By Lorelle O’Halloran (BHSc Comp Med, Dip Herb Med)
We all know that babies cry, it just goes with the territory.Â It’s the only way they are able to tell us that they need something – they may be hungry or tired, in pain or they might just need a cuddle.Â But a crying, unsettled baby can be one of the most heart-breaking and frustrating things new parents have to deal with.Â We go through the checklist: do they need a nappy change? Are they hungry? Do they have a temperature? Does some attention settle them?Â Usually we are able work it out and meet their needs, but sometimes, if a baby is sick or in pain, the crying just goes on and on.
Tummy troubles can often be a cause of your babies unexplained crying and unsettled behaviour. Upset tummies, irregular bowel motions and gas are uncomfortable conditions and your baby’s immature digestive system will struggle to cope. Probiotics, the friendly bacteria that live in your baby’s gut, work to maintain a healthy environment there, but they are still colonizing and developing and it may be that they are not present in the right numbers or strains to provide enough help.
It’s believed that a baby’s digestive tract is first colonized by probiotics when they swallow amniotic fluid, which contains microbes from their mum’s gut. Further colonization occurs when a baby travels through the birth canal and still more occurs when a baby is breast fed – microflora from mum’s skin and in the milk are swallowed by the baby. Breast milk also contains prebiotics which promote the growth of these healthy bugs in the digestive tract.
Probiotics not only support digestive health but are essential to a baby’s developing immunity. These amazing organisms are part of a first line defense against unfriendly microbes, they restore the balance of healthy microbes and support a healthy immune system. As well, microflora in the digestive tract produce nutrients such as biotin, folic acid and vitamin K – essential for metabolism, red blood cell production and blood clotting.
Colonization can be compromised though – babies who are born by caesarean section or who are formula fed miss out on these important microbes. Research suggests that babies born by c-section or those that are formula fed receive a different collection of microflora and that this difference may be behind the higher incidence of childhood illnesses in this group of babies. Antibiotics, whether it’s mum who has taken them during pregnancy or if it’s baby who has had to have them, will kill both the bad and good bacteria in your baby’s gut. A strong, healthy immune response is crucial if parents want to avoid skin issues and a Â healthy response to allergens and immune threats.
RadianceTM Probiotics Baby Drops provides Bifidobacterium lactis (BB-12Â®), an extremely well-documented, clinically researched, shelf stable probiotic with proven safety.Â The product is manufactured in Europe to very strict guidelines and is rigorously tested to ensure safety for all infants. BB12Â® has been clinically researched in all age groups in very high concentrations with no adverse effects.
Research shows that BB-12Â® can support:
- Beneficial probiotic numbers in infants born by caesarean
- Healthy stool consistency & frequency
- Gut comfort
- Effective immune response to common childhood illnesses
- Healthy immune function and resilience
RadianceTM Probiotics Baby Drops can be used in babies from birth and can be used up until 2 years of age.Â At this time children are able to take RadianceTM Kids Probiotic which provides the same strain, BB-12, in a chewable tablet kid’s love.Â You can add the Baby Drops to breast milk, formula or apply to the nipple prior to breastfeeding.Â If your baby has moved on to solids it can be added to food.
Always read the label and use as directed. See your healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Pharmacare NZ Ltd, Auckland
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Lorelle is a qualified naturopath and medical herbalist with 15 years’ experience in natural health.Â The simple principles of living well – good nutrition and physical activity – are the basis of her philosophy on health and support her love of endurance racing and all things outdoors.