Originally Posted by AJP
Giving probiotics to a baby who is (or was before starting solids) exclusively breastfed and whose mom is healthy (i.e. doesn't have candida problems or gut issues) seems, um, odd to me. Is this what you guys are talking about? I mean, if baby is showing signs of digestive trouble or if mom's flora is out of whack, I could see the use in supplementing. But if all is well with baby and there are no signs of digestive distress or allergy/intolerances, giving probiotic supplements strikes me as inappropriate. Are you only talking about babies who are showing signs of food intolerances? Reading this thread, I'm thinking some moms would be getting the impression that all babies should be getting a probiotic supplement from the get-go, with which I heartily disagree. Not wanting to step on toes, just trying to clarify.
This is JMO, but...I think as a preventitive measure it is a really good idea to give all babies probiotics at birth. There are so many ways that a baby's gut flora can be screwed up (C-section, ONE bottle of formula, antibiotics for mom or baby, vaxes, OTC meds, etc, etc) and it is so incredibly important for them to have good gut flora right off the bat. OTOH, if a baby is past the newborn stage and doesn't appear to have any issues, then I don't see anything wrong with giving (or not) probiotics if you want. I am speaking as the mom of a toddler with multiple food intolerance, eczema, etc so of course that colors my perspective, but if I had known at DD's birth what I know now she would have received probiotics from birth and perhaps all of her issues would have been avoided. (And BTW my DD did not have any of the things I listed above that can screw up gut flora, and I was not aware of having a gut flora imbalance myself, either...so you just never know.) And I am NOT normally in favor of giving any supplements (with the possible exception of sodium ascorbate/vitamin C during illnesses) to EBF babies.