Calming colic in your breastfed baby

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Highlights
  • Colic affects breastfed babies at a similar rate as bottle-fed babies.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic, may help reduce crying time in breastfed colicky infants after 1 week of use.

 

Is your breastfed baby having bouts of ongoing, inconsolable crying? If that’s the case, her crying might be considered colic, which begins between the first few weeks of life and typically disappears around the fourth or fifth month. Surprisingly, breastfed babies experience colic at a similar rate as bottle-fed babies.

Excessive crying, often referred to as colic, is a common problem in the first months of life — affecting as many as 20% of newborns. Experts have yet to figure out the cause in most cases, but differences in the types and amounts of bacteria in your baby’s gut might make a difference as to whether or not she develops colic.

Breastmilk provides a number of benefits to your baby, including serving as a source of good bacteria that helps your baby’s digestive system develop. Research has shown that babies with colic tend to have less of a particular type of lactobacilli bacteria in their gut.

Why use probiotics?

  • Probiotics are good bacteria that have been shown to provide a benefit when consumed in particular amounts.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is a probiotic bacteria naturally found in breastmilk and that has been studied in many infants and children.
  • Studies have shown supplementing breastfed babies with L. reuteri  results in increased amounts of lactobacillus in their gut.
  • L. reuteri  supplementation has been clinically shown to reduce crying time by 50% in colicky breastfed infants after just one week of use.

Colic may not mean the end of breastfeeding. L. reuteri  can easily be given as a supplement to your breastfed baby.

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