I recently attended a seminar in London on the essentials for caring for and treating babies and children. Babies and children often have complaints that are unique to their age and stage of development. A wonderful group from all over Europe came together for the weekend to learn from the experience and expertise of Dr. James Thompson DC.
Following on from this weekend I gained many new skills in caring for babies and children. Dr. Thompson shared his knowledge on caring for babies when they are suffering with, for example, colic.
Cross, unhappy baby?
Colic presents as a persistently cross and disagreeable baby, usually beginning during the first two to three weeks following birth and continuing up to three months of age, sometimes for longer. Unfortunately, colic affects up to a third of newborn babies whether or not they are breastfed or formula fed.
There is no one reason for colic and no one answer.
Colic could be considered an umbrella term for an unhappy baby with one of the following causing the discomfort;
- gas (or wind),
- lactose intolerance,
- food allergies,
- structural weakness within the infant’s stomach/diaphragm area,
- nerve dysfunction – with many midwives, nurses and obstetricians and paediatricians referring parents to take their newborns to chiropractors/osteopaths/osteomyologists who have trained in this area.
Change of positions
While addressing each of the above potential causes to your baby’s discomfort, a simple piece of advice for parents is to increase the amount of time the baby spends OUT of the pram/carseat/carrier. It is important to allow your baby freedom to move and use their arms and legs.
The closed-up position of many baby seats allows for little movement and most importantly (regarding colic) compresses their stomach area, which may affect digestive movements and trapped gas/wind.
The infant gut microbiome
There has also been some more recent studies done on the impact of supplementation from birth with probiotics to support the infant gut microbiome (the universe of good bacteria in the gut). One study looks at the types of bacteria present in gut microbiome and its association with predicting colic severity and crying times (how long the baby cries for). Another study has found that Lactobacillus reuteri has consistently improved symptoms of infantile colic.
It is important to emphasise that it is not shown that probiotic supplementation cures colic. It improves the symptoms. For example, crying time lengths. There are supplements designed for newborn infants to support their gut microbiome. As your baby and their story so far is unique, I would discuss with your health care provider if a probiotic supplement is suitable for your infant and if so which one.
A thorough evaluation is a vital step in giving your newborn the best possible start. Newborn care is extremely gentle and it will help your baby feel comfortable in his/her body.
If you feel your little one may benefit from a consultation with Treasa, please contact the clinic. Treasa is also more than happy to have a chat on the phone prior to your first visit, contact on 087 1815007.
Hopefully you find the general information in this blog informative and helpful, however it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.