Who Knew Newborns Should be Getting Probiotics

3-Benefits-Of-Probiotics-For-Your-BabyThis Grandma recently bought probiotics for my ninety year old mother-in-law.  Who knew that newborns should also be getting probiotics.

We have all dealt with the newborn that cries and cries and cries.  We grandmas love holding our newborn grandchildren, but hurt when we cannot sooth them.  The New York Times, January 16, 2014, had an article about a new clinical trial in which babies who were given a daily dose of probiotic showed an easing of digestive upset — decrease in crying time – and an increase in bowel movements after one month.  Of course, this Grandma gives the grandchild back to the parents for the diaper change!

In “Probiotics May Ease Stomach Upset in Babies,” the author, Nicholas Bakalar, says:

Italian researchers randomly assigned 468 infants less than a week old to receive either a daily oral dose of Lactobacillus reuteri or an identical tasting placebo. Parents recorded the daily frequency of bowel movements and spitting up as well as the amount of time babies cried inconsolably. Investigators followed the families with weekly phone calls or personal meetings. The study appears online in JAMA Pediatrics.

 After one month, the babies who got the probiotic showed a significant decrease in crying time and an increase in frequency of bowel movements compared with those who got the placebo. By three months, their frequency of spitting up was reduced as well.

 The babies taking the probiotic had fewer emergency department visits and needed less medication for stomach problems. Their parents lost fewer days of work, and there were no adverse side effects. The results were adjusted to account for the effects of breast or bottle feeding, vaginal or caesarean delivery, and other factors.

 Lactobacillus occurs naturally in humans, and the lead author, Dr. Flavia Indrio, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Bari, said that there are thousands of strains available as supplements. But the only one tested in clinical trials is the one used in this study, called L. reuteri DSM 17938, she said.

This is good  news for  new parents.  More and more babies are being diagnosed with acid reflux.  If a probiotic can help, this Grandma is all for it, with a caveat as said in the article:

“The probiotic has to be given in the right dose,” she said. “I do not recommend using it without consulting a pediatrician.”

 No more newborn tears!





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