Talking About Colic with Dr. Christine Wood
|May 16, 2012||Posted by thecheapskatemom under baby, nursery|
Oh, Colic! : how I despise you.
My son had colic for the first eight weeks of his life – I was nursing him because I felt the financial and health benefits were worth it. I persisted even though my heart told me he had lactose intolerance, my head told me I might be wrong and to keep going because of all of the benefits. We tried every colic cure we could find including gripe water- I changed everything about my diet and only ate white rice for days ( I do not recommend this!)….Finally one weekend morning, after 40 out of 48 hours of non-stop crying and I was very concerned because my son had not been sleeping – we tried soy formula (we had previously tried regular formula to no avail). Within a couple of hours, I had a happy baby and we did not look back – although the new stress on our wallets took me to a whole new level of cheapskate mom!
Dr. Christine Wood (USANA Health Sciences’ Pediatrician and CLE), a pediatrician and lactation expert, has offered us some tips on what to consider to try and help stressed moms like I was figure out what on earth is going on with our little angels! My personal tip is – don’t try to be the perfect mom during colic – just try to stay sane, take time for yourself when you can, and remember that this too shall pass! Please email me if you need support – I’ve been there and I will never forget it.
Is It Colic …. Or Something Else?
If your baby is breastfed, consider some of these situations:
· Food allergies vs. sensitivities. Some babies are sensitive or allergic to certain foods. There is a difference in these two problems, although symptoms can look the same. Food sensitivity or intolerance causes gassiness, fussiness, or a change in stools. An example would be diarrhea, cramping, and bloating resulting from lactose intolerance. Babies can also be sensitive to foods mom eats while breastfeeding, like broccoli, cabbage, onions, beans, garlic, chocolate, caffeine or spicy foods. True food allergies may cause symptoms like chronic congestion, hives, eczema, blood in the stool, gassiness, fussiness, wheezing, vomiting or diarrhea. If you suspect a food allergy, discuss it with your doctor.
· Overactive let-down reflex. Some women suffer from too much milk production. Their babies chug and gulp and milk sprays if they accidentally pull off. They can be gassy, fussy, gain weight quickly, have lots of wet diapers and stools, and want to nurse frequently. Try having your baby nurse on one breast at a feeding and use a position where your baby is lying more on top of you or sitting upright.
· Low milk supply. At the end of the day, milk supply typically diminishes. Pump milk in the morning and save a top-off bottle for the evening. Feed an extra ounce or two of breast milk in a bottle after you nurse in the evenings (if over three or four weeks of age). If your baby seems hungry and fussy all day long, have a weight check to make sure he or she is getting enough milk and gaining appropriately.
If your baby is formula-fed, consider this situation:
• Allergy to formula. Your baby may have an allergy to a formula. Babies may be allergic to cow’s milk, soy formulas, or both. Discuss this with your baby’s doctor before making a change in formula.
If your baby is either breastfed or formula-fed, consider these possibilities:
• Stool infections. A newborn may develop an infection with a bacterium or virus. A stool culture will need to be done by your baby’s doctor.
• Swallowing excess air. This condition may occur when a baby cries a lot or gets air with bottle-feeding. Try to burp your baby frequently during feedings. Simethicone drops may be used safely for the gassy baby.
• Spitting up. Babies who spit up can be fussy with feedings. These babies will arch or cry while feeding and will be fussy after feeding. Diagnosis and treatment should be discussed with your doctor.
If none of the above situations apply, you may have the “colic” baby. Realize that all babies do have fussy periods. Babies who have a difficult temperament and require more attention will need more cuddling, patience and calming techniques such as swings, rocking, swaddling, music, warm baths, and car rides.
Dr. Wood’s Colic Must-have product: A study from Pediatrics in September 2010 found that treating breastfed colicky infants with Lactobacillus, found in products like USANA’s Probiotic, improved symptoms of colic and reduced crying time. Make sure to check with your doctor to determine the best treatment for your baby.
Dr. Christine Wood, USANA Health Sciences Pediatrician
A practicing pediatrician and author of How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It, Dr. Christine Wood is an expert in nutritional medicine for children and speaks on healthy lifestyles to parents worldwide. She has been featured in several magazines, television, and radio programs; and she is active in addressing childhood obesity with schools, parents, and health professionals.