Between changing diapers, constant feeding, doctor visits, erratic sleep schedules, exhaustion, and just generally learning how to care for an infant, new parents have plenty to worry about in the first few months after birth. Unfortunately, about 25% of parents also have to deal with infant colic, a common gastrointestinal disorder that occurs in newborns one to three months old and leads to prolonged and often intense crying. These crying sessions can often last for hours. Colic can be particularly stressful for parents because it happens for seemingly no particular reason in babies that are otherwise completely healthy. Colic has been associated with postpartum depression, self-doubt in parental ability, sleep deprivation, and much more. The colic is temporary, but its effects can be long-lasting for parents that are not properly prepared.
Colic doesn’t currently have a known cure, but probiotics have been suggested as one possible therapy to lessen its effects. A new study on the effects of probiotics on colic published in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics shows that a specific probiotic strain called Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 can significantly reduce crying due to colic. In this study, two groups of 40 infants received drops. Group 1 received drops with the B. animalis subsp. lactis BB-12. At the end of 28 days, daily crying had been reduced by more than 50% in 80% of group 1 infants. Group 2 received placebo drops. At the end of 28 days, crying had been reduced by more than 50% in only 32.5% of group 2 infants. Researchers also noted that infants from group 1 exhibited improved sleep duration, stool frequency, and stool consistency compared to infants from group 2.
This is exciting news for parents looking for new probiotics to try for colic, but B. animalis isn’t the only probiotic strain that has been shown to help with colic. As we wrote in our L. reuteri blog post, L. reuteri is one of the best probiotics for babies and children with colic, as seen in this study. Research shows that babies given regular L. reuteri supplements spent less time crying each day from colic pain than children given simethicone, the traditional colic therapy. Our S. thermophilus blog post also notes that S. thermophilus has been shown to significantly reduce the frequency of colic and intestinal irritability.
For parents looking for a probiotic to help with colic, Newborns and Infants Probonix contains both L. reuteri and S. thermophilus, two strains that have been shown to help reduce the effects of colic in infants. Probonix contains eight of the most effective probiotic strains for supporting general gut health and development for newborns and infants.
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- L. reuteri – A common probiotic strain