Our digestive tract, specifically the intestines, contains billions of good and bad bacteria. As you can imagine, we want the good bacteria to far outweigh the bad. Due to a variety of symptoms, for many of the clients that I used to see, it became pretty clear, quite quickly that it was the opposite; the bad outweighed the good.
Babies are born with very immature digestive systems. This is why many babies experience digestive problems, including, gassiness and colic-like symptoms. This is also why parents are told to wait until 6 months to introduce solid foods (at which point, they are still given instructions to introduce foods slowly and in a particular order).
The girls were very gassy when they were first born. I was planning on giving them probiotics regardless though.
What are probiotics? Probiotics supply the digestive tract with those good bacteria that I previously mentioned. When it comes to supplements, especially probiotics, quality really matters. I've been giving the girls Genestra's HMF Natogen. This is specifically formulated for young babies. Another reputable company, BioGaia, makes a good infant probiotic. [Note: Probiotics should always be kept in the fridge.] An ongoing 5 year trial by Pharmax LLC shows that newborns and infants who are given probiotics do significantly better than the control group in allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal ailments, and immune system health.
Why give probiotics to babies?
- Improves digestive system and possible upsets (gas, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fussiness).
- Strengthens the immune system
- Decreases the risk of developing allergies, including eczema
- Helps to minimize the side effects of antibiotics