When a baby is born prematurely,

 - the gut microbiota might be out of balance

Baby foot and probiotic supplement
4 Min read

When babies are born prematurely, the bacteria in their gut are more likely to be out of balance, which can affect their well-being.1, 2, 3 Some studies have shown that a special blend of three probiotic strains may support the balance of bacteria, with benefits for babies’ immune health and digestive systems.4, 5  


Each year, approximately 2.4 million babies around the world are born at least 2 months before their due date.6 

The balance of the gut bacteria can affect health 

5% of preterm babies develop a condition that has consequences for their intestine.8 This is because babies who are born prematurely are more likely to have an unbalanced gut microbiota, which can make them more vulnerable to conditions that may impact their digestive system.3


ESPGHAN refers to a special probiotic blend to support preterm babies’ immune and digestive health

Scientific studies show that a special blend of probiotics may support the development of healthy immune and digestive systems in preterm babies.4, 5 This blend is a specific combination of the Bifidobacterium, BB-12®, Streptococcus thermophilus, TH-4® (hereafter referred to by use of the trademarks BB-12® and TH-4®) and Bifidobacterium infantis (DSM 33361) probiotic strains. The international organization ESPGHAN (comprised of pediatric health care professionals, researchers and scientists) refer to using this specially designed blend to support the health of preterm babies.9

Preterm baby and probiotic supplement

Strict, high-quality production processes are in place

Chr. Hansen has implemented the strictest of production processes. By adding many more requirements on top of what is stipulated, we ensure a safe product that is of the highest quality for more vulnerable babies. Chr. Hansen’s self-imposed extra requirements include extended contaminant testing and more strict requirements regarding both environmental monitoring and cleaning before and after production. Further, the product is packed in single-use, sealed packages to help limit contamination compared to multi-use containers.

The many different types of bacteria in the gut are collectively termed the gut microbiota. How much we need of each type changes throughout our lives.7 

Consult a health care professional about probiotics for babies

If a baby is born prematurely, consult a health care professional about how probiotics may help support these babies' health. The blend of the three probiotic strains, BB-12®, TH-4®, and B. infantis (DSM 33361), may contribute to the balance of gut bacteria, supporting the health of a preterm baby.

Read about how probiotics may support babies born by c -section and probiotics for excessive crying and fussing

BB-12® and TH-4® are registered trademarks of Chr. Hansen A/S.

The article is provided for informational purposes regarding probiotics and is not meant to suggest that any substance referenced in the article is intended to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease.

Bifidobacterium, BB-12® 

The probiotic strain Bifidobacterium, BB-12® is the world’s most documented probiotic Bifidobacterium. It has been extensively studied and has been associated with benefits for several areas of health.

BB-12® is a trademark of Chr. Hansen A/S

BB-12 consumer logo TM

References Open Close

  1. Cotten CM, et al. J Perinatol. 2005;25(10):650-5. (PubMed)
  2. Alganabi M, et al. F1000Res. 2019;8. (PubMed)
  3. Unger S, et al. Pediatr Res. 2015;77(1-2):205-13. (PubMed)
  4. Jacobs SE, et al. Pediatrics. 2013;132(6):1055-62. (PubMed)
  5. Bin-Nun A, et al. J Pediatr. 2005;147(2):192-6. (PubMed)
  6. Chawanpaiboon S, et al. The Lancet Global Health. 2019;7(1):e37-e46. (PubMed)
  7. Rodríguez JM, et al. Microb Ecol Health Dis. 2015;26:26050-. (PubMed)
  8. Neu J, Walker WA. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(3):255-64. (PubMed)
  9. van den Akker CHP, et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2020;70(5):664-80. (PubMed)
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