Can Probiotics cause Constipation in Babies:

The human body is a complex system. It has many different parts and functions, all of which work together to keep us healthy. One part that we often overlook when it comes to our health is the gut microbiome. The good news is that you can change this by taking probiotic supplements. These are live microorganisms that help maintain balance within the gastrointestinal tract. They also have been shown to improve overall well-being.

Probiotics for babies: What do they contain?

There are two types of probiotics available on the market today – pre- and post-natal. Pre-natal means that these products were taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Post-natal refers to after birth. Both types will be beneficial if used correctly but there are some differences between them. Here’s what you need to know about each type.

Pre-Natal Probiotics

Probiotic Supplementation for Pregnant Women and Their Children: A Review of the Evidence.

The use of probiotics during pregnancy is becoming increasingly popular, but there are few studies that have examined their safety or efficacy.

Can Probiotics cause Constipation in Babies

Short answer: In most instances probiotics will not cause constipation in babies. The opposite is mostly true. Probiotics can more than likely relief constipation in babies. While this is not a common side effect, some yeast-based probiotics may cause constipation and thirst. The most common side effect of bacteria-based probiotics is gas and bloating.

If your baby is uncomfortable and constipated, a probiotic supplement may help relieve their discomfort. In this parent-friendly post, I explain what probiotics are, how to tell if your baby is constipated, and give you a list of my top ten probiotics for baby constipation!

As a parent, you closely monitor your child’s ups and downs. How many hours do they sleep during the night? How long do they sleep during the day? How much do they eat during their feeds? Are they thriving?

When your baby is constipated, it can be extremely stressful! You’re probably aware of your baby’s discomfort and want to relieve it as soon as possible!

Baby Constipation Remedies 

You can use a variety of remedies to help your baby get rid of constipation.

If mom is breast-feeding, change her diet to eliminate any potential allergens.
Change the formula if it is being fed.
If your baby is eating solids, try high fiber foods like broccoli, pears, prunes, peaches, and skinless apples.
Cooked grains high in fiber, such as oats, barley, and quinoa, are recommended.

Baby Constipation Remedies


Increase the amount of fluids your child is receiving. Constipation is frequently caused by a lack of fluids.
Give the baby some exercise. Take the baby for a walk if you can. If not, make a bicycle motion with their legs.
Massage the baby’s tummy several times per day.

Do Probiotics Help With Baby Constipation? 

If you’ve tried all of the above remedies and your baby is still constipated, you might want to consider giving him or her a probiotic.

Do Probiotics Help With Baby Constipation

Babies may have a bacterial imbalance in their gut that affects their GI tract. This, in turn, can result in constipation. Taking a probiotic supplement for infants can delay the onset of GI conditions, lowering the risk of constipation and acid reflux.

What Exactly Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that occur naturally in your body. There are both good and bad bacteria in your system. There are more bad bacteria than good bacteria when you have an infection. By taking a probiotic, you add more good bacteria to your system, which helps restore balance.

While we usually associate bacteria with the bad kind, our bodies require the good kind, which is made up of a mix of yeasts and beneficial bacteria. You can help your body fight infection by supplementing it with the good bacteria it requires.

Probiotics are beneficial to your microbiome. Each of us has a microbiome that is unique to us. Your microbiome is composed of organisms that collaborate to keep your body running and healthy.

Among the microbes found in your body are:

Bacteria
Fungi
Viruses
Protozoa

Microbes are considered probiotics if they can be isolated from humans, survive in your intestine after ingestion, benefit you, and are safe to consume. Beneficial microbes are most commonly found in your gut.

Probiotics’ main function is to help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.

Is there any risk of side effects from using probiotics to treat baby constipation? 

Probiotics designed for infants and babies have no known side effects. Infants may experience allergic reactions, stomach pain, diarrhea, gas, and bloating in some cases.

Also read:

What does OBGYN stand for?

Is it safe to give probiotics to infants? 

Probiotics have been shown in most cases to be safe for most healthy infants. However, there hasn’t been a lot of research done on the safety and effectiveness of probiotics in infants. Before beginning to use probiotics for your infant, consult with your pediatrician.

There are many different strains of probiotics, so you want to make sure you give your child the best strain. There is no specific recommended dose for infants at this time.

The majority of studies on infants and probiotics indicate that they are safe to use in healthy infants. Keep in mind that there hasn’t been a lot of research done on probiotics and infants. No major medical organization has approved their use in this age group.

Before beginning to use probiotics for your infant, consult with your doctor. This is due to a number of factors:

There are various strains that work in various ways.
They are classified as a supplement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, they are not regulated like medications and have not been proven to be safe.
At the moment, there is no official recommended dose for infants.
Some of them cause allergic reactions, stomach pain, diarrhea, as well as gas and bloating.
Infants require special attention. Before giving any type of supplement to your infant, consult with your doctor. Your doctor can discuss the benefits of probiotics with you and may recommend them or another course of treatment that is best for your child.

How can they assist? 

The reasons for using probiotics in infants may differ from those for using them in children or adults.

Clinical evidence suggests that probiotics may benefit both adults and children:

increase the number of beneficial bacteria If you take antibiotics, you can balance out the different types of bacteria in your body and reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Trusted Source can help you avoid diarrhea caused by an infection or antibiotic use.
Probiotics may help with some other conditions, according to limited clinical evidence, but more research is needed. Probiotics may be beneficial:

manage eczema, asthma, and food allergies
avoiding urinary tract infections
reduce tooth decay and periodontal disease to improve oral health
Probiotics may help with other more specific health conditions that affect infants. Infants may suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux or colic. These conditions can be difficult to manage and cause sleepless nights for both the baby and the parents. Probiotics may alleviate symptoms and reduce infant crying.

Among the most recent studies on the benefits of probiotics for infants are:

According to a 2014 study

Trusted Source discovered a health and financial benefit to treating healthy babies with a specific type of probiotic during their first three months of life. This assisted in preventing the onset of GI conditions such as reflux and constipation, as well as reducing overall crying time.

A 2011 study Trusted Source linked the use of probiotics to a reduction in colic symptoms. The study looked at the outcomes of breastfed infants who were given five drops of a probiotic supplement 30 minutes before feeding for 21 days. The infants who received the supplements cried less than those who did not receive the supplements, according to the study.
Probiotics’ benefits are likely to last only as long as they are actively used.

Is It Necessary to Give Probiotics to Your Infant?

Doctors do not recommend probiotics for newborns because they are unnecessary. A newborn child’s intestine is sterile, which means there are no bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria are actually unnecessary at the time because the baby is only exposed to breast milk. Children acquire healthy gut flora from the breast milk they drink by the first birthday, and with a diet of yoghurt also given to the child, probiotics are not deemed necessary for children.

Is It Necessary to Give Probiotics to Your Infant

However, if the child has severe vomiting or diarrhoea or has recently completed a long course of antibiotics, doctors recommend that probiotics be given to the child. These ensure that healthy gut flora return to the intestinal tract and that the child’s immune system is strengthened again. As a result, if the child was given antibiotics, they must be given to the child. Another reason to give probiotics to babies is if they have an ear infection, eczema, baby thrush, diaper rash, or constipation.

When Should You Start Your Child on Probiotics? 

Probiotics can be introduced to children at a young age because they have no negative effects on the child. They are, however, unnecessary for children whose only source of nutrition is breast milk. Probiotics are usually given only after the child begins eating solid foods. This is due to the child’s increased exposure to the environment, putting the child at risk of being attacked by dangerous microorganisms.

When Should You Start Your Child on Probiotics

Nonetheless, your child may be getting enough friendly bacteria from everyday foods such as yoghurt and vegetables. If children have been given antibiotics on a regular basis, probiotics are introduced earlier. This is due to the fact that those medications typically remove the bacteria that have colonized the gut, leaving your intestinal tract vulnerable to infections and attacks.

What Exactly Is Constipation? 

Constipation is common in infants and children. Your child’s bowel movements will change over the course of his or her life. Constipation happens when your child’s bowel movements become clogged. It is distinguished not only by infrequent bowel movements, but also by the consistency of your baby’s stool. Constipation is characterized by hard stools.

Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors. Some are behavioral in nature, while others are environmental in nature.

Constipation may occur if your child is experimenting with new foods. When it comes to bowel movements, no two babies are the same. As a result, don’t compare your child to others.

Breastfed babies may not have a bowl movement on a daily basis. Babies who are fed formula may have three to four bowel movements per day.

Bowel movements are influenced by the type of milk consumed and the introduction of new foods, and they differ greatly from one child to the next.

What exactly is acute constipation? 

Acute constipation strikes without warning. It can last several days, if not a week, before resolving (usually with help from dietary changes).

What exactly is infant chronic constipation? 

Chronic constipation is ongoing and reoccurs.

How Do You Know If Your Child Is Constipated? 

Your baby will give you cues that he or she is constipated. Keep an eye out for changes in behavior, consistency of bowel movements, and any environmental changes like new foods or a change in schedule.

Constipation Symptoms 

Infrequent Bowel Movements: Constipation is indicated if your baby has infrequent bowel movements or goes several days without a bowel movement before passing a hard stool.

Constipation is indicated by your child straining while attempting to pass a bowel movement. Constipation is associated with straining caused by hard stools in babies.

Blood in Stool: If you find red blood in your child’s stool, it indicates that he or she is straining and pushing very hard. This pushing can result in tears, which result in blood.

Bloating and constipation can cause your baby’s belly to be firm.

Refusal to Eat: Your baby may refuse to eat because he or she feels full quickly, or because they have bloating and fullness. Eating may also make them feel worse.

What’s Causing Your Baby’s Constipation? 

There could be a number of causes for your baby’s constipation.

Lack of fluids is the second most common cause of constipation. This is less common in breastfed babies, but more common in formula-fed babies or babies eating solid foods.

If your baby anticipates pain when having a bowel movement, they may withhold it, causing them additional pain and constipation.

Constipation in Exclusively Breastfed Babies 

If your baby is constipated while breast-feeding, the cause could be something in mom’s diet. If you are breast-feeding your baby, you should consider changing your diet because your child may be allergic to something you are eating (typically dairy, soy, wheat/gluten, corn, nuts).

While breastfed babies are less likely to experience constipation because breast milk is easily digestible and even considered a natural laxative, it can occur. However, it typically occurs around 4 months of age, when babies go through a major growth spurt and sleep regression, or after 6 months, when other foods such as rice cereals, cow’s milk, or low fiber foods are introduced.

Your breastfed baby may be constipated if they have pellet-like stools, arches their back, and strains while going.

Formula Fed Babies: Formula Change or Too Much Iron? 

Because formula is thicker than breast milk, it is more difficult to digest. However, if your baby was doing well on one formula and you change it or give them a formula with too much iron, this may cause a change in their bowel movements.

Introducing New Foods, Specifically High Iron Baby Cereals and Dairy 

When babies are 6 months old, you can start introducing them to new foods like rice cereal and pureed fruits and vegetables. If you feed your baby rice cereal and they consume too much iron, they may become constipated. Another common cause of constipation in babies is the consumption of bananas, white grains, and excessive dairy (cheese, yogurt).

Sources of Probiotics

There are two major sources of probiotics for babies, both of which are listed below:

Foods High in Probiotics for Babies

Breast milk contains sufficient probiotics for a newborn’s digestive system. These beneficial bacteria colonize the gut, allowing the baby’s digestion to run smoothly. In addition, infant formulas typically contain Bifidobacterium Lactis, which is also found in breast milk; this can be given to the child on a regular basis. Foods high in healthy bacteria can be given to children who are a little older than the breastfeeding age. Yogurt is an example of a common food item high in probiotic bacteria; alternatively, you can give your child probiotic-containing baby foods.

Supplements

Probiotic supplements for children and infants are available in powdered form. This is not only simple to use, but it is also simple to administer to the child. The simplest way to give probiotics to your child is to dip your finger in the powder and let your child suck it off your finger. You can also incorporate it into his regular diet, whether it’s breast milk, formula, or baby food. It has been discovered that if the baby stops consuming these probiotic bacteria, the amount of bacteria in the intestine returns to normal levels in a matter of days.

Which Probiotics Are the Most Effective for Baby Constipation? 

Now that we’ve discussed probiotics and infant constipation, you might be ready to try a probiotic to help your baby’s constipation. According to Reuters, “after two, four, and eight weeks, babies taking probiotics had significantly more bowel movements than babies on the placebo, indicating an improvement in their constipation.” At the start of the study, the probiotic babies had less than three bowel movements per week on average. They had an average of nearly five by week eight.

Which Probiotics Are the Most Effective for Baby Constipation

BioGaia Protectis Probiotics Drops with Vitamin D for Baby, Infants, and Newborns

These baby drops relieve colic and contain vitamin D. These drops can help with common digestive issues like colic, spit-ups, constipation, and diarrhea. Each dose contains 100 million CFUs and 1 probiotic strain (L.reuteri Protectis) that naturally colonizes the digestive tract and is even found in breastmilk.

Mommy’s Bliss Baby Probiotic Drops Everyday

Mommy’s Bliss probiotics are non-GMO, flavorless, allergen-free, and contain one of the most extensively researched probiotic strains. It contains one strain and one billion CFUs (Lactobacillus rhamnosus). These probiotic drops are safe to use from birth. They support the digestive system of the baby, which helps keep his or her stomach happy.

Gerber Soothe Baby Everyday Probiotic Drops for Newborns and Infants

This Non-GMO formula contains soothing probiotics that help to relieve the fussiness associated with colic, constipation, and excessive crying. Contains one strain of probiotics – Probiotic L. reuteri – that contributes to the development of the baby’s gut microbiome. Garden of Life Raw Probiotic Supplement for Children

This option is available in powder form with a mild banana flavor, making it simple to incorporate into a breakfast smoothie. It contains 5 billion CFU, 5 different probiotic strains, and 23 raw organic fruits and vegetables. It’s also gluten-free, organically certified, and free of sugars, soy, binders, and fillers. It can be used from 3 months of age until your child reaches the age of adolescence (just check the label for dosing instructions based on your child’s age).

Garden of Life Baby Probiotics

These drops contain 7 probiotic strains and 4 billion CFU to help with colic, digestion, constipation, and immunity. It contains no artificial flavors, sweeteners, dyes, or chemicals. It’s also USDA organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan-certified. Made for babies aged 6 months and up.

Mary Ruth’s Infant Probiotic Drops

This USDA certified organic liquid probiotic aids in the development of a healthy gut in babies, supporting immunity, digestion, and overall health. It is designed for babies aged 0 to 12 months and contains four probiotic strains. It is non-GMO, vegan, shelf-stable, contains no fillers, and is easy to absorb. It alleviates colic fussiness and digestive discomfort. It has 1.7 million CFUs.

Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Daily Probiotic Drops

These daily probiotics drops support your baby’s gut health and are designed for babies aged 0 to 12 months, but can be used up to 3 years old. The micro-encapsulated probiotic blend contains 200 million CFUs and two strains of probiotics, and it aids in the digestion of a baby. These all-natural probiotic drops are both safe and effective for daily use.

Evivo Baby Probiotic Starter Kit

This live probiotic has been shown to restore good bacteria in your baby’s gut. It significantly reduces the bad bacteria that causes colic, diaper rash, and allergies, while also creating a protective internal environment in your baby’s gut. It contains no artificial ingredients, is gluten-free, has 8 billion CFU, and 1 probiotic strain (B. Longum Infantis).

Culturelle Baby Grow + Thrive Probiotics + Vitamin D Drops

This brand supplements good bacteria with safe, gentle ingredients that help support the digestive and immune systems. These probiotics have been fortified with vitamin D to help lay a solid foundation for your infant’s healthy development. It contains 2.5 billion CFUs and two probiotic strains and is intended for babies aged 0 to 12 months.

LoveBug Probiotics for Infants 0-6 Months Old Immune Support

These flavorless, vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free powder packets contain one billion active cultures and three probiotic strains. During the early stages of development, this blend helps baby’s digestive health. It is designed specifically for babies aged 0 to 6 months. The flavorless packets can be mixed into breast milk, formula, or food.

When Is the Best Time of Day to Give Probiotics to My Baby? 

Probiotics for constipation are best given first thing in the morning before their first feeding or last thing at night after their last feeding. If you choose a probiotic for your baby, make sure to read the recommended time on the packaging.

Some probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach, while others are best taken with food.

I hope this guide has assisted you in your search for the best probiotics for baby constipation! With this information in hand, you should be able to make the best decision for your family. As your child grows, be sure to read my post on the Best Probiotics for Kids!

Please consult with your pediatrician on proper dosing and to ensure they approve of the probiotic you have chosen before using any of these products for your child(ren). I’m not a doctor, and this is not intended to be medical advice.

Potential risks

Probiotics are not regulated by the FDA, and their use can be hazardous. When giving probiotics to an infant, proceed with caution and consult with your doctor first.

In general, probiotics have few side effects in healthy adults and children, but more research is needed to fully understand their benefits and risks. Probiotics may cause adverse reactions in people who have weakened immune systems, have health problems, or were born prematurely. They could, for example, become infected.

Product categories 

There is currently no standard that specifies how probiotics should be administered, particularly to infants. Remember that not all probiotics are created equal. Before proceeding, consult with your child’s doctor. There may be one type that is better suited to your child’s requirements than others.

Infant probiotics are available as supplemental drops as well as in infant formulas. Foods containing probiotics, such as yogurt, may be consumed by older children.

If probiotics are dispensed in a bottle, they may become less viable over time. In 2018, researchers investigated how long the probiotic supplement Infolran would remain stable in breast milk, sterile water, and formula. The researchers concluded that probiotics should be given within six hours if given in breast milk or sterile water kept at 39.2°F (4°C). In formula kept at this temperature, the probiotics lasted longer.

What is Lactobacillus bulgaricus?

Lactobacillus d. bulgaricus (L. d. bulgaricus) is a type of beneficial bacteria that lives in the digestive tract. Intestinal bacteria are also known as gut flora or microbes. This bacterial strain may also be found in foods or supplements. It is referred to as probiotics when consumed.

A healthy gut flora balance helps to keep your intestinal walls strong and bad bacteria at bay, lowering your risk of chronic disease.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that, when consumed, may play an important role in maintaining your health. Probiotics have grown in popularity over the last decade. But, what do the studies say about these bacteria? Continue reading to learn more.

What are the advantages? 

L. d. bulgaricus, or any other probiotic, has not been approved by the FDA to treat disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that research on probiotics is inconclusive.

The National Institutes of Health did note some potential health benefits of L. d. bulgaricus and probiotics. According to preliminary research, they may play a role in the management of the following health conditions:

The common cold is caused by liver disease.
antibiotic-induced diarrhea
IBD is an inflammatory bowel disease.
Atopic dermatitis is a type of dermatitis that affects the skin (eczema)
Rhinitis caused by allergies (hay fever)
tooth decay caused by colic
Periodontitis and other oral health issues
Keeping Necrotizing Enterocolitis at Bay

According to the research 

Through research, scientists have begun to investigate the health benefits of probiotics.

Diarrhea caused by antibiotics (AAD)

A recent study published in JAMATrusted Source looked into the research behind probiotics and AAD. The study’s findings suggest that probiotics can help reduce AAD, but more research is needed.

C. dificile (CDD)

CDD is a common side effect of antibiotic therapy. According to a Trusted Source analysis, L. d. bulgaricus had no effect on CDD. Another probiotic, S. boulardii, was found to be effective in the treatment of CDD.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

According to a Trusted Source review of probiotics, they may be useful in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Another study found that probiotics like L. d. bulgaricus can help with other types of IBD, including Crohn’s disease. More research, however, is required.

Constipation

Several studies

L. d. bulgaricus has been shown in studies on mice to alleviate constipation symptoms.

Mental well-being

Beneficial bacteria may benefit more than just your digestive system. An examination Probiotics may help manage a variety of mental health conditions, according to 38 studies. ADHD and depression may be included. However, the majority of these studies were conducted on animals, and more research is required.

Probiotic safety concerns 

According to one recent study

According to Trusted Source, the majority of the available evidence indicates that probiotics are safe. According to the NIH, most people who are otherwise healthy can benefit from probiotics.

Certain groups are more likely to become infected. They are as follows:

People in intensive care units, sick infants, and those who have recently undergone surgery
people with weakened immune systems, such as those infected with HIV
The following are the most common infections:

sepsis
Fungemia due to GI ischemia
Probiotics should not be used in place of more established treatments. Antibiotics and prescription medications may interact with them. Before using probiotics, consult with your doctor.

Probiotic side effects 

Because you’re introducing new bacteria into your gut, L. d. bulgaricus and other probiotics can cause bloating and intestinal gas. This is usually only a temporary situation. If you experience these side effects, reduce the dose or take it less frequently.

Where can you find Lactobaccilus d. bulgaricus?

L can be found. d. bulgaricus and other probiotics can be found in natural foods as well as supplements. L. d. Bulgaricus can be found in a variety of fermented common foods such as:

yogurt
pickles
beer
wine
sauerkraut
specific cheeses
kimchi
miso
a few soy sauces
bean pastes that have been fermented
These foods contain varying amounts of L. d. bulgaricus, as well as other probiotics A dietitian can assist you in determining how many probiotics each type of food contains.

You can get L. d. Bulgaricus can be obtained through a variety of supplements. It is important to note that the FDA does not regulate supplements. This means that, unlike prescription medications, there isn’t a large body of research to back up their health claims.

What dosage of Lactobaccilus bulgaricus should you take? 

Probiotics are typically measured by the number of live organisms they contain. A typical L. dosage d. Bulgaricus doses range from one billion to several hundred billion live bacteria.

There is no set amount of probiotics you should take. A standard dose of L is safe to take. d. bulgaricus, as well as other probiotics However, if you experience any side effects or have drug interactions, reduce or discontinue your supplements.

Statistics (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)

  • Introduction Prevalence of childhood constipation has been estimated at 1% to 30% in the general population worldwide; most children have no obvious aetiological factors.
  • Prevalence of chronic constipation has been estimated at 1% to 5% of children in the UK and US, most of whom have no obvious aetiological factors.
  • Prevalence of childhood constipation has been estimated at 1% to 30% in the general population worldwide.
  • One systematic review showed a worldwide prevalence of childhood constipation in the general population worldwide ranging from 1% to 30%.
  • An episode of painful defecation was noted in more than 50% of people who were suffering from faecal soiling or chronic faecal impaction.
  • On average, 50% of the children referred to a paediatric gastroenterologist will recover and will be without laxatives after 6 to 12 months, 10% will be well while taking laxatives, and 40% will still be symptomatic despite use of laxatives.
  • After 5 and 10 years, 50% and 80% of the children, respectively, will be recovered, with the vast majority no longer taking laxatives.
  • The initial daily fibre intake was low in 22/31 (71%) children included in the study.
  • [3%] with placebo; P = 0.109).
  • The first review pooled data found no significant difference between fibre and placebo in bowel movements per week (2 RCTs, bowel movements per week: weighted SMD +0.35, 95% CI –0.04 to +0.74, P <0.10; absolute numbers in analysis not reported).

Sources

Can Probiotics cause Constipation in Babies