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Study finds probiotic helps relieve baby colic nightmare

Published: Wednesday,10 Jan 2018 Author: stuff

A new international study has shown some breastfed babies with colic have reduced crying times when given Lactobacillus ...


A new international study has shown some breastfed babies with colic have reduced crying times when given Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic.

 

Most parents have been there – pacing the floor with a baby that simply won't stop crying.

 

And for many of these babies, the cause is colic, a condition that causes sore tums and just as much pain for the parents.

 

Now, relief may be in sight, thanks to the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, which has just published, in the journal Pediatrics, the results of an extensive study that involved collaboration with 11 international institutions.

 

Melbourne mother-of-two Kim Hutchinson consoles baby Celia, who has colic and can cry for hours on end.

CHRIS HOPKINS

Melbourne mother-of-two Kim Hutchinson consoles baby Celia, who has colic and can cry for hours on end.

 

The institute found that a common probiotic called Lactobacillus reuteri does help reduce crying and fussing in some breastfed babies.

 

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Lead author, paediatrician Dr Valerie Sung, said that although earlier studies showed mixed results, the latest study with pooled information found that breastfeeding babies who were given the probiotic reduced crying after 21 days by an an average of almost 50 minutes a day, compared to those who did not have the treatment.

 

"I guess for parents, that is a significant change and relief," Dr Sung said. "But parents should also realise this is not a cure, it may help some babies stop crying for some time. It does not mean that things with be fixed overnight."

 

The treatment could not be proven to be effective in formula-fed infants, however, with further research needed on the topic. One theory behind the different response is that breastfed and formula-fed infants have different gut flora.

 

"If they are worried about the babies crying, they should still see their GP, because the doctor should exclude any underlying medical cause," she said.

 

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"And they should also think about stopping it once the period of crying is over, because, although we know this probiotic is very safe in the short term, we don't yet have information about long-term effects."

 

Melbourne mother-of-two Kim Hutchinson welcomed the news. She recently gave birth to Celia, aged almost three months, who often cries for hours in the afternoon and evening. "When a baby is crying for hours and hours on end it is almost a form of torture," she said.

 

"You try everything. Is there a sleeping bag that will assist? Do I hold them upright? Do I put them in a bouncer? Do I put them on the side? You are awake at 4am, Googling, like all the other mums out there."

 

Dr Sung says pharmacies may need to order in the probiotic oral drops for babies.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/parenting/100321107/study-finds-probiotic-helps-relieve-baby-colic-nightmare


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