Do Breastfed Babies Need Probiotics
Breast milk is already a natural, good source of probiotics for babies, along with providing many other important nutrients. However, adding more probiotics to your child’s diet may have added benefits. Much of the research into baby probiotics has looked at the potential health outcomes for breastfed babies.
What Do Probiotics Help With
While probiotics may help infants with numerous different gut related issues, here are some of the main ones. Keep in mind that there is very little research on probiotics and infants but some clinical trials and anecdotal evidence has shown that they may be helpful for:
- easing colic
- improving mood, motivation, and cognitive health
- repairing damaged tissue from injuries
Even if your baby or toddler isnt experiencing any of these symptoms, chances are they still could benefit from a probiotic.
Should You Give Your Child Probiotics
Parents might assume that even if probiotics don’t help, they aren’t likely to be harmful. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that probiotics do appear to be safe for healthy children.
However, there are many types and strains of probiotics to choose from, and the dosages can vary widely between supplements. It can be hard to figure out how much to take as well as how often to take them.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to give your kids probiotic supplements:
- They are not regulated by the FDA, making it virtually impossible to know if the label accurately describes what is in the products.
- Although probiotics appear to be an effective treatment for the conditions listed above , there is much we still don’t know about which strains and dosages are the most effective.
- There is no proven benefit to giving healthy kids probiotics regularly, and they are not approved bythe FDA as a treatment for any specific disease or condition, according to the AAFP.
- Gas and bloating are the most common side effects of probiotic supplements. While not harmful, these side effects can be uncomfortable.
A healthy and safe choice is to give your child a serving of yogurt daily or include other probiotic-rich foods in your family’s meals. Look for a statement on the label that the food contains “live and active cultures.” These foods will provide good bacteria to support a healthy immune system without the risk of side effects.
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Should I Give Baby Chicks Electrolytes And Probiotics
Chicks arent as developed as adult birds, the bad bacteria in a chicks gut can quickly override the good bacteria in the gut.
The chances of this happening are higher because a chicks digestive system hasnt had the time to build up good bacteria. Thus, feeding your chick probiotics in their first week of life is recommended.
Under normal circumstances, chicks do not need electrolytes, but, these little birds may need electrolytes if they are sick, have diarrhea, are under stress, or suffer long periods of not eating or drinking
Probiotics And Acidophilus For Kids
By now youve probably heard of probiotics, the “good” bacteria that are available in supplement form and found naturally in certain fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut. A few of the probiotic strains that you might see listed on product labels include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces.
Before we can understand the role of probiotics in the body and decide whether we should give probiotic supplements to our kids, we need to take a step back and look at how the gastrointestinal system works and the ways gut health is affected by bacteria.
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How Often To Give Probiotics
If your baby or toddler has any symptoms from the list above, then I would give them the dosage on the package daily.
For preventive use, I would recommend giving them to baby or toddler several times a week, but its okay if you skip a couple of days a week.
Antibiotics if your baby or toddler needs a round of antibiotics for any reason, it is essential to re-populate the good bacteria in their system as soon as the round of antibiotics is over. Antibiotics kill off all of the good and bad bacteria in the body. Its super important to then load up on the good bacteria before the bad bacteria has a chance to reproduce. Probiotics can be given during the course of antibiotics, but make sure they are taken at different times of the day, and continue to take them for a few weeks after stopping antibiotics, or as directed by your pediatrician.
How Do Probiotics Work
Fun fact: 80% of the immune system is located in the gut. Not only does your babys digestive system contribute to fighting off infection with a healthy immune system, it practically calls the shots! When taken daily, the strain of probiotic in Mylicon can help replenish good bacteria, which supports immunity, promotes healthy digestion, and even reduces crying and fussiness associated with colic by at least 50% over time. Incredible, right?
And science isnt done with them yet. Their effectiveness is also being studied for other health uses such as helping specific immune system issues, like preventing eczema.
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What Are Gas Drops
Gas drops contain simethicone. This active ingredient breaks up larger gas bubbles into smaller ones, which are more comfortable for a baby to pass.
Caregivers can give the drops directly to a baby or mix them in with formula or expressed breast milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that gas drops are safe to give to newborn babies, and adverse side effects are rare.
However, if a baby is also taking thyroid hormone medication, do not give them gas drops as simethicone
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Probiotic Supplementation Is Associated With Higher Bifidobacterium At One Week Of Age
Beta diversity assessment of microbial communities over a 6-month period of probiotics and no probiotics exposed infants. PCoA plots based on the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity distance show no distinct clustering of microbial communities at any age except for at 1 week. Table summary of PERMANOVA results ran on the Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, and weighted and unweighted UniFrac distances between the two groups. The values at the intersect of a blue cell and an orange cell show the estimated P value of the corresponding time points.
Differences in the abundance of taxa between the groups were assessed using two complimentary approaches at each time-point. Differences in the relative abundance of Bifidobacterium spp. in the probiotics group at one week of age was detected as significantly different using ANCOM . LEfSe results showing significantly different taxa between fecal samples between probiotics and no probiotics infants at one week of age. The cladogram reports the taxa showing different abundance values according to LEfSe. Colors indicate the lineages that are encoded within corresponding samples. Higher taxa abundance in the probiotics group is colored blue whereas higher taxa abundance in the no probiotics group is colored orange. Infants directly supplemented with BioGaia according to the manufacturers recommendations show similar results to . P< 0.05.
Yet Some Mothers Have Been Told That When Their Baby Is Colicky She Is Allergic To Their Breast Milk
Mother Nature couldnt possibly make this kind of mistake. This is simply a clue that your babys inner ecosystem is lacking the healthy microbes needed to digest breast milk. Giving your baby probiotics is especially important if youre unable to breastfeed due to your own compromised health, or if you have decided that breastfeeding is just not right for you.
Natural Exposure To Good Bacteria For Infants
The gut microbiome is a very fragile internal ecosystem, and it is well established that the groundwork for a robust gut starts at birth.
There are three main ways that an infants microbiome is populated during and shortly after birth:
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Probiotics Are Not Associated With Gut Microbiome Function
The trillions of bacteria present in the gut have redundant genetic contribution and therefore similar functions. Predicted metagenomic functions of the microbial communities using phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states , revealed no predicted functional differences between the two cohorts. Another method of assessing the functions of the intestinal microbial communities is through measuring fecal SCFAs, the by products of bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates. We analyzed the presence of fecal acetate, butyrate, and propionate which have been found to play an important role in regulating intestinal homeostatic and immune responses. Probiotic exposure was not associated with changes in the abundances of these SCFAs found in the infants stool showing that despite some taxonomic differences, neither predicted gut microbial function nor SCFAs were different between groups .
Abundances of fecal SCFAs acetic acid, butyric acid, and propionic acid between probiotics and no probiotics exposed infants at 5 months of age expressed as mass % .
Should Children Eat Probiotic Foods
Some studies suggest that probiotics may be good for children. One study found that children who were given probiotics every day for 3 months were less likely to have respiratory problems and diarrhea than children who were given a placebo.
And while more research is needed, probiotics may reduce childrens risk of developing certain conditions like autoimmune diseases, allergies and asthma.
On the other hand, some researchers note that probiotics may not have much effect on children. Because their microbiome isnt fully developed, probiotics may simply be passed as normal waste.
Probiotics are considered safe for kids with some exceptions, notes Dr. Drass. You should avoid giving your child probiotics if they have a compromised immune system or cancer, or if they are a premature infant. In these cases, probiotics can put them at risk for infections.
In general, its better for kids to get probiotics through foods instead of supplements unless their pediatrician recommends otherwise. Talk to your childs doctor if youre thinking about using probiotics to help your childs digestion because keeping your child safe and healthy is their prime concern.
The Benefits Of Probiotics
Theyre especially helpful for diarrhea or constipation both of which are common for kids, especially during potty training. Probiotics may help ease some of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease as well.
Children already taking antibiotics can benefit from probiotics, too. Antibiotics can cause stomach pain, constipation or diarrhea, and probiotics can ease these side effects. But not all probiotics are effective while taking antibiotics, so talk to your childs pediatrician or pharmacist about which probiotic is best for your child.
The Missing Link In The Health Of Many Babies Being Born Today Is Establishing The Presence Of A Healthy Inner Ecosystem Where Good Microbes Outnumber The Bad
In order to have a healthy inner ecosystem, a baby depends on her mother to inoculate her with healthy microbes at birth. While this seems easy enough, poor diet and lifestyle habits have robbed todays women of the healthy microbes so critical for a babys inner ecosystem.
The good news is, you are in charge of your health, and you can prepare your baby, naturally, for lifelong wellness.
Until Body Ecology began to uncover important research showing differently, it was commonly believed that the amniotic fluid in the womb was sterile and germ-free. However, we now know that amniotic fluid can be infected. Also, as the time of birth approaches and as the cervix begins to dilate in preparation for the birth of your baby, bacteria from the birth canal begin to enter into the amniotic fluid. Once labor begins, these bacteria cover the body of your baby.
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Bacteria And Your Gut
The human GI tract is inhabited by trillions of bacteria. In fact, our bodies contain more bacterial cells than human cells! All bacteria are not created equal, however. While some cause illness, many other types are beneficialeven essentialfor good health.
Along with housing all those bacteria , the GI tract serves as the body’s largest reservoir of immune cells, making it one of the most important lines of defense against infection. This makes sense when you think about the number of bacteria that enter our bodies through our mouths.
And when we consider all the things that babies and children put into their mouths, you can begin to see why the GI tract plays such a big role in fighting off infection.
Good bacteria, such as those found in probiotics, are the workhorses of the gut, maintaining a healthy environment for your immune cells so that they can function effectively to keep you from getting sick.
Regularly eating foods or taking supplements that contain probiotics is one way to help increase the numbers of good bacteria so that they out-compete the bad bacteria.
Excellent gut health, which is closely linked to the health of your immune system, is achieved by striking a balance between the good and the bad bacteria. Both will always be present in your GI tract. Your job is to feed the good bacteria so that they can outnumber the bad guys.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Probiotics On Babies
There are no lasting side effects of probiotics on the baby, although there may be a few problems in the initial few days of starting probiotic intake. These are mild digestive problems, like flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea. They occur as a result of the balance changing in the intestine, because of the shift to a higher number of friendly bacteria colonizing the gut. If the symptoms persist, you can try reducing the dosage and increasing it slowly.
Probiotics are a must for babies, as they greatly enhance the immunity and digestive stability of the child. They can reduce common problems like diaper rashes, eczema, constipation and diarrhoea, and play a pivotal role in the nutrition absorption of the child.
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Lovebug Tiny Tummies Probiotic
Lovebug Tiny Tummies Probiotic is specifically formulated for infants and promotes a specific serving size for babies with colic. This infant probiotic includes a combination of three strains: lactobacillus rhamnosus, bifidobacterium lactis, lactobacillus infantis.
They also add prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fibers are nondigestible, insoluble fibers that serve as food sources for probiotic bacteria. Adding prebiotic fiber may help improve gastric-emptying. Lovebug notes they manufacture their probiotics in facilities that are GMP certified through NSF, a third-party organization that independently tests the products for certain quality and safety standards.
- Type: Powder
- Dosage/day: 1 stick pack, may increase to 2 packs for colicky babies
- Dietary Considerations: Dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, Allergen free
- Clinical studies using the final formulation: No
How Do I Give My Infants Mylicon Probiotic Drops
For your little one to start reaping all the benefits our probiotics have to offer, start by vigorously shaking the bottle to be sure any probiotic that has sunk to the bottom is mixed thoroughly. Then, give them six drops each day, all at once. You can add them to a bottle of formula or breast milk, or dispense them with a spoon. If your baby is more than six months old, you can also mix them into a small amount of cool water. Just dont microwave them or mix the drops with hot water.
If you breastfeed, you can also apply them directly onto your nipple for your baby to suckle up while breastfeeding.
When done, screw the cap tightly back on the bottle to help maintain the drops freshness. To ensure full potency, use all the formula in the bottle within 28 days after opening. After all, probiotics are live microorganisms, and in order for them to help you and your baby, its best they stay that way.
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The 9 Best Infant Probiotics For Babies In 2022
Good bacteria may help babies with certain digestive issues, like colic, gas, and diarrhea. Health benefits go beyond supporting optimal digestion. From supporting your babys immune system and reducing the risk of allergies, there are plenty of reasons your little one can benefit from taking a high-quality probiotic supplement.
Probiotics tend to be safe for infants. Its still best to discuss any supplement with your babys primary care provider or dietitian before adding it to your daily routine.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that contribute to good gut health and holistic wellness. Babies are born with a very little developed gut microbiomethe billions of good and bad bacteria in your intestineswhich is important for digestion, nutrient absorption, the immune system, and cognitive function.
For the babys short-term and long-term health, its important that their gut microbiome develops well, including a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria and a diverse array of beneficial bacteria. They get their first dose of microbes while traveling through the birth canal, and then pick up more bacteria through breast milk.
How babies come into the world affects their gut microbiome. Babies born by c-section tend to have different compositions of gut microbes than babies born vaginally.
When selecting a probiotic for your child, look for the following: