Homeopathic Doctor Leamington - Infant Colic could also be referred to as Infantile Colic, Three Month Colic and Colic. This condition is seen in babies, who are otherwise healthy babies, show periods of intense screaming or crying that lasts over: 3 hours a day, 3 days every week for more than 3 weeks. This frequent fussing for extended periods of time with no distinct cause can be exhausting for both the baby and the parents.
Colic usually appears within the initial month of a baby's life. It can disappear all of a sudden, before the child is 3 to 4 months old, but in several cases it could last up to the first year of existence. Typically, the crying often increases during a certain time of the day. In many cases the evening is when the colic sets in. Sometimes signs can worsen soon after feeding. This is common in babies who have difficulty burping. One study revealed that babies who are breastfed have a less chance of colic.
The constant crying of an infant can be devastating for the baby, the family and the parents. Serious concerns can happen from the crying and the exhaustion that comes with it. Problems such as relationship stress, breastfeeding failure, shaken baby syndrome, maternal smoking, postpartum depression affecting both new mothers and new fathers, excess visits to the doctor and unnecessary treatment for acid reflux. Crying and exhaustion can contribute to suffocation and SIDS. Various studies have associated agitated babies flipping onto their stomachs; along with parents placing fussy babies on their tummy's to sleep as being contributing factors. Various parents become very exhausted that they fall asleep with their baby in unsafe places such as on couches or on beds with bulky covers. Even car accidents and maternal obesity have resulted from Infant Colic.
The most rational assumption seemed to follow a gastrointestinal or GI theory of colic of babies. Normal fussy babies will normally grunt, pass gas, double up, cry after eating and have noisy stomachs. A lot of these conditions improve with massage or warmth, tummy pressure, sips of fennel herbal tea, mint or chamomile. In some instances, pain medication like paregoric or tincture of opium has been prescribed. Interestingly enough, about 90% of colicky babies show no evidence of whatever GI abnormality.
The majority of experts feel there are different causes of colic consisting of: intestinal gas pocketed in the intestinal tract, stomach gas from improper burping, and a muscular kind of colic linked with muscle spasms and birth trauma. There is likewise a neurological overload theory stating that the baby is over-stimulated and hence overwhelmed, becoming tired.
There have been various reports that babies cry since they could sense their mother's nervousness. This has been really debated as babies do not have the capability to differentiate a mother's nervousness from depression, frustration, etc. It has been shown that even though parental anxiety usually dissipates with succeeding children, a couple's later children are just as likely to be colicky as their first.
Effect on the Family
The families stability could be tested as infant crying may have an effect on every member of the household. There is a huge emotional stress on the parents, from the exhaustion that often accompanies the crying. They may feel insecure, stressed out, anxious, be experiencing low self-esteem and be concerned that they are not providing sufficient care for their child. Families, who share close living quarters such as those in apartments or military families, could likewise experience stressed relationships with neighbors and landlords if they also hear the baby crying noisily for extended periods of time each day.
There have been several reports linking colic to changes in the baby's bacterial balance in their intestine. There has been success giving daily doses of good bacteria called probiotics. These probiotics are referred to as Lactobacillus acidophilus or Lactobacillus reuteri. One study gave eighty three colicky babies Lactobacillus reuteri and this had lessened their crying time. After the first week, their crying time had improved by 20 percent, from 159 minutes every day versus the original 197 minutes a day. After one month, these babies improved 74 percent less crying time, averaging fifty one minutes per day versus the 197 minutes. Providing the Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic drops showed a 95% positive response to the colicky babies.
Now, the initial response most commonly recommended for healthy babies is to use non-medical and noninvasive treatments comprising: stomach massage, burping, gas release techniques and emotional support.
One calming effect, a rythmic effect referred to as the "5 S's," or stradling is carefully performed so as to prevent overheating, and allowing the hips to be flexed; Stomach or side, placing the baby on their back is the only recommended sleep position although, it is the worst position for trying to comfort a fussy baby; Shhh Sound is performed by making a strong shush noise near the baby's ear in order to replicate the sound of blood pumping through the mother's veins in utero, some people use a CD of white noise or womb sounds for this; Swinging the baby while supporting the neck and head, incorporating tiny jiggly movements no more than 1 inch back and forth, and Sucking, which refers to allowing the baby to suckle on a clean finger, the breasts or a pacifier.
There has even been success linked with Chiropractic adjustments for the baby. Several professionals feel that the baby's spine could become compressed when passing through the birth canal, particularly in traumatic deliveries or long labours.
Click to Download the pdf