Benefits of Probiotics for Babies

Probiotics have become a buzzword over the last decade, capturing the attention of public health experts and nutrition specialists alike. They've found their way into supplements and infant formula. But what exactly are probiotics, and what benefits do they offer, especially for babies and infants? Let's explore the answers in this article.

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Omooma
Published on:Dec 26th 2023 |Updated on:Feb 10th 2024
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What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics, also known as good bacteria, is a comprehensive term encompassing several live strains of microorganisms, often bacteria. These beneficial bacteria are beneficial for health as they help maintain the balance of bacteria in the digestive system. While our bodies naturally have beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements increases their numbers for added benefits.

Benefits of Probiotics for Infants

When babies are born, their digestive system is sterile and free of beneficial bacteria. This lack of bacteria can make them susceptible to digestive symptoms like colic, diarrhea, and constipation. However, over time, the infant's body acquires beneficial bacteria that protect their digestive system, strengthen their immune system, and guard against infections. Therefore, giving infants probiotics in the form of infant supplements or as an added component to formula provides several benefits:

  • Introducing beneficial bacteria to the infant's digestive system more quickly. It's worth noting that babies can also acquire beneficial bacteria from breast milk.
  • Reducing discomforting symptoms such as colic, gas, and constipation.
  • Counteracts diarrhea caused by certain antibiotics. If a baby is prescribed antibiotics, diarrhea can be an annoying side effect.
  • Controls certain skin conditions like infantile eczema.
  • Lowers the risk or severity of developing food allergies.
  • Prevents urinary tract infections.
  • Improves oral and dental health.
  • Reduces the likelihood of respiratory allergies and asthma.
  • Enhances infant sleep, making them more comfortable and promoting longer sleep hours.
  • Strengthens the infant's immune system, protecting them from infectious diseases, especially if they attend daycare.
  • A medical study conducted in 2014 demonstrated that probiotics for infants might prevent conditions such as reflux and constipation, resulting in less crying.

It's essential to note that the benefits of probiotics for infants are only achieved through the consumption of probiotic supplements prescribed by a pediatrician or the intake of infant formula containing probiotics.

Cautions

Probiotics should not be given to infants without the approval of a pediatrician, especially in the following cases:

  • Premature infants or those born with low birth weight.
  • Infants with multiple health issues.
  • Infants with compromised immune systems.

Probiotic-Rich Foods Suitable for Infants

While many foods contain beneficial bacteria, only a few are suitable for infants. Once your baby is accustomed to solid foods, and after consulting with a pediatrician, you can introduce them to fermented foods like yogurt or kefir. Mixing these with mashed fruits ensures your baby receives a nutritious meal with probiotics, promoting a healthy digestive system and a strengthened immune response.

 

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Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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