Being a new mother is both exciting and intimidating. It can be even more daunting if your new baby suffers from colic.
Many baby’s experience colic, and when they do it can be a nightmare experience for those who have to listen to the incessant crying. This is made even worse by the fact that you know your baby is in pain.
You may begin to feel helpless and distressed, you may feel that your mothering skills are lacking, you’re probably exhausted because baby constantly keeps you awake, and you may even be at the end of your tether.
What is colic?
No one really knows why some babies are more prone to developing colic than others. One theory put forward is that a number of babies probably have less mature or an increased sensitive digestive systems than others.
A newborn baby’s digestive system contains very few enzymes or digestive juices that are needed to break down the food they are eating. This means that when it comes to processing the milk they are drinking, it becomes a difficult process and can lead to painful wind.
When a baby is suffering from Colic, they get sharp, intermittent abdominal pains or cramps, it is often found in bottle fed babies who have problems digesting the heavier formulae milk. Interestingly preterm babies have also been found to suffer from colic, thought this could be due to their more immature digestive system.
A colicky baby is every parent’s nightmare as the baby can cry incessantly. Its so obvious they are in pain, it can make parents feel helpless just to watch them, and as they are usually very young, they are limited in what they can give them especially I those first few weeks.
Colic usually starts a few days after birth, the baby pulls his legs up (in pain) or they may stretch them out. They also tend to cry especially after they have been fed when the pain is probably at its worst.
Babies often seem to have a particular time when their colic is at its worst, and this can be at any time of the day. This can be especially distressing for parents as they cry incessantly.
Sometimes colic can last all day or even all night, and it is when it gets to this stage the parents need to consider getting some kind of help from either their doctor or health visitor.
It is usually bottle fed babies that tend to develop colic, however if present in a breast fed baby, then the mother should look at her diet and see if there is anything she is eating that is not agreeing with her baby.
Usually mothers who are breast feeding their baby can eat whatever they like, however some babies have an especially sensitive digestive system, so it’s better to ensure its not the mothers diet which is causing the symptoms.
One food, which has been proved to have an effective on babies, is dairy products, so if your breast fed baby is colicky try cutting these down (it just may do the trick). The same goes for any foodstuffs you suspect may be the culprit, cut them out of your diet and see if your baby’s colic improves.