Your microbiome
is a precious gift to your child

Baby playing with toys

Journey of the microbiome

In the 9 months of pregnancy, brain development, immunity and growth are primed for later life

During pregnancy, a mom-to-be has a unique gut microbiome - partly inherited and partly shaped by lifestyle and environment

Pregnant mother showing her belly bump
Newborn baby in bed

At birth, a baby gets covered in mom’s microbes, which will start forming a new microbiome

The baby’s gut microbiome matures as mom continues to pass on more microbes and “microbial food” through breastfeeding

Breast milk composition changes over time to give your baby the most tailored support

Baby breastfeeding
Baby being interested in solid food, being given a chicken leg

The first oral foods grow the child’s microbiome more and more diverse. The different types of microbes help the immune system recognize the newly introduced foods, building immunity

The microbiome continues to grow thanks to other exposures such as pets, soil and daycare interactions.

Many more factors affect microbiome development. Find out more below

Child reaching out their hand to touch a goat's nose

What shapes the microbiome?

Many things. And the good news is that you have control over many of them.

Birth mode


Choice of formula


Other medications



Other supplements


Fermented foods

Level of cleaning

Anti-microbial soaps

Cleaning products

Care products

Exposure to nature

Exposure to pets

Viral infections

Mental stress


... and much more

Tell me all about the microbiome

What is the microbiome?

We are inhabited by 39 trillions of microorganisms that live on our skin, mouth, genitals, respiratory tract and gut. They are bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites and they are essential for our health - in fact, we couldn’t survive without them!The gut microbiome is the collection of all of our microbes in the gut, and their DNA. It has a fundamental role in digestion, immune system health and brain health. Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been associated with most chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, asthma, celiac disease and even cancer.

References: Ghosh, T.S., Shanahan, F. & O’Toole, P.W. The gut microbiome as a modulator of healthy ageing. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol (2022); Vijay, A., Valdes, A.M. Role of the gut microbiome in chronic diseases: a narrative review. Eur J Clin Nutr 76, 489–501 (2022).

Why is the microbiome important during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the mother’s gut microbiome changes drastically, until birth. It is closely related to her own as well as to the baby’s health and it is thought to help:

1. Maintain a healthy pregnancy. Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been associated with complications such as gestational diabetes, obesity, preeclampsia, digestive disorders, and autoimmune diseases;

2. Promote the baby’s healthy development, especially their immune system and brain. Several animal studies have shown that the expecting mother’s gut bacteria produce compounds that might help educate the baby’s immune system and promote neurodevelopment;

3. Prepare the gut microbiome transfer from the mother to the baby at birth, which lays the foundations of lifelong health. During a vaginal birth, the baby gets covered in the mother’s microbes, and that is a good thing! Those microbes are the first colonizers of the baby’s gut and will form the baby’s microbiome.

References: Turjeman, S., Collado, M. C., Koren, O. The Gut Microbiome in Pregnancy and Pregnancy Complications. Curr. Opin. Endocrine. Metab. Res. (2021); Yao Y., Cai X., Chen C., Fang H., Zhao Y., Fei W., Chen F. &  Zheng C.. The Role of Microbiomes in Pregnant Women and Offspring: Research Progress of Recent Years. Front. Pharmacol. (2020).

Why is the microbiome important during childhood?

The microbiome we have in the first years of life has a major influence on our development and on our long-term health. In fact, scientists have found that imbalances in the early-life gut microbiome predisposes children to diseases in early and later life. Such imbalances are associated to colic, asthma, eczema, diabetes, allergic diseases, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders.

Gut microbes and lifestyle in the first 1000 days of life are particularly important because the foundations of metabolism, immune system and brain health develop in this critical time window.

References: Linehan, K., Dempsey, E., Ryan, A. C., Ross, R., Stanton, C. First encounters of the microbial kind: perinatal factors direct infant gut microbiome establishment. Microbiome Research Reports (2022); Sarkar, A., Yoo, J.Y., Valeria Ozorio Dutra, S., Morgan, K.H., Groer, M. The Association between Early-Life Gut Microbiota and Long-Term Health and Diseases. J Clin Med. (2021); Robertson, Ruairi, C., Manges, A., Finlay, B., Prendergast, A. The Human Microbiome and Child Growth – First 1000 Days and Beyond. Trends in Microbiology (2019).

How is a microbiome test performed?

From a stool sample, we are able to collect the DNA of all gut microbes. From their DNA we can tell exactly which bacteria are present and what they are doing in your gut.

We analyze bacterial DNA only and we do not analyze your own DNA!

What can you tell from a microbiome test?

In children, it depends on the age. The baby's microbiome is constantly evolving from birth to adulthood, so monitoring its trajectory and development over time is even more informative than looking at only one snapshot.

From one microbiome test, you will discover:
- Share of friendly bacteria, promoting healthy development
- Share of unfriendly bacteria, as some types of bacteria are known to be unfriendly when in large share, being able to cause infections and inhibit friendly bacteria
- Gut microbiome development, as the rate at which the microbiome matures is important for growth
- Share of bacteria protective to the immune system
- Share of bacteria producing important metabolites such as butyrate
- Ability to maintain a healthy gut barrier function
- Ability to metabolize vitamins, proteins and lipids
- Associations to crying, fussing, and BMI later in life.

Most importantly, you will receive a set of personalized recommendations covering diet, personal care products, environmental exposure and supplements (if needed) reviewed by our medical experts and discussed with you in a 1:1 consultation with a certified Nutrition & Health Coach.

References: Stewart CJ, Ajami NJ, O'Brien JL, Hutchinson DS, Smith DP, Wong MC, Ross MC, Lloyd RE, Doddapaneni H, Metcalf GA, Muzny D, Gibbs RA, Vatanen T, Huttenhower C, Xavier RJ, Rewers M, Hagopian W, Toppari J, Ziegler AG, She JX, Akolkar B, Lernmark A, Hyoty H, Vehik K, Krischer JP, Petrosino JF. Temporal development of the gut microbiome in early childhood from the TEDDY study. Nature (2018);

Can I do anything to my microbiome?

Yes! The microbiome is dynamic and we can influence it with relatively simple and low-risk lifestyle changes.The microbiome is a very small community of microorganisms at birth and it develops massively in the first years of life. Over the years, the microbiome "settles" on a unique composition that we will maintain throughout adulthood (although it is possible to change our microbiome as adults too!).

Factors that affect the baby's gut microbiome (and that can be changed) are:
- Mother's diet during pregnancy
- Mother'sgut microbiome at birth
- Type of birth (vaginal /C-section, at home / in hospital, medicated, etc.)
- Breastfeeding and breast milk composition
- Duration of breastfeeding
- Mother's diet while breastfeeding
- Infant formula and type of infant formula (if used)
- Use of antibiotics and type of antibiotic used
- Use of other medications
- Evidence-backed probiotics
- Evidence-backed prebiotics and fibers
- Vitamin D and other supplements
- Baby's diet (especially quantity and diversity fibers)
- Timing of weaning
- Exposure to nature and furry pets
- Home environment
- Exposure to household cleaning and personal care products
- Exposure to anti-microbial products e.g., hand sanitizers
- Exercise and movement
- Viral infections
- Stress

References:   Wong, E., Lui, K., Day, A., Leach, S. Manipulating the Neonatal Gut Microbiome: Current Understanding and Future Perspectives. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition (2022). Derrien, M., Alvarez, AS., De Vos, W. The Gut Microbiota in the First Decade of Life. Trends in Microbiology (2019).

How often should we test?

It depends on your individual situation and on your latest results. We stand for personalised recommendations and support, and part of our service is to guide you to take the most informed decision for your family's health.

Each time you test with us, you will have a 1:1 consultation with a certified Nutrition & Health Coach, who will recommend the best path for you.

Where do you ship to?

We ship to various locations specified in the checkout.

How do you store my data?

Your data is stored in the European Union according to GDPR. That means your name and address will be separated from the rest of your submitted data, so that it cannot be tracked to you. Your data will not be transferred outside of the European Union and is stored securely.

Still have questions?

Join us in advancing gut health understanding for the generations to come

Get Alba today