London: Babies get microbes from mother's milk that makes them "more ready" to digest solid food later in life, says a new study.
Babies who miss out on breast feed are more likely to develop stomach aches and colic.
The team found that a baby's diet during the first few months has a tremendous impact on the composition, diversity and stability of the gut microbiome.
"We found that babies who are fed only breast milk have microbial communities that seem more ready for the introduction of solid foods," said Andrea Azcarate-Peril from the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine and one of the authors of the study.
For this study, the team collected stool samples and information about the diets and health of nine babies as they grew from two weeks to 14 months.
Applying genomic sequencing techniques to the stool samples, they deduced the types and functions of the bacteria in the babies' gut microbiomes.
The analysis revealed that during the first few months of life, there were clear differences between the microbiomes of babies that were exclusively breastfed as compared to those fed both formula and breast milk, Daily Mail reported.
"This study provides yet more support for recommendations by the World Health Organisation and others to breastfeed exclusively during the first six months of life," added lead author Amanda Thompson.
The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.