Colic in Infants
Infantile Colic...a natural cure
Colic is only seen in babies 0-3 months old and results in a hardened abdomen and pain. The causes include: allergies to milk or formula, foods that the mother is eating, colon spasm, or parental anxiety.
Colic symptoms are generally characterized by your infant’s constant crying that leaves you feeling helpless, frustrated, irritable, and exhausted. Colic is responsible for many sleepless nights and long days; you feel as though you are at your wit’s end as you try just about anything and everything to soothe and find some relief for your upset infant. You may have been told that you just have to live with colic; eventually it will go away. Maybe those that tell you that have never experienced the everyday helplessness, hopelessness and fatigue that comes from dealing with a infant colic.
What would you do if you found out that an all natural approach to colic does exist, a cure for colic that doesn’t promise colic relief by prescribing medications – medications with adverse side effects that could be worse than the actual colic itself? Would you try it? Yes, of course you would, because colic is utterly draining, both physically and emotionally, and who wants to continue to endure it when a natural solution for colic relief already exists?
Colic – Constant Crying, Little Relief
All babies cry, after all that is how they communicate their needs to their caregivers. Infants with colic, however, cry constantly, often for hours on end, and no amount of holding, soothing, rocking, or walking seems to make any difference at all. What exactly are the symptoms of colic?
• Excessive crying that usually starts at the same time each day
• The crying usually begins when the baby is several weeks old and generally lasts several months
• The infant is usually healthy otherwise
• The baby may pull its legs up to its chest, tighten its abdominal muscles, and/or clench its fists; the infant’s face may be contorted or red
Colic often frightens parents and causes them to ask themselves and others, “What could I possibly be doing wrong?” The answer is nothing. The truth is you are not alone, even though it often feels that way. Colic affects nearly 25% of all infants and, one day, your baby will finally experience colic relief, and so will you!
Colic – Causes?
The causes of colic are generally not known. Medical professionals used to believe that colic was the result of a faulty digestive system that caused pain. This pain resulted in the unrelenting crying that is one of the chief symptoms of colic. Others believed it might be an infant formula-related problem.
New research offers the explanation that colic may be the result of a baby’s overly sensitive temperament and an inability to deal with even a normal amount of stimulation in his or her environment, usually because of an immature nervous system. This explanation makes sense when you notice that some infants startle more easily and cry for longer periods of time. They are completely unable to cope with the everyday world around them. As these babies mature, they grow out of this phase and are better able to adapt to their environment.
While these may be contributory factors, I do not believe they are the root cause. In my experience colic is caused as a result of lack of good gut flora in the infant. Gut flora is not present in a baby born by ceasarian section as the flora is swallowed by the baby on its journey through the birth canal. If the mother has been on antibiotics before or during pregnancy, or has a poor gut health her self or the baby is administered antibiotics after birth, there will be no gut flora in the baby.s digestive system. Gut flora represent 70% of our immune response and are essential for gut health and general digestion and health.
When a child is born without gut flora it develops Leaky Gut syndrome which allows undigested protein particles from its milk into its blood stream, which causes a reaction, overproduction of hydrochloric acid, reflux, pain and wind. Leaky gut causes food intolerances and allergies to develop compounding the issue.
Food allergies can be seen in the infant or breast feeding mother so having both change their diet is recommended.
It is generally less common in breast fed babies. However breast fed babies who's mothers consume bovine dairy products and wheat so get colic. Again it is because of the size of the protein molecule, and the immaturity of the baby's immune system and gut flora issues.Stay away from bovine dairy and wheat if you are breast feeding, and take your child off infant formulas that contain bovine protein, soy, chemicals and any synthetic ingredients. Goats milk infant formula is excellent.
Signs & Symptoms
Infants experiencing colic may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
• Your baby cries for more than three hours on at least three occasions a week, but is otherwise healthy.
• Your baby kicks a lot, pulls his or her legs up close, and makes tight fists.
• Your baby's tummy seems hard and he or she burps and passes gas often.
• The crying sounds like your baby is in great pain.
• Your baby spits up frequently after feeding.
What NOT to do with a colic baby
While you may receive many suggestions from caring friends, family and your baby’s doctor about what to try for colic relief, some solutions are definitely not an option:
• Never shake a crying baby, ever, no matter how frustrated and out-of-control you feel. Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain injury and even death. Put the baby down in a safe place and take a walk, call a friend, or do something for yourself until you feel in control again.
• Do not blame yourself for your baby’s colic. It is not your fault; you didn’t cause it, you’re not incompetent and you certainly are not a bad parent because your baby has infant colic.
• Do not lose your sanity. Keep in mind that “This too shall pass, ” and the colic will end. Invest in a good babysitter or alternate caregiver and take care of you!
Dealing with the daily frustration and heartbreak of baby colic is difficult at best. Find some supportive friends and family members, especially those who have had a colicky baby, who can help you, or at least listen while you vent! Infant colic will soon end, and you’ll discover the happy contented child that your baby really
The Health Transformer Approach
In every case of infantile colic has there is an underlying cause…something individual to each person. If at one time your baby didn’t have these symptoms and now they do, obvious Colic is merely a symptom of the underlying cause. To treat infantile colic effectively and naturally we need to address the cause. In the majority of cases this can be detected in one session by interviewing the Mother about her health before and during pregnancy, and the baby’s medical history to date. If breast feeding the child, we ask the mother about her diet, antibiotic use, and medications. From this consultation we can often deduce the underlying issue. Once detected, a tailored prescription of natural treatment can be created.
In stubborn more persistent cases of infantile colic we offer a unique diagnostic tool which will reveal the underlying root cause of your baby’s distress and pain. This test can be done by using the mother or any relative as a surrogate while holding the baby. In this centre we specialize in root cause diagnosis of any health condition using our state of the art Meta Health Scan.
Meta Health Scan
The Meta Health Scan is carried out utilizing the amazing diagnostic ability of Clinical Kinesiology. It is reliable, accurate and reproducible. The scan will reveal the imbalances unique to your body, and how these are affecting you. The scan reveals such issues as endogenous bio-toxicity, nutrient imbalances or deficiencies, sub-clinical infections, allergies and food sensitivities. We also test for organ imbalances, hormone imbalance, and leaky gut. Any abnormality in these areas will easily be picked up during the Health Scan. We also examine your entire lifestyle, sleep quality and any emotional/psychological contributors to your condition.
5 Step Protocol
1. Detect (In-Depth Evaluation & Advanced Testing)
2. Detox (Heavy Metals, Chemicals, Hydrocarbons, Bleaches, EMF)
3. Eliminate (Pathogens…virus, post virus, bacteria, parasites, fungi)
4. Rebuild (Tissues & Pathways)
5. Rebalance organs (kidneys, liver, etc.)
The 5 Steps to Restoring Health Protocol had been developed following many years of research and experience and utilizes food, nutritional supplements, herbal and energetic formula
In-Depth Consultation regarding your results.
Once this information is gathered we offer you an in-depth consultation to discuss your results, during which we discuss what has been revealed by the scan, where and how this has arisen, and how to remove or transform it, and reboot your system. I believe it is very important for each person to understand what has been going on in their body, how the condition has developed, and how to unravel and resolve it naturally. My intention is not just to teach you about your condition, but more importantly to empower you with understanding in order that you are able to take back control of your health.
Individually tailored Treatment Plan
Together we create an individualized tailored treatment plan for you. This may include some or all of there: a gentle detoxification protocol, dietary changes, specific supplements, life style changes, exercise, etc tailored to your specific needs. In the majority of cases treatment can be implemented by you at home without the need for repeated visits to the centre; however Health Coaching and support is built in to this package to assist you through your treatment.
Once on the prescribed treatment, some clients choose to support their system with other therapies to assist healing. This is not essential but will speed up your progress. These include Acupressure or laser acupuncture, Aromatherapy Massage, EFT, Hypnotherapy, Cranio-Scacral therapy, Reiki, and NLP coaching…all of which are on offer at this centre.
Relieving Colic With Massage and Aromatherapy
If your child’s discomfort is followed by a bowel movement, then help your child process the stool when he starts to get uncomfortable. Lay your baby flat on their back on a firm but soft surface and begin to slowly and gently massage the belly in a clockwise circular motion. Before you do this make sure that your hands are warm and soft by rubbing some organic olive oil quickly between your palms.
For extra comfort use a calming aromatherapy oil such as chamomile and lavender (5 drops of chamomile combined with 10 drops of lavender). You can also try acupressure, which targets particular parts of the body to receive pressure. Gently pulling or tugging the earlobes is said to help relieve infant colic, or you can look for professional acupressurists in your area and find out if they treat infants.
Note that this is different from acupuncture, which uses needles to treat conditions. Another great solution is to find a pediatric chiropractor who can gently adjust your baby’s bones.
There are also other natural ways
ColicCalm gripe water is a homeopathic remedy containing herbs that help re-balance baby’s digestive system. Homeopathic Colic Gripe Water is treatment for infant colic, which is important because it does not introduce chemicals or parasites into your baby’s body. This is what I use when my children complain of stomach cramps. The herbs in ColicCalm gripe water are
• Chamomile which calms the baby down and helps ease nervous tension
• Fennel to relieve cramping and intestinal spasms
• Caraway to help treat symptoms like heartburn, reflux and indigestion
• Peppermint to aid in digestion
• Ginger which treats nausea, muscle spasms and encourages smooth digestion
• Aloe to relieve bloating related to gas
• Lemon Balm which soothes, relaxes, encourages sleep and helps relieve gas pains
• Blackthorn to encourage regularity and ease cramps
• Vegetable Charcoal to help eliminate body toxins and absorb gas
Addressing Colic with Probiotics
Probiotics may also be an option for relieving colic in infants. The composition of gut flora in babies that exhibit colicky symptoms is different than in non-colicky babies. Probiotics are the opposite of antibiotics, which kill bacteria.
Probiotics actually add beneficial bacteria back into the digestive system and can help return the digestive system to a normal state. I personally use a probiotic supplement calledLatero-Flora. As a colic remedy, just empty a small amount into a bowl, mix it with breastmilk and use a dropper to administer it.
1. Miller-Loncar C, Bigsby R, High P, Wallach M, Lester B. Infant colic and feeding difficulties. Arch Dis Child. 2004 Oct;89(10):908-12.
1. ANTI-COLIC BOTTLES
If your baby is bottlefed or combination (both breast and bottle) fed, it might be worth trying anti-colic bottles. These specially-designed bottles have internal vent which is supposed to eliminate the vacuum and air bubbles in a milk feed, thus helping to reduce burping, wind and digestive discomfort.
Dr Brown’s (drbrowns.co.uk) and MAM (mambaby.com/uk) are popular brands of anti-colic bottle which are available in pharmacies nationwide. You may want to just buy one or two bottles of each brand at first until you find one that your baby likes best.
The main ingredient of Infacol (£2.85 for 100ml, from pharmacies and supermarkets nation-wide) is simeticone which is an anti-flatulent. It is administered using a dropper or syringe before a feed and works as an anti-foaming agent, joining the small bubbles of gas in the stomach to form larger bubbles.
The theory is that this trapped gas is then more easily expelled during burping or as wind.
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3. GRIPE WATER
Invented by English pharmacist William Woodward in the 1840s, it has been used ever since to settle babies troubled by colic, wind and tummy pains. The original Woodward’s Gripe Water contained around 3.6 per cent alcohol, as well as bicarbonate and dill.
In the Nineties the formula was revamped to get rid of the alcohol. It is still a favoured remedy - costing around £2.35 for a 150ml bottle - even though there remains no scientific evidence to prove that it actually works.
4. COLIEF INFANT DROPS
Newborn babies sometimes have difficulty digesting the lactose found in breast and formula milk. Colief drops contain lactase, a naturally-occurring enzyme which helps break it down the lactose.
At £11.49 for a tiny 7ml bottle (available from pharmacies nationwide), it’s not cheap but might be worth a try if you suspect that lactose might be causing your baby problems.
5. BIOGAIA DROPS
Probiotic drops can soothe some babies suffering from colic, research shows. A study of 468 healthy newborns shows that infants given the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis cried for less than half the time as infants given a placebo, according to researchers from the Uni-versity of Bari, Italy.
The babies in the study which had been given the Biogaia drops (biogaia.co.uk) also had sig-nificantly fewer daily regurgitations and were less constipated compared to those in the pla-cebo group.
The recommended dose is five drops per day and consists of a minimum of 100 million live bugs. A 5ml bottle costs £14.99 (plus £2.75 p+p)
6. BABY MASSAGE
If your baby is really unsettled, try giving him or her a gentle tummy massage, moving your hands in a clockwise direction (following the direction of your baby’s intestines) which en-courages the trapped wind to move the right way.
You can also move your baby’s legs towards his or her tummy to ease things. Holding your baby’s knees together, gently bend the legs at the knees and push them towards the tummy. Hold the legs in this position for a count of six.
7. TIGER HOLD
Try the “Tiger-in-the-tree” technique which involves laying your baby along one of your arms facing downwards with their head by your elbow. Your arm should be supporting their weight, while your hand is firmly holding the top of the leg.
This allows you to rest your free hand on their back for extra support or gently massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction to help alleviate colic discomfort.
Regular burping during and after a feed will help prevent the wind becoming trapped in the bowels causing discomfort.
There are lots of different winding techniques to experiment with. Sitting your baby upright or stretching them out on your shoulder are good positions to help bring up a burp.
If your baby usually settles well and drifts off to sleep contentedly, only to wake half an hour later screaming with pain, it is worth trying to wind them again just in case there is a bit more wind to come out.
This age-old practice which involves wrapping your baby in a sheet, blanket or specially-designed swaddle with arms pinned to their sides - preventing the startle reflex - and is thought to induce sleep and soothe excessive crying and colic.
Just don’t do it too tightly as studies have shown that babies who do not have their legs free to bend and kick can suffer dislocation or abnormal development of the hip.
10. WARM BATH
One of the best ways of soothing digestive discomfort is to have a warm bath - and that holds true for babies too. The Tummy Tub (£19.95, tummytub.co.uk) holds your baby securely in an upright position which is familiar and calming for newborns and also ensures they are al-ways covered with warm water - newborns hate being cold.
The soothing effect may only last until you remove them from this safe, snuggly environment but at least it may give you a temporary respite from the endless crying.