Some of the top reasons to see your doctor are usually those to do with infant sleep, feeding, breastfeeding, and infantile colic. Today we will talk about the latter, since it is common to cause anxiety and bewilderment to parents.
The most common definition of infantile colic describes it as episodes of loud, vigorous crying for at least three hours a day, three days a week for at least three weeks in a healthy, well-nourished baby. And this is proved by this study published in Pediatric primary care.
Most often, they usually appear around six weeks of age and crying spells are described as sudden attacks of great intensity appearing at the end of the day. Improvement appears about four to six months after delivery.
How are crises going?
What is characteristic is that the children adopt a very typical position, as they flex their thighs over their abdomen, clench their fists, their faces become noticeably red and their bellies become very stiff.
These episodes can last from minutes to hours.. In the periods between crises, the pups are completely asymptomatic and smiling and, during their follow-up, eat and gain weight normally.
Causes of infantile colic
The causes of infantile colic are multifactorial, that is, there is no single cause. that causes them and, many times, there are several predisposing factors that make a certain individual suffer from them. These factors, as evidenced by this study published in Italian Journal of PediatricsThey can be
- biological: immaturity of the digestive system, lactose intolerance, etc.
- behavioral: baby’s temperament, behavior at home (new parents), use of nipple shields, type of breastfeeding, lack of attachment…
- anatomical: presence of lingual frenulum, alteration of the palate, reduced weight.
What can be done?
The first thing we must say to reassure parents is that it is a benign process for which there are no universal remedies. The main thing is to comfort the babies and always witness their cryingas letting him cry not only won’t ease the colic, but can cause other physical and psychological complications in the little one.
Given the cry of the baby, logical causes must be excluded, such as being hungry, cold, hot, drowsy, diaper, etc. It is true that, as the weeks go by, parents are able to identify the type of cry their baby has and, based on that, they already know how to cover the needs they have.
Furthermore, any pathology or disease must be excluded, such as earache or gum pain. For this, it is important to go to the pediatrician when you see that your child may be in some kind of pain.
If your baby is medically healthy, but you suspect that he may have infantile colic, that would be interesting go to a specialized center with a multidisciplinary team.
What is an infantile colic consultation?
You can access a consultation for infantile colic manner multidisciplinary; In this case, a midwife, a pediatric nurse, a physiotherapist and, when necessary, a psychologist usually collaborate in the consultation.
The first thing usually done is a history of childbirth, pregnancy, early life, and family history. Subsequently, a physical examination of the child: abdomen, diaphragm, oral cavity, signs of atopic dermatitis, etc.
In that same question infant feeding is observed, both from the breast and from the bottle, to rule out attachment problems, since, on many occasions, these are usually a reason to swallow air. Finally, the treatment with physiotherapy or osteopathy is performed and the relative guidelines are provided to the parents.
Guidelines for parents
- If you breastfeed, avoid nipple shields or pacifiers that may produce a nipple confession. In addition, a breast should be offered until the baby releases spontaneously. It is, then, when the other will have changed, after expelling the gas. You need to make sure that the gripping technique is correct and that the child is not tongue-tied so that they have proper tongue mobility.
- If a bottle is given, it is important that the technique is also correct and that the baby does not have any changes in the mouth. You can opt for an anti-colic bottle that regulates the flow of milk out and for low-lactose milk.
- After taking it is important keep the child upright to expel all the air.
- you can offer dietary guidelines to the mother if it is suspected that the baby may have intolerances or allergies, such as removing dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, soy or fish for two to three weeks to see if there is improvement. In case there is and the mother is breastfeeding the baby, a slightly restrictive diet will be maintained; in the event of no improvement, all the foods that had been advised to suspend will be reintroduced.
- An infant massage, performed by parents or carers, it can be useful for the little one. Also from a physiotherapist who specializes in infantile colic. Despite the fact that, like this publication in the magazine Costa Rica Current Nursingthere is no scientific evidence that abdominal massage changes the digestive tract, it has been shown to reduce crying and improve sleep hours and parents’ attitude towards colic.
- You must always pay attention to the baby’s crying.
- The skin-to-skin technique has been shown to make babies cry less. Ergonomic transport too. This ensures correct position of the baby and will help him to expel the gas. Moreover, having it nearby, their requests can be satisfied immediately.
- Slightly incorporating the head of the cradle is a good recommendation to avoid colic in the baby.
Coping with infantile colic…
As you have been able to verify, it is a very common condition in babies under 4 months of age and occurs regardless of the type of breastfeeding they are given.
Even if there is no specific cause, yes some guidelines can be followedlike those mentioned, to alleviate the symptoms and make the baby’s crying more bearable for the parents.
However, It is always best to consult a pediatrician. to provide an appropriate diagnosis and treatment for each case.
The post Infantile colic: causes and guidelines for parents first appeared in research-school.