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Q&A on Baby and Children’s Health

Q&A on Baby and Children’s Health

Paediatric Nurse Lynda Quigley joined Pharmacist Laura Dowling on a live Q&A where they answered questions from their audience on baby and children’s health.

Q1. My two-month-old is really gassy and burpee. What would you recommend to help with her digestion?

Nurse Lynda Styler: Firstly, make sure you wind your baby regularly when you are feeding them, whether breast or bottle. Often, we don’t know that, especially if it’s your first baby. When you think about it logically, you’re not going to drink a bottle of fizzy water in one go because you’re going to fill up on air and you are going to have to burp. It’s the exact same for a baby. Try moderate your feeding – How many mls are you giving them?  Stop to see if they are ok with that amount but make them burp before they start off again.

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: A windy baby that won’t stop feeding can get a bit gassy as well because they are gulping down air, so it’s really important to wind them properly. I used to get into the bath with my baby and feed them in there because the water would help to relax them. And then obviously a live bacteria supplement can help with gassy tummies too, if people need it.

A lot of people have come into the pharmacy with their upset babies and told me they find sometimes giving live bacteria supplements can make a difference.

Q2. What are the benefits of giving a baby a live bacteria supplement?

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: Live bacteria are good for your gut health and digestion. If babies are born by C section, sometimes they don’t get all the good bacteria that they would if born by the vaginal canal so it can help support them this way. It can help with digestive issues such as windiness, gas, constipation etc.

Nurse Lynda Styler: If they do suffer from constipation, especially when they’re moving into the toddler stage where they’re starting on solids, try give them lots of water to help break down that food and reduce the constipation issues.

Q3. I am a first-time Mom due in three months. Any tips on how to develop a baby’s immune system. I keep I keep hearing the first thousand days are crucial.

Nurse Lynda Styler: Firstly, mind yourself and make sure to get plenty of sleep before the baby arrives.

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: That’s so important. We can have that burst of energy in our last trimester where we want to do everything, we are nesting and we want everything to be perfect for the baby and all too often we forget about ourselves.

It’s really important that mum’s get enough sleep, eat good foods and get a little bit of exercise and fresh air as that’s all going to benefit your own immune system. And by default, your little baby’s immune system as well.

Nurse Lynda Styler: We have all learned over the last couple of years that clean hands do save lives so when the baby does come along don’t be afraid to say to a visitor would you mind washing your hands or use the hand gel. We need to get comfortable with that.

A little tip that I always give to a new parent is to make sure you have something belonging to your own household when any visitor wants to hold your baby. A face cloth or blanket over their shoulders. It will protect your baby’s face from encountering any environmental germs on a visitor’s clothes.

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: It is also really important if you don’t feel comfortable with someone holding, touching and kissing your baby then just say it to them. People should not hold it against you if you just want to protect your baby. You have to consider the risk of the cold sore virus through kissing the baby on the mouth. That can be detrimental to your baby’s health, catastrophic if the baby gets the cold sore virus, so just hold your ground and know that you’re doing the right thing for your baby.

Q4. Can I give two fussy eaters aged 9 & 6 years of age a multivitamin and a live bacteria supplement all year round or only seasonally?

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: Yes, you can give your child a multivitamin and a live bacteria supplement all year round. Vivio Junior does a nice multivitamin with 14 vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t replace a good diet but they can help supplement any fussy eater diets. Importantly, it is advisable to give vitamin D supplement to children, especially because of the lack of sunlight in Ireland.

The Vivio Junior Tummies has Vitamin D in it as well which helps support the immune system plus the live bacteria supports the digestive system.

Q5. My three-year-old has been wiped since having COVID twice. How can I help to build him back up again?

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: You can get long COVID with kids as well and some kids take longer to recover from COVID than others, just like adults. So it’s important they get as much rest as they can, good healthy meals, exercise if they are up for it, fresh air, sleep. If you are worried about your child and they’re not like hitting those milestones or they’re very lethargic go straight to the doctor.

Nurse Lynda Styler: Absolutely go with your gut, you know them best.

Q6: Can you give a probiotic after an antibiotic? 

Pharmacist Laura Dowling: That’s actually the time a lot of people do come in to buy live bacteria for their kids and certainly you can, because we all know the broad-spectrum antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria. This is why you can sometimes feel a little wiped out after them. So, in order to replenish that good bacteria that can be killed by the antibiotic, a supplementation with a live bacteria can help, as well as support the gut health.

Often there can be a little bit of disruption in their stools when people take an antibiotic, like diarrhoea or constipation. So a live bacteria can help regulate that too if necessary.

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