weaken the baby's immune system resulting in increasing risk of pneumonia.

Experts have found that medicines recommended to fight infections might as well interfere with the baby's health and has long term effect as Daily Mail Online reported. According new research, the friendly gut bacteria that plays an important role the child's development gets wiped out due to antibiotics.

The study, conducted on mice, showed such a condition left those mice at the risk of developing pneumonia. This in case of babies, could also turn deadly. Interestingly, the researchers have found that the immune system cells have close links with fighting lung cancer cells. These, cells, after taking antibiotics were found to be missing.

In the longer term, the continuous disruption of gut bacteria might result in permanent damage of the immune system. The research led by the researchers of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have claimed the study might have sparked several other researchers about using antibiotics.

The researchers further mentioned that prescribing antibiotic medicine to pregnant women before caesarian section is highly questionable. 'It is time to begin pushing back on practices that were established decades ago, when our level of understanding was different", said Dr. Hitesh Deshmukh, research author.

Dr. Deshmukh further added, "To prevent infection in one infant, we are exposing 200 infants to the unwanted effects of antibiotics. A more balanced, more nuanced approach is possible." However, the research urged doctors to limit the use of antibiotics as a long term goal.

In UK, pregnant women receive prophylactic antibiotics before undergoing caesarian section. Along with pregnant women, babies in neonatal care units also receive antibiotics as precautions,The Independent reported.

The treatment protect babies against Group B bacteria, one of the main causes of infections in newborns . Studies on over 400,000 people have found that giving antibiotics to infants increases their chance of developing serious skin ailments by 41 percent.

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