Mom's Poo Saves Her Son's Life & It's Not as Weird as It Sounds

Say What!? 30

women restroom signYou know how we all treat fecal matter like it's a toxic substance? No one wants E. coli contamination. And besides, it's gross. I mean, we all kind of tolerate it as a necessary part of life, but most of the time we just can't wait to get rid of poo.

So imagine my surprise when I read about the mom who saved her toddler's life with her fecal matter! 20-month-old Jesse Williams had been fighting a terrible intestinal infection for nine months. His doctors tried everything they could think of: Antibiotics, blood injections. He was still losing weight. Can you imagine the fear and dread his parents must have felt? There was one last, radical option: Repopulate his intestines with bacteria from fecal matter from a healthy donor -- his mom.

There have been successful fecal transplants for adults, but this was the first transplant for a young child. Doctors injected Jesse's mother's fecal matter directly into his intestines. And it seems to have worked! He hasn't been back to the hospital since and appears to be thriving with his mom's healthy, thriving bacteria growing in his intestines.

I find this sort of thing fascinating, actually. I'm reading an article right now about how important bacteria is to human life (and all life on the planet). We think of bacteria and microbes as harmful things that need to be killed off, but actually, the picture is a lot more complicated than that. We each carry around our own special collection of about 10,000 species of bacteria, most of which work for us to help us do everything from absorb vitamins to regulate our metabolism, to fight infections.

So as weird as this story seems, it makes a lot of sense to me. We need "healthy" bacteria to stay alive. And I fear that all the antibacterial junk we're constantly using may be washing away too much of the good stuff. It's a balance, obviously -- getting rid of enough harmful microbes without killing off the useful microbes. But stories like this really show how we need to completely re-think bacteria!

Did you know fecal matter could be used to fight infection?

 

Image via Sam Howzit/Flickr

in the news, toddler health

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Pinst... Pinstripes4

I read about one of these procedures a couple of weeks ago. A poop transplant. Go figure.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

They've been doing these for ages. I swear I've read at least three blogs just on the stir asking if people have ever heard of it.

Angie Hayes

I had no idea

carole76 carole76

Wow, who would have thought....

Maias... MaiasMommy619

You gotta do what you gotta do! Nothing wrong with that,

alway... alwayscurious

I have read that this is why, naturally, a mother poops while she is giving birth. it ensures that her baby gets the poo on his rear, therefore populating his intestines from the start. Unfortunately (?) modern medicine makes this harder for nature to accomplish. Maybe that is not such a goods thing.

the4m... the4mutts

I had no idea! Very interresting.

Alwayscurious~ 4 kids, 4 vaginal deliveries, and I never pooped once. And how would poo get on a baby's rear, when they're "supposed" to be born face-down, and butt up?

alway... alwayscurious

4mutts- just something I read once, kind of made sense in the context of this article. Research suggests some of the bacteria from maternal feces colonizes the intestines of.newborns delivered vaginally, if I read it right. But that obviously doesn't happen every time. http://m.jn.nutrition.org/content/138/9/1791S.full.

LSeab... LSeabolt1982

I never pooped during my deliveries....

Kyler... KylersMom8-16-7

My oldest son had c. Diff for a year! It's scary and painful. His butt hurt so bad it took 2 people to change him. The skin on his butt came off in thick sheets. He screamed like he was being murdered and even when it was gone he was terrified of diaper changes for MONTHS. We used everything to get rid of it and fecal transplant would of been next.

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