Wondering about colic symptoms and treatment? If you are reading this, you probably know how difficult it is to listen to your baby crying for hours - often at the end of the day when everybody in the family is tired.
You may notice that your baby is very unsettled after feeds – crying and kicking up their legs, tightening their little bodies - often grunting or moaning.
Mum feels both exhausted and helpless – everything seems worse with the lack of sleep! You may find that most Family Doctors and medical information websites tell you that “it should disappear after 5 months”. 5 months of this - what!
Let us have a look at Infant Colic – typical symptoms and treatments (apart from the above waiting!) and a little about my own approach to working with Infant Colic – CranioSacral Therapy.
Causes of Colic.
Infant colic is usually seen as:
an abdominal pain with spasmodic cramping – lasting from a couple of weeks to six months
and usually until your baby’s digestive system matures fully.
There are a number of causes:
An undeveloped digestive tract - (the muscles of the digestive tract and associated bacteria need time to develop).
If baby is breastfed – food eaten by Mum can lead to wind and bloating in baby.
If baby is bottle-fed – baby may have difficulty digesting ingredients of certain formula milk.
When feeding (or crying) baby can swallow a lot of air – which usually worsens the colic.
During the birth – strains on baby’s head and spine can sometimes disrupt the regulation of breathing and digestion.
The sucking reflex may be “out of sync” – causing difficulties when baby tries to latch on to the breast and suck.
Infant colic may be caused by a combination or only one of the above. With CranioSacral Therapy, we like to gently eliminate problems that can be related to birth difficulties or the sucking reflex. By doing this, I have noticed a very high success rate using CranioSacral Therapy – as Mums have normally ruled out the dietary causes themselves.
Treatment of Colic.
The most obvious direct treatment is to break down wind and gas and help the baby to burp easily following feeds. This can be assisted greatly by well-known (by your Family Doctor or Public Health Nurse) drops or liquids when added to the feeds.
Massage your baby’s abdomen in a clockwise direction, gently – this can help the movement of wind.
Some Mums have vibrating bouncing seats that keep baby upright and moving – these can be very useful if you are exhausted from gently burping and bouncing baby.
Choosing the right type of bottle or teat can assist the baby in taking in less wind when bottle-feeding.
Changing diet: Nutritional experts and Family Doctors should be able to look at some of the areas that you can change your diet to make your baby more comfortable. Some babies should be seen by a Pediatrician for correct formula recommendations as they can be lactose-intolerant or have an allergy to milk protein.
When I work with Infant Colic – I always need to consider each of the above in treating the baby’s condition.
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and treating it successfully with Craniosacral Therapy.
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