Exposure to antibiotics during early life can increase the risk of childhood obesity - but new research indicates that TIMING IS CRUCIAL.
From the abstract: "Decreased growth was observed after antibiotics in the first week of life, whereas increased growth was observed after later antibiotic course(s) in term born infants in the first year of life. Therefore, timing of antibiotics may determine the association with growth."
If a baby was exposed to antibiotics for suspected neonatal infection in the first week of life, then researchers observed "decreased growth" in terms of lower weight (6.26 kg vs 6.47 kg) and length (25.4cm vs 26.4 kg) in the first year of life.
But if the baby was then exposed to additional courses of antibiotics later in the first year, the baby's weight increased by an additional 76g per course of antibiotics.
Considering the number of babies that are exposed to antibiotics during labour /birth (from C-section & GBS) and then during the first year of life to prevent or treat other infections, this is an important piece of the puzzle.
If you want to find out more about the impact of antibiotics on the infant microbiome, it's one of the topics covered in our Group B Strep online course (10 CPD HOURS) https://microbirth.teachable.com/p/gbs.