A baby’s gut flora is very important and recently a lot of research has been undertaken to see if probiotics can help relieve colic in babies.
The theory is that a baby’s gut flora could be damaged or has something missing depending on delivery method, mum’s gut health in pregnancy and other factors.
If a baby’s gut is missing some vital bacteria then it could result in tummy trouble such as trapped wind and lactose intolerance that is often described as colic. So, many parents are now turning to probiotics to help colic.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria which are being promoted as ‘friendly bacteria’ to supplement the baby’s digestive system. You will see mini yogurt drinks being marketed to aid digestion. These are probiotics.
There are 2 important bacteria for babies. One being Bifidobacterium, which helps your body perform essential functions such as digestion and staving off harmful bacteria. The second is Lactobacillus, which produces the enzyme lactase which breaks down the lactose sugars in the milk.
There are many probiotics for babies on the market being advertised to parents and they usually contain one or both of the bacteria. Probiotics are safe to give to newborn babies from birth but always read the label first before giving it to your baby.
Can probiotics help colic?
When a baby is born they receive various bacteria from mum during delivery. A baby who is born vaginally will collect bacteria from the birth canal which will support their gut flora. A study in 2016 suggested that infants delivered by caesarean section harbour a less diverse gut flora. This is likely due to not picking up mum’s bacteria and being born in the sterile environment of theatre.
However, it is important to note that we are unable to establish what bacteria is missing from a baby’s microbiome. This means we cannot determine what, if any, probiotics are necessary. It is very much a case of trial and error.
If your baby is struggling with colic then discover how I can help you combat colic and return calm to your family. To find out how I can help you, click here; https://colicsos.com/colic-services/ or book your free 15 minute call