Home CWHW Blog Antibiotics for a newborn – can this be right?

Antibiotics for a newborn – can this be right?


There was I thinking the world had come to its senses and the medical profession was moving away from dishing out antibiotics like M&Ms. But this doesn’t seem to be the case at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where my daughter recently had her first baby, a boy.

After a two and a half day labour, out came Theo late on a Sunday night naturally. Imagine the horror to find that first thing next morning he was already connected to a tube in his arm. ‘What’s that for?’ we asked. ‘Antibiotics’, was the answer. When the doctor did her rounds, I asked why she would want to give a brand new baby some antibiotics; to which she replied, whilst hurrying out of the door, ‘The mother had a slight temperature and so I thought it was safer to give baby antibiotics’.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mum did have a slight temperature after pushing for 56 hours! But when I was there it was taken and it was 98.6. Hardly cause for concern.

It’s crazy, especially after mum (having listened to rather a few of my speeches) was determined to have a natural birth. You see, a natural birth gives baby bifidobacteria as baby passes through the birth canal; these are nurtured specifically by one of their favourite foods, breast milk, so that their numbers increase, and they are strongly anti-pathogenic. They are nature’s defence for a newborn as it picks up bacteria from its very first breath.

The doctor has just destroyed baby’s base immunity. 

And it’s not as if paediatric Doctors wouldn’t know, that is if they can be bothered to read: Research from Ireland in 2012 was quite clear – ‘it takes at least 8 weeks to get babies gut bacteria back to anywhere near where they should be, but even then the potentially disease causing Proteobacteria was now dominant in the gut population (journal: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy).

According to the report from the Teagasc Food research Centre in Cork,  ‘By altering the gut bacteria and thus the immune system very early in life, the antibiotics could negatively influence long-term health, particularly boosting the risk of developing asthma, allergy and obesity. The risk is heightened by the fact that the antibiotic disruption of the microbiota comes at a time when the population is in rapid flux and can easily be unbalanced’

Sorry, if I’m teaching them to suck teats; I would hope Chelsea and Westminster’s paediatric dept. must know all that already.

They might be excused however, for knowing nothing of this new study, published May 13, 2015 from the University of Minesota (http://discover.umn.edu/news/science-technology/infant-antibiotic-use-linked-adult-diseases), although it did touch on several similar studies over the last three years;  Their researchers have found a clear three-way link between the use of antibiotics in babies, damage to the gut bacteria and illnesses later in life’, thus confirming what the Irish research told us.

Worse, this report states that antibiotics represent a quarter of all medications given to children, with at least a third deemed unnecessary.

Theo has just this week had a round of vaccinations; he is quite ill. Blood and pus in his urine. A study on vaccinations has shown that children with strong immune systems (and thus strong micobiota) don’t need the vaccines and they don’t work very well, which is troubling people who want to save the African continent overnight by vaccination! Maybe if you gave all Africans a dose of antibiotics first, the vaccines might work better – now there’s a ridiculous thought. You can bet someone will probably start doing it soon in our insane health world.

The key problem is obvious. The doctors at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital just want to get babies out of the hospital in one piece as fast as possible. Then their responsibility is over. What happens to the baby at 7 months, 7 years or 47 years is irrelevant to them.

My problem is that this is a long way from Smart Science. But then the whole health Industry has moved away from smart and joined-up thinking. And it’s our children that will suffer if we increase their risk of long-term illness by giving them antibiotics within just one hour of their birth. In fact, unless there are extremely serious reasons for using antibiotics on a new born baby, it is simply irresponsible.