On many points, you can influence the future well-being of your baby as soon as you learn your pregnancy, with very little rules to put in place. If we have chosen to tell you about this one in particular, it is because it is very common. It affects one in four children. Once a baby is born, many mothers find themselves helpless when faced with their toddler’s unexplained crises after breastfeeding. This evil is called “ infant colic ».
Infant colic is also a suffering for parents, linked to a feeling of helplessness and guilt, with sometimes major consequences: cessation of breastfeeding, maternal postnatal depression, shaken baby syndrome, unnecessary use of medication.
What is infant colic?
After his meal, your baby seems calm but suddenly he starts crying very loudly. He squirms, turns red, his intestines go into spasms. Her belly is hard, swollen. It sometimes emits gases or in it which seem to relieve him. Only a little because the tears, tears of pain, don’t stop for long minutes. The origin of these colic is difficult to determine. What we know is that this disease is benign, without gravity or consequences on his health but that it causes your child to suffer terribly.
Infant colic appears a few days or weeks after birth, usually after breastfeeding. Especially in the second part of the day and when the baby is lying down. To be considered colic, there are several points to remember: these attacks must occur at least three times a week, last at least three hours a day and persist for at least a week.
They are disconcerting, because they come on suddenly and nothing really seems to calm them down. These seizures usually completely cease during the third or fourth month, as suddenly as they appeared.
You can relieve baby from pregnancy
Fortunately, science has revealed a promising lead for limit their risk of occurrence and their intensity: the trail of probiotics. And it all starts before the baby is born, from the third trimester of pregnancy. Researchers have shown that high-dose multi-strain probiotic supplementation in late-pregnant and lactating women influences the composition of breast milk. Of the 66 participants, the infants of supplemented mums reported immune benefits and fewer gastrointestinal disorders1. You can easily find this type of nutritional supplement in pharmacies, without a prescription.
Killing two birds with one stone: in addition to relieving baby, taking probiotics during the last trimester of pregnancy limits the risk of pre-eclampsia according to Norwegian researchers who analyzed data from more than 70,0002 pregnancies. It is a disease that usually occurs in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. It is manifested by hypertension and the presence of protein in the urine, edema and associated weight gain. Women who suffer from pre-eclampsia are exposed to several major risks. Eclampsia, a convulsive seizure associated with high blood pressure that can occur in the last trimester of pregnancy, during labor, or after delivery, retroplacental hematoma, pulmonary edema, hemorrhage, acute renal failure, bleeding disorders. Baby can lack oxygen and nutrients, which poses risks to his development. He can also suffer during labor or the first days of life.
A cure to continue with baby but with very specific probiotics.
Several probiotics have already been tested to calm colic in young children, with mixed results. This is why a team from the University of Naples Federico has worked to demonstrate that it is a very specific strain that must be taken by infants, to treat these colic3 : Bifidobacterium animalis, subspecies of milk BB-12.
The trial lasted 28 days and included 2 groups of exclusively breastfed colicky infants. 40 babies received BB-12 drops (1 × 109 CFU/day), 40 babies received placebo. The analysis shows that:
- the rate of infants having reduced by at least 50% the average duration of daily crying is higher in infants supplemented (80%) after 15 days of treatment. Only 32% of unsupplemented babies had less colic;
- on average, supplemented babies have 5 less daily crying episodes;
- results continue after treatment is discontinued.
Results from four clinical trials conducted on 345 infants suffering from colic, also confirm the interest of probiotics. About half of these babies received probiotics, Lactobacillus reuteri, while the others took a placebo. These clinical trials took place in Canada, Italy, Australia and Poland, so the mothers had different food cultures and therefore a significantly different milk composition. The benefit of taking these probiotics seems to be confirmed in all cases. Results indicate that Lactobacillus reuteri, given for three weeks to exclusively breastfed babies, doubled the chances of halving their crying time4. The probiotics in these two studies are sold in liquid form in pharmacies and are available without a prescription.
What if you are not breastfeeding?
The effectiveness of these treatments has only been observed in exclusively breastfed babies. So researchers can’t say whether these treatments are effective in formula-fed babies. That doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.
To find out more, The food guide for the future mother, Magali Walkowicz, published by Editions Thierry Souccar.