"This book might change your perspective on real cleanliness and along the way help you to raise healthier kids." (Giulia Enders, author of international bestseller, Gut). "A must-read for parents". (William Sears, author of The Baby Book). "This book should be read by every pregnant woman, every parent, every paediatrician". (Professor Margaret McFall-Ngai, Member of the National Academy of Sciences). In the two hundred years since we discovered that microbes cause infectious diseases, we've battled to keep them under control. But a recent explosion of scientific knowledge has led to undeniable evidence that early exposure to these organisms is beneficial to our children's well-being. Our modern lifestyle, with its emphasis on hyper-cleanliness, is having a negative effect on our children's lifelong health.
In this engaging and important book, microbiologists Finlay and Arrieta explain how the millions of microbes that live in and on our bodies influence childhood development; why an imbalance in those microbes can lead to obesity, diabetes, asthma, autism, and reactions to vaccines, among other chronic conditions; and what parents can do - from conception on - to positively impact their children's health. They describe how natural childbirth, breastfeeding, and solid foods influence children's microbiota, and offer practical advice on such matters as whether to sterilize baby bottles, use antibiotics, or let your dog lick your child. And they include Do's and Don'ts at the end of each chapter, providing clear guidelines for anxious parents.