What You Need To Know About Colic

Colic is the number one problem for both babies and parents. It’s probably the worst pain a baby experiences and it’s both depressing and sleep depriving for the mother. It rarely persists beyond 6 months of age and is believed to be caused by excess gas in the stomach.

The drug of choice is Infacol, however, it does contain saccharins and preservatives and has been shown in three clinical trials to have little or no benefit (BMJ, 1998; 316: 1563-9)

If we look at the natural choices, most promising is a probiotic supplement, as those babies with lower beneficial bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract tended to suffer with more colic.

Herbal preparations have also been tested in clinical trials. A mixture of chamomile, fennel and lemon balm has been shown to more than halve colic as measured by daily crying time. Salus Haus make a tea with these ingredients and aniseed, so if your breastfeeding the baby will be able to get this through you. Fennel seed oil is also favourable 1 – 4 teaspoons up to four times a day.

Homeopathy works great for children with colic. The main remedies are :

Colocynthis - colic relieved by pressure on the stomach also for diarrhoea - accompanied by spasmodic griping pains. Flatulence with colicky stomach pains.

Chamomilla - Here this child is extremely irritable and better when carried around.

Belladonna is an alternative that should be considered if a colic develops suddenly, and is worse with jarring or touch. The pain comes and goes quickly. The face is hot and red from the pain.

A study of colicky infants has shown a link with food allergies.

Thirty-eight bottle fed infants were randomly assigned to receive either a hypoallergenic formula (Pregestimil) or cow's milk formula. A further 77 mothers of breastfed colicky infants were put on a diet free of artificial colours, preservatives and additives and were further randomly assigned to a low allergen diet or a control diet.

After one week, the 61 per cent of infants on the hypoallergenic diet (breast and bottle) showed a significant reduction in distress, compared to only 43 per cent of those on control diets (J Allergy Clin Immunol, 1995; 96: 886-92).

Another product called colief could be useful to aid the digestive discomfort, sometimes called transient lactose Intolerance. This may be an important factor in some babies with colic.

So mothers are encouraged to do a simple check if they are breastfeeding as to what they are eating. Best try to avoid egg, dairy, wheat, nuts and fish. Similarly if you are using any milk formulas, you should choose a low-allergen type or a non-cow’s milk formula such as goat’s milk. Low allergen formulas have been shown to reduce colic by up to 60%. (Pediatrics, 2000; 106: 184-90)

Neuners Baby Stomach Tea, Nursing

Probiotics or Children