Probiotics probably aren’t the first thing on your mind when having a baby. But learning about the best probiotics for infants can be critical to the early gut health of your child.
Having a new-born is an endearing moment for every parent and choosing the right decisions when it comes to our baby is very important. Questions like “Co-sleep or Crib?”, “Formula or Breastmilk?” or even “What is the best parenting style?” has been bombarded to every parent just to make sure that the baby is healthy from day one.
Choosing a probiotic supplement can be overwhelming if you are just learning about them. If you want some more background, check out our guide to probiotic supplements.
Having the knowledge on what foods are great for babies plays a vital role in keeping their health at its best. But sometimes, parents need to do more –and that is the use of probiotics. In this article, let’s define what exactly probiotic supplements are and why is it the best thing to support your baby’s overall health.
So, what exactly are probiotics?
Parents have been talking about “Probiotics” – but what exactly is it? Probiotics are basically living microorganisms and use our body as an ecosystem. Some of these microbes can be beneficial and some of them can cause harm. Taking probiotics supplements can offer optimum health as it helps the good bacteria in our body and keeping the bad ones out.
How does the gut of your baby become colonized?
At first, the amniotic fluid is thought to be sterile but it is not, in fact, it is your baby’s foundation to colonization of several bacteria. Amniotic fluid bacteria commonly depends on the mother’s gut flora and during the birth of the baby, they are colonized in the vaginal area or birth canal. While a cesarean birth baby is often colonized on the skin of the mother.
Most women don’t have an optimal microbiome which can affect the child’s birth. This is because the passing of colonized gut flora has been there for many years during the parental stage. The main factor that could affect and degrade our gut flora is diet including high starch and sugar diets and too much consumption of processed food. The use of antibiotics can also be a contributing factor.
Why do probiotics matter for babies?
Probiotics for infants? Isn’t that premature? We all know that our babies are delicate little angels and they have immature immune systems.
This may sound scary as a parent but it is actually a good sign. Mainly because it allows them to establish their own ecosystem for trillions of living organism in their body during birth and after birth which can give them optimum health. Exposing your baby to different good bacteria such as probiotics will give their growth process a healthy start.
These beneficial microbes can be essential for keeping their immune system strong to combat infections and any allergic reaction development as well as improving healthy digestion. As research shows, lack of natural microbe transfer during the vaginal birth or through breast milk, and/or having colic or any digestive issues can affect the baby’s birth which is why you should consider adding probiotic supplements while you’re pregnant.
How do gut bacteria affect baby’s health?
All disease begins in the gut – as stated by Hippocrates, which is true and having gut microbiome imbalance not only for babies but also to everyone else can cause the following health issues.
Imbalance in gut bacteria can cause mild to severe digestive issues including acid reflux, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colic, and diarrhea. Based on a study, fecal transplant in adults has been shown to cure almost 93% of individuals with digestive issues, therefore, the use of probiotic for infants can improve the production of good gut flora that prevents any gastrointestinal problems.
Issues on the body’s immune system
Did you know that almost 80% of our immune system dwells in our gut? This fact shows that having a poor gut health can cause the immune system function to weaken. Lacking healthy gut can cause your baby’s immunity to drop and make them more vulnerable to any illnesses such as colds and flu. So, if you want to boost their immunity, you should consider using probiotic supplements.
Mood and cognitive function issues
There are several studies that support the connection between the brain and the gut. The gut bacteria is linked to the development of anxiety and depression as it has been shown to directly affect the mood. These results are interesting and support the facts about the needs of our baby’s gut flora.
Difficulty in weight management
Allowing your infant to take the right probiotic can have a positive impact on their weight as it boosts their body’s metabolism. The weight and metabolic issues or can be linked to bad gut bacteria.
The study has shown that leaky gut issues are the main factor in the development of acne, rashes, eczema, and other skin issues. This is why more and more parents are using probiotic supplements for infants to alleviate some skin conditions that may develop on their baby’s delicate skin.
How to choose the best probiotics for infants?
Choosing the best infant probiotic for your infant can be stressful and problematic but knowing what to look for can eliminate that uncertainty and help you on your purchasing decision – here some factors you should take note of.
Powdered or liquid?
There are several forms of probiotics for infants and that includes liquid and powder. You can opt for liquid ones as they are more convenient, however, using powder probiotic supplement will definitely work best for your baby as it more simple and stable than a liquid.
Choose the right bacteria strands
Having numerous amount of bacteria strand is not actually a contributing factor on the effectiveness of the probiotic but having the right type does. For example, B. Infantis is an ideal strand for babies.
Important note: when giving probiotic supplements to your baby, you should always read the instruction and how best to feed it. Most commonly, you can use a dropper or mixed with a bottle of breast milk. It is also recommended that parents should give the supplement once a day in order to get the most benefits.
The use of probiotics supplements really help parents to ensure that the health of their babies is running smoothly including an improved digestion, strong immune system against any illnesses, and keeping them energize and active as well.
Choosing the right ones can lay a vital role in the effectiveness of the probiotic supplement and how certain it can help your baby achieve an optimum health.