To Your Health
November, 2023 (Vol. 17, Issue 11)
Baby Deserves Better
By Editorial Staff
Antibiotic overuse is well-documented, particularly for viral conditions; medical doctors still seem to prescribe them for non-bacterial infections (which are the only type of infection antibiotics can treat).
During pregnancy and a baby's first year, antibiotic use is particularly ill-advised unless absolutely necessary. Why? One reason is that it increases the risk that your baby will develop this health condition.
The condition: eosinophilic esophagitis – inflammation and swelling of the esophagus; the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. Maternal and infant antibiotic use were associated with an increased risk of the infant developing eosinophilic esophagitis, with higher antibiotic use increasing the risk vs. lower use. Use closer to delivery (third trimester to first six months after birth) seemed to yield the highest risk.
Currently, eosinophilic esophagitis has no cure; it is a chronic condition typically managed with dietary changes and – you guessed it – medication.
Interestingly, researchers found a similar association when evaluating maternal and infant acid suppressant use. Study findings are reported in JAMA Pediatrics, a journal of the American Medical Association dedicated to pediatric research.
The takeaway? Ask questions during pregnancy and your baby's first year whenever your medical doctor prescribes anything for you or your baby. Your health, and the health of your baby, depend on it.