Evidenced-Based Info and Essential Advice for New Parents or Soon-To-Be Parents
Spit ups, reflux, “colic”, and new mothers feeling that “something is wrong with me” – these are issues which are occurring much too frequently. Avoiding too much coffee and brussels sprouts and cauliflower can only help so much. It’s important to be informed and understand the evolution of the human body and what is needed for baby, so you can know:
- Why your baby is experiencing these symptoms and how probiotics can help decrease and diminish them
- You can get rid of guilt from thinking that something is wrong with your breastmilk
- Learn a solution which can restore baby’s gut microbiome, and decrease digestion issues and fussiness
Introducing Evivo probiotics for newborns and babies: Implemented in Hospital NICU’s with MCT Oil and given to preterm infants, Evivo Probiotics are now available to provide to your Little One at home.
“If we give a probiotic, their [a premature baby’s] chance of getting Necrotizing enterocolitis goes down,” says Mark Underwood, who is chief of Pediatric Neonatology at UC Davis and a professor of pediatrics. In fact, at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, all preemies born under a certain birth weight are now given probiotics. It’s become a common practice in other countries including Australia, Japan, Sweden and Finland, Underwood says. This is because probiotics can help prevent a very serious intestinal inflammation called Necrotizing enterocolitis in preemies.
Research on Evivo Probiotics
- In Evivo’s Clinical Trial, Evivo restored infants’ gut microbiome 100% of the time
- Babies given Evivo probiotics showed 80% reduction in potentially harmful bacteria such as E. coli, clostridia, Staph and Strep; babies who did not receive Evivo had more than 4 times the level harmful bacteria versus the babies given Evivo
Gone are the days that the word “bacteria” just means something bad. This is because there is also good bacteria which is essential in balancing your gut flora. Good gut environment equals better immunity and resistance to disease. Research studies have shown that colic, eczema, allergies, diabetes, and obesity are all related to how much good vs. bad bacteria was collected within the first few months of life. We need more good bacteria to be present in the gut to decrease bad bacteria. Unfortunately, an increasing number of babies experience disruption in their bellies that actually cause bad bacteria to thrive.
Consequences of a Disrupted Gut
- 9.6 million children under the age of 18 have eczema; of this total, 3.2 million children (33%) have moderate to severe cases (National Eczema Org)
- There are at least two children with food allergies in almost every kindergarten classroom (FARE)
- Over one million children in the U.S. have type 1 diabetes (American Diabetes Association)
- The rate of obesity doubles as children grow from toddlers to teens (CDC)
Why is Evivo Important for Babies?
The first 6 months of baby’s life contain many critical developmental milestones. The presence of B. infantis is vital during these crucial early months of life when baby’s metabolism and immune system are developing. Unfortunately, due to modern medical practices and lifestyles, the vast majority (9 out of 10) of American babies no longer receive B. infantis at birth.
How does Evivo Work?
Evivo works to create a protective internal environment in your baby’s gut, and it’s clinically proven to do just that by significantly reducing the abundance of bad bacterias. Evivo probiotics reduce the presence of bad bacteria by restoring B. infantis, a good bacteria that thrives most in the intestines of infants as it helps break down the lactic acid in breast milk. Are you a mom with a baby who exclusively breastfeeds? Then it will be important for you to know that lactose is the only sugar which is naturally found in breastmilk, AND the only sugar babies should be consuming. Evivo only contains lactose and activated B. infantis EVC001. It is gluten-free, and there are absolutely NO artificial additives, colors, dyes, flavors, or preservatives.
Evivo’s scientists are world-renowned experts in the infant gut microbiome and its critical interaction with human breast milk. Over a decade of research and clinical trials at The University of California led to the important discovery that the nutrients in breast milk that have evolved over millions of years to become the perfect prebiotic, or food, for B. infantis, the key good gut bacteria in Evivo. This research concluded that only one bacteria—the B. infantis in Evivo—takes advantage of this unique relationship. The amazing breastmilk nutrients, Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs), feed B. infantis in Evivo, and the B. infantis returns the favor by transforming the HMOs so they can serve as valuable nutrition for your baby. Without B. infantis as much as 15% of the nutrients in your breast milk will be wasted in your baby’s diaper!
Evivo probiotics help you build a strong foundation in your baby’s gut by improving the good flora in your baby’s gut environment, improve digestion, further increases immunity, and decreases the probability of allergies and disease later in life.
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A hypothesis for colic is presented by Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp with a term defined as “The Missing Fourth Trimester”. This refers to the timeframe of a newborn baby’s first three months, and Dr. Karp’s discovery of the neonatal response, also known as the calming reflex or “off switch” for crying in infants younger than 3 months, which is activated by his solution called “The 5 S’s” technique.
According to most doctors, there are four main theories of the cause of colic:
- gastrointestinal disorders
- difficult temperament
- brain immaturity
- maternal anxiety
However, Dr. Karp lists several rebuttals to these four theories in detail:
- Colic starts at 2 weeks of age; gas starts shortly after birth
- Colic ends at 3 months of age; gas lasts a lifetime. Dr. Karp argues symptoms like gas that are suggestive of intestinal pain are probably an overreaction of an immature neurological system to normal intestinal sensations (e.g., the gastrocolic reflex).
- Colic peaks in the evening; gas occurs all day. Dr. Karp claims evening predominance of crying may be caused by a gradual accumulation of stress throughout the day in the absence of calming rhythmic stimulation which newborns are used to experiencing in the womb.
- Colic is absent from some cultures around the world; gas is not. Dr. Karp explains that the parents in these cultures imitate the womb for the baby all day long with constant holding and rocking and frequent nursing.
- Overfeeding is ruled out, as one of these cultures known as the !Kung San, nurse their children 50 to 100 times a day, but their babies never experience colic.
- The swallowed air theory also doesn’t seem to apply, due to radiographs of fussy babies demonstrating they have more air in the GI tract when they finished crying than when they began to cry.
- The theory of brain immaturity does not match either. Newborns do have immature brains that are incompletely myelinated. They display slow transmission of impulses from the retina to the occipital cortex during the first three months of life, have frequent tremors, irregular breathing, crossing of their eyes, and poor state control. However preemies have very immature state control, and they do not experience colic until after their due date.
- The theory of difficult infant temperament was rebuked by researchers as well through numerous studies which have found the association with temperament to be small.
- In addition, the theory that maternal anxiety is a cause of colic was rebutted by studies with mothers of colicky babies proving they are no more inherently anxious than other mothers, and colic is as common in a couple’s fifth baby as in their first baby. Dr. Karp explains this argues against anxiety playing a role in colic because parents tend to be more anxious with their first baby than subsequent ones.
- Lastly, the cessation of colic after approximately 3 months fits perfectly with Dr. Karp’s theory of the missing fourth trimester.
Dr. Karp notes that while these four theories are aspects of colic, they don’t detail its root cause; which is what he calls the missing fourth trimester. He even states babies are born three months too soon. Whether this is the case or not, we need to consider that upon birth, babies are suddenly extracted from a rhythmic, snug and entrancing environment (the womb) to an environment of sporadic noises, new reflexes and sensations. Therefore it is understandable this may overwhelm infants who have poor state control and thus provoke persistent crying.
The exciting part is the solution Dr. Karp has found to be a calming reflex which takes place involuntarily during the last months of pregnancy. The response puts fetuses in a trance, keeping them head down and motionless. Dr. Karp’s clinical experience has found that the calming reflex can be activated after a baby is born as well, by what he calls “The 5 S’s” – maneuvers that mimic uterine sensations. These techniques include:
- Swaddling, which keeps the baby snug and mimicking the womb’s motionless hold during the last few months during pregnancy
- Side or stomach positioning which halts the Moro reflex as babies aren’t in the supine position
- Shushing to audibly reenact the sound of blood flow fetus’ have heard for their entire life before birth
- Swinging copies the movements the baby experienced inside of the mother
- Sucking, which relocated babies sucking their fingers in utero
I believe every pediatrician, caregiver, and parent should be informed of Dr. Karp’s theory of the missing fourth trimester. In my experience, performing the 5 S’s solution has soothed many babies I’ve cared for and proves to be an important gift every baby deserves in their first few months of their beautiful new life.
The baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment they’re born and lasts until three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in newborns, as they adjust to the new world outside the womb. Dr. Harvey Karp, an assistant professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine and nationally renowned expert on children’s health and the environment, believes that newborns experience “fourth trimester” issues.
The 5 S’s
These five actions re-create the atmosphere in the womb – the “fourth trimester,” and are the secrets to calming colic, or a fussy baby. Babies can have a difficult time getting used to the huge amount of stimuli present in life outside of Mom’s body. Their reaction to all of this is to cry and cry.
What is Colic?
Newborns inherently are soothed by recreating their environment, mimicking that of the womb. These are swaddling, shushing loudly, sideways or stomach positioning, swinging, and sucking. Newborn Care Specialists can teach this method to you so you can calm your baby down if they are overstimulated or overtired. The result can be a happy baby on a healthy sleep schedule, better nutrient absorption, and more alertness (for all of you!).
Through mastering these 5 methods and babywearing, getting through the 4th trimester can be so much easier. Babies at this age physiologically cannot self-regulate and rely on an adult to help them to feel safe and secure and even a physical boundary, like being in the womb, which is why swaddling and babywearing is so calming to their nervous system.
If you have a newborn, book a Virtual Newborn Consultation to get fast solutions which can help get you on track.
If you have an infant (older than 6 weeks), book Virtual Infant Care Coaching to learn more tips, solve your issues fast, and master the 4th trimester in a pinch!
If you’re pregnant, you’re on the right path! Get prepped with our Virtual Tackle the 4th Trimester consultation and our Virtual Newborn Care Class. Doing this ahead of time can ease you into what to expect for your new life.
Overstimulating a newborn is very easy to do and it’s important to learn the cues to avoid crossing this delicate line. When your baby is overtired or overstimulated, a pacifier can’t always do the trick! A Doula or Newborn Care Specialist can teach you about the secrets of the fourth trimester and how to nurture your newborn back into feeling a familiar safe, secure environment which mimics your womb.
Signs of Sleepy Baby
They are calming down, they’re sucking slower, they’re yawning, eyes do not look around, eyelids start to droop.
Signs of an Overstimulated Baby
They’re cranky, irritable, they’re crying uncontrollably, they look away from you, they’re staring at a wall (gaze aversion), crying, arching of back and neck, tremors, coughing, flailing arms or legs, sneezing, rubbing eyes, twitching, grasping, sighing, breathing rate may be faster or slower or may have pauses that last 2 seconds or more, skin may be pale, dusky, red or/and blotchy, arms and/or legs may be extended or stretched out, fingers and/or toes splayed, hands in fists, high arm position where arms are over the head and forearms lay across the face in self-protecting or shielding manner, rigid flaccid body, squirming, jerking, mouth open limply, or tongue extending beyond lips.
Calming Your Baby
Too many visitors, whether it be relative or friends, too early just after giving birth can also overstimulate your baby. It is important to have your baby on a sleep training schedule to avoid overstimulating. Ensure there is Daddy time and sibling time, but also be instinctive of your baby’s needs. A Doula or Newborn Care Specialist can help you by telling guests when it’s an appropriate time to visit or distract siblings when Mommy needs to breastfeed or bathe the baby, as well as educate parents on soothing techniques which the baby instinctually already knows and effectively responds to.
Bonding with your newborn baby can happen immediately after birthing through a method called Kangaroo Care. This promotes psychological and physical well-being for both your newborn and for you as the mother. Kangaroo Care includes skin-to-skin contact and exclusively breastfeeding.
Kangaroo Care is excellent for both parents, however. Studies show lowered testosterone levels when fathers experience skin-to-skin with their babies. All babies and all parents benefit from Kangaroo Care, regardless on the feeding method.
Kangaroo Care is wonderful for mothers who have problems breastfeeding, too, when needing to feed their newborn formula and/or through a tube. Having your baby suck and nuzzle on empty breasts can help stimulate your milk production. In fact, practicing skin-to-skin contact with the mother stimulates a specific part of the newborn’s brain, causing the baby to instinctively move to the breast, self-attach, and feed. This increases the baby’s physical development. Secondly, kangaroo care causes the baby to gaze at his or her mother, ensuring emotional and social development.
This should begin right after giving birth and is always a great benefit at any time during the first few weeks. For an infant in need such as a premature baby, it can be used continuously day and night however it is beneficial any amount of time it is experienced.
Kangaroo Care Bonding Benefits are amazing!
- Acceleration of your baby’s brain development occurs with bonding through Kangaroo Care, lowering levels of cortisol, the hormone produced when undergoing stress, after just 20 minutes of skin to skin contact.
- Your baby gets better sleep with lowered cortisol levels as well.
- Research shows a baby’s digestive system can be restored to perfect balance after one hour of skin-to-skin contact.
- Your baby will also cry less and be calmer through this bonding tool because your heartbeat and warmth remind them of the safe, familiar world they were once in when inside your womb.
- Thermal synchrony phenomenon occurs as the temperature of your chest increases to warm your cold baby and decreases to cool your overly warm baby.
- Antibodies will pass through your skin to your baby and strengthen your baby’s immune system.
- Kangaroo Care naturally stabilizes the newborn’s respiration and oxygenation, increases glucose levels (reducing hypoglycemia), regulates blood pressure and heart rate, and increases the quiet alert state.
- When you begin bonding skin-to-skin with your baby immediately following birth, they are more likely to breastfeed than a baby who has been swaddled immediately after birth. Furthermore, the more your baby breastfeeds, the sooner your milk comes in and the better your milk supply will be.
- Researchers have found that preterm infants who experience Kangaroo Care have longer periods of sleep, gain more weight, decrease their crying, have longer periods of alertness, and earlier hospital discharge.
- Babies held skin-to-skin by their fathers are proven to have higher temperature and glucose levels compared to those of babies left alone under warmers.
- Depriving babies of skin-to-skin can lead to ADD, colic, and sleep disorders.