Professional Resource

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Treating Colic With Probiotics or Parental Support: A Professional and Personal View

by Dr. Jonathan Goldfinger, MD, MPH, FAAP, Chief Medical Officer, HealthySteps, ZERO TO THREE

Colic is a common, distressing experience for parents. The intense, frequent, and prolonged crying, seemingly for no reason, can be very upsetting. Depending on the study, anywhere from 8–40% of babies and their parents go through this. Many experience what my parents once described as chauffeuring my screaming older brother around town for endless nights until he fell asleep.

Treating Colic With Lactobacillus

As common as colic is, there is little agreement on how to manage it. So it was no surprise when a new study titled Lactobacillus reuteri to Treat Infant Colic: A Meta-analysis by Valerie Sung and colleagues was published in a recent issue of the journal Pediatrics and the accompanying commentary read, Is It Time To Recommend Lactobacillus for Colic? Not Necessarily. Years addressing newborn and parent well-being in a primary care breastfeeding clinic led me to similarly promising, yet rebutted studies.

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