Is your baby suffering from recurrent diarrhea?
The joy of welcoming a new born baby into the world is incomparable. While the first few weeks are magical, the transition from a delicate new born infant to a bouncing cheerful baby can be a trying period for many new parents. Often the cooing and gurgling is interspersed with bouts of crying and irritability, may be indicative of digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea or colic.
New born babies, usually pass stool 3-4 times a day, being more frequent in breast fed babies. However, the frequency of passing stools varies among babies. World Health Organization defines diarrhea as passage of 3 or more loose or liquid stools per day.
Diarrhea in infants are mainly due to infection of digestive system caused by virus, bacteria or parasite. However, it can also be due to, change in the mother’s diet while breastfeeding, use of antibiotics by baby or the breastfeeding mother, allergy to milk protein or lactose intolerance etc.
Research supports the fact that healthy gut bacteria composition, enhances both gut health and digestion. To reduce instances of diarrhea due to infections, improving gut health through baby’s diet is crucial.
Breast milk is an important source of nutrition and bioactive compounds like prebiotic oligosaccharides, that help to establish balance of bacteria in gut. These, enhance growth of good bacteria and reduce the growth of bad bacteria.
What to give during diarrhea?
With dehydration being one of the biggest concerns associated with diarrhea, it is advisable to continue breastfeeding as it contains the fluids and nutrients that a baby is losing during diarrhea.
Research indicate that prebiotics in breast milk helps in reduction of incidences of diarrhea by promoting good gut health and digestion.
Other examples of prebiotics are galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), inulin which have also proven beneficial in reducing incidences of diarrhea.
However, if your baby is 3 months or younger, has fever, is vomiting, is irritable, doesn’t want to feed, is showing signs of dehydration like a dry mouth and has not wet the diaper for 3 or more hours, contact your health care professional immediately.