Breastfeeding and Colic
Many babies from many cultures suffer colic. As yet no-one really knows the cause of it. However, it tends to affect boys more than girls. It also affects formula-fed babies more severely than breastfed babies.
Usually babies will start to become colicky at about 3 weeks of age and it lasts until about 14 weeks. But this can vary enormously.
There are many theories about the cause of colic ranging from lactose intolerance to adjusting to the world outside the womb.
Typically, a colicky baby gets unsettled around tea-time and can remain so until the early hours of the morning.
Your baby will cry as if in pain and may draw his legs up into his tummy, curling into a ball. He may arch his back and become extremely distressed. You may notice his tummy becomes very hard and seems full of wind. Baby may pass a lot of wind from either or both ends.
Some medications may ease colic as they claim to disperse the trapped wind. Ask your doctor, midwife or health-visitor about which to try.
Watch your own diet as you may find some foods aggravate symptoms of colic. Cut out any you think may be involved for a few weeks and then gradually re-introduce them.
Remaining calm can help baby. Baby massage and rocking can also ease the pains as can a warm bath. It is best to try these before the baby becomes upset and you will soon realise the best times to try.
Ask about baby yoga and massage classes to learn effective techniques to try. Or have a look in baby books and magazines.
Ultimately colic will go away as quickly as it started and you may just have to ride it out.
Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about any symptoms or pains as it is important to rule out other causes.
Dr Jack Newman:
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