Probiotics. I have taken them in the past; my pharmacist always suggested them when I was on antibiotics. It wasn’t until I had kids that I started to learn that they aren’t only for use while on antibiotics. Questions about probiotics come up with my clients often so I reached out to Dr Lisa Knapper, Naturopathic doctor, to get some answers.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are the good bacteria that live and colonize in our digestive tracts, making up what is called our microbiome. They influence many actions in our bodies such as our immune system function, nutrient absorption, and the health of our digestive lining.
Who should take them?
Probiotics are well tolerated by many people of all ages. For example, Probiotics would be beneficial to baby that was born via c-section, anybody with recent or prolonged antibiotic use, in times of increased stress, or if your immune system needs a boost.
At what age do you suggest we start giving them to our kids?
You can start giving your child probiotics shortly after birth. Studies are showing that babies who are given a probiotic in the first 6 months of life are less prone to developing allergies. I like to start most kids on probiotics immediately, even if just for a short time, to start them off on the right path of building strong and healthy gut flora.
Can they help with gas?
They absolutely can! Although everyone is different, often not having enough good bacteria in you gut can allow other gas-producing bacteria to grown and thrive. When we take probiotics we can help balance this.
Is there a time of day that is best to give it to them?
I have found different things work for different people. I would suggest experimenting with morning or night and see what works best for you and your family.
Sleep Tip!If you offer it in the morning and find that your baby is having bowel movements during nap, try moving it to bedtime. For some babies it helps to shift that bowel movement to first thing in the morning.
If we don’t use probiotics daily, are there times it is important to have them?
Probiotics become especially important when a baby is born via C-section, anytime an antibiotic has to be used, or in times when the immune system needs a boost. I also recommend them to Mama’s in their third trimester of pregnancy.
What should we look for when choosing a probiotic?
Generally for new moms and babies a probiotic containing a wide variety of Lactobacillus species and Bifdobacterium species appear to be the most beneficial. If you or your child has a dairy sensitivity, look for a dairy free probiotic, and remember that most probiotics need to be kept in the refrigerator.
Thank you Dr Lisa! If you have any other questions about whether or not you and your little one should be taking probiotics, reach out to your Naturopathic Doctor.
“Being a Naturopathic Doctor allows me to combine my passion for Natural Medicine, my problem solving skills and my desire to help people make positive changes. My main goal is to educate and inspire you so you can feel better and be better.”
Dr Lisa Knapper can be contacted through her website: https://www.drlisaknappernd.com