Benefits of Probiotics for Breastfed Babies

     Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in the intestines and can maintain digestive health and may even have benefits for breastfed babies.  They aid digestion and counteract bad bacteria that cause illnesses.  Probiotics are known to be an effective treatment for babies with acute diarrhea.  They may also help gas and discomforts in babies with colic. (1) 

     A baby’s immune system is almost entirely dependent on the mother’s breast milk for protection from the outside environment during the first few weeks of its life.  Breast feeding is now recognized as an important strategy for a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in an infant’s digestive tract. (2)

     The best source of probiotics for babies is breast milk, while fortified formula and food sources such as yogurt are also sources.  Breast milk contains prebiotics that promote the growth of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract, which causes a breastfed baby’s bacteria composition to differ from a formula-fed baby’s.  Probiotics pass into the breast milk, therefore, a mother can increase the level by consuming probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, fortified soy milk or juice, miso and fermented milk products.  Mothers can also increase the level of beneficial bacteria in their breast milk by taking probiotic supplements. (1)

     In cases where breastfeeding is not producing an adequate supply of breast milk, babies can receive probiotics from formulas which contain them.  Infant-strength probiotics are available as well, and once a baby is on solid foods, encourage probiotic-rich foods. (1)




(1)  Live Strong.  Probiotics while Breastfeeding.  Retrieved September 25, 2013 from

(2)  Dr.  Alex Rineheart.  Create Life Long Wellness.  The Important Role of Breastfeeding on Infant Gut Development.  Retrieved September 25, 2013 from


About dustindru

I am a dietetic student at Kansas State University. Currently I work as a geologist for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Over the years I found myself researching diet and nutrition during my free time. Therefore, I decided to seek a career in a field I am passionate about. I have ulcerative colitis, which led me to studying the effects of probiotics on health. It has become of great interest to me, therefore, I chose probiotics as my blog topic.

4 responses to “Benefits of Probiotics for Breastfed Babies

  1. Jan

    The title of your blog is so intriguing. I am sure the rest of your posts are going to be as well. I also love that you talk about breastfeeding in a very positive light. I just wish that you had an “about me” section, or some other way that we can get to know you, and why your point of view is important to you.

  2. Pingback: The Nutritional Benefits of Mahewu | The African Pot Nutrition

  3. Pingback: Breastfeeding and Vitamin D Supplements | Breastfeeding in Public Blog

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