If you are viewing this on a mobile, scroll right down the page for the recap. For the details about the anti-colic diet for Mum, I suggest you print out that section from your computer and keep it handy.
Colic in babies presents parents with one of their first big challenges. Its AWFUL.. your baby keeps crying and just can't be comforted. You feel exhausted as you need to sleep and you need something to work quickly, something that will help to calm colic RIGHT NOW!
Fortunately in the natural medicine world we have several very reliable colic remedies for babies with colic plus INVALUABLE INFORMATION about how to minimize the whole experience.
Make sure you scroll right down this page as it contains a lot of useful information that will help you so much.
However - if you are desperate for help quickly.. click on the link below to get one of the excellent remedies from Native Remedies and then scroll down NOW to the details about COLIC REMEDIES and the breastfeeding mothers own diet. If you want to skip the main text, scroll down to "RECAP".
You can give a one of these colic remedies today, they are easily available from most good health food shops and the link below.
Then, if this is a breastfed baby, YOU will have to make changes in what and when YOU eat. The baby WILL quieten and the symptoms WILL recede well within 48 hours.Your local Homoeopathic pharmacy can supply you with the colic remedies I suggest.
Then please come back to the top of this page and read carefully through this text. I can't stress enough that you need to read the whole page!
Its often a huge shock for new parents when their lovely newborn suddenly starts to cry, unexplainably.. for several hours each day. After all the drama of the end of the pregnancy and then the relief of the birth at last.. having a baby with colic brings great stress into what should be a time of quiet, loving bonding and adjustment.
Colic pains or cramps are brought on by the stress of some of the milk contents on an underdeveloped new stomach lining.I have put a fuller explanation of infant colic in the section below.
I trained as a National Childbirth Trust teacher, in the 70's, before my natural medicine training began. My own children were both colicky and I tried various remedies and dietary exclusions until I found the right combination. We shall be doing that for you and your baby.
If your baby is bottle fed, please research non lactose formulas.
HOMEOPATHIC COLIC REMEDIES
DOSAGE: To treat infant colic put 4 pillules or drops in a small cup of tepid boiled water, stir until dissolved and give a few drops from a teaspoon every few minutes. You can also dip your little finger into the water and let the baby suck the water off. make sure your hands are clean, of course!
The classic colic remedy for infant colic and usually found in most colic combinations. Chamomilla is a restless, irritable, hot baby who quietens down when carried around, pushed in their buggy or driven in the car. Their tummy feels full and a bit hard, and one cheek might be redder than the other.
This colic remedy is also useful for biliary colic. The Colocynthus baby cries a lot and draws up their legs to the tummy. Some relief seems to come from passing wind and holding the baby up against the shoulder. Their stools are greenish, sometimes like jelly.
3. Magnesium Phos
If all the symptoms are the same but the baby with colic quietens down by laying face down across your lap so that their tummy is kept very warm, then give them Mag Phos.
4. Nux Vomica
All the usual infant colic symptoms but this baby seems overtired and a little constipated, so the stools are harder. It helps for a while when they do fill the nappy. Mum may have eaten spicy foods, which may have started off the colic.
5. Sambuccus Nigra
Fretfulness, spasms of colicky pain, watery stools AND a stuffed up nose. Cannot feed easily.
All of these infant colic homeopathic remedies can be purchased easily from health food shops or from Native Remedies from the link above. They send the drops very quickly. .
CONTACT ME if your baby's colic symptoms don't fit into any of these remedy pictures. firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: There is a small charge for my advice.
GRIPE WATER - There is much debate about whether Gripe water helps. Gripe water is an old-fashioned remedy containing herbs (dill, fennel, ginger etc) and sodium bicarbonate. The herbs are said to warm the baby's tummy and break down air bubbles while sodium bicarbonate neutralizes acid. I suspect that it helps in cases where wind is actually the problem, as opposed to the causes I have detailed below, relating to lactose intolerance.
WHAT IS COLIC?
Lots of loud wailing, crying and sobbing, the baby's tummy seems full of wind and the little legs are brought up in what appears to be spasms of pain. There is a lot of noisy farting and the nappies are full of greenish explosive stools
Where burping or passing wind does help.. you may find that Gripe Water is sufficient to settle the baby. Modern formulas do not contain alcohol.
However in most cases, burping or passing wind does not solve the problem because the colic is caused by the immature digestive system of the baby, being unable to absorb lactose.. from the cows milk that the mother is eating in cheese and drinking in milk.
If this is the case - then ask yourself two questions:
1. Is there any sign of a lactose intolerance anywhere in your family? any asthma or eczema?
If the answer is YES then you must remove all dairy from your diet. It can be reintroduced gradually in a few months, once the baby's gut has matured. You must replace the missing calcium from your diet by using supplements and/or taking green barley grass powder, which is an excellent source of calcium.
If the answer is NO, then the colic may be a temporary bout of lactose intolerance - and this is the majority of all colic cases.All management techniques, therefore, need to reduce the lactose load in the baby’s stomach. This can be done several ways.
(I am including a direct quote from Hatherly's book, the Homoeopathic Physicians Guide to Lactation)
"1) It helps to try and slow down the speed of the milk flow. The baby who is at the mercy of a vigorous flow has to suckle very quickly, which increases peristaltic action (ie the pulsatile movements that begin in the gullet and end at the anus whenever food is consumed). Milk that is consumed quickly travels to the intestines quickly where it tends to ferment in the very young baby whose gut is still trying to build up enzymes and bacteria needed for the final stage of digestion.
If your milk flow is fast and you have a very strong let-down reflex, your baby may be more comfortable and relaxed if you adopt a more upright posture for the feeds. With several pillows for comfort and support, “sit” your baby at your hip, and turn both your body and the baby’s so that you are chest to chest. With your hand in between your baby’s shoulder blades, the head can rest on the edge of your open palm. Your baby then can come to your breast in an upright position and can control the milk intake by coming on and off the breast or pausing whenever needed. This is difficult to do in the more traditional “Madonna position” where the baby lies down and often has to contend with milk shooting up the eustachian tube and sinuses if the swallowing action slows down as the baby tries to pause.
2a) An adequate intake of fat also helps to settle the symptoms of colic, as breast milk, which is high in fat, tends to travel more slowly through the digestive system. This is largely due to the fact that babies digest fat in the stomach rather than the duodenum. The fat in breast milk is found in larger amounts in the “hind milk”, which is delivered in greater quantities as the breastfeed progresses. In order to maximize fat intake, it helps if you adopt a “one breast at a time” schedule. Throughout any three-hour period, allow your baby to go back to the same breast for “top-ups”. The other breast is rested and offered to the baby during the next feeding session.By the time your baby is three months old, however, one-sided feeding is often not sufficient and both breasts are usually offered.
2b) The fat levels in breast milk reflect dietary intake. During pregnancy, women lay down some fat stores on the hips. These are then used up during lactation. However, these fats are short-chain fatty acids and may contain body toxins; so the baby benefits most if you can make sure that you obtain good-quality fats in your diet each day. The best fats come from oily fish (herrings, sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel). These particular fatty acids aid the development of your baby’s central nervous system and brain. The fats from grains, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives balance out the fats from fish and are important for keeping your baby’s skin in good condition.
3) Finally, colic is also helped by ensuring that your diet contains plenty of protein and complex carbohydrate and a minimum of simple carbohydrate. Research has shown that this results in a lower lactose level in your milk, and it is this fact that best helps your young baby. The lower lactose levels are most easily achieved by having some protein foods at each meal and at least one of the snack-times.
4.Until colic symptoms settle avoid simple carbohydrates INCLUDING FRUIT IN ALL ITS FORMS, and ALCOHOL.
SOME MENU CHOICES FOR BREASTFEEDING MUMS WITH COLICKY BABIES
Breakfast: Cooked cereals or grains, eggs, meats (low-fat mince, chops, devilled kidney or liver), beans or legumes, herrings, kippers, sardines, complemented with dairy products and toast.
Am/snack: Yoghurt, cheese and crackers and milk (if well tolerated), home-made dips including beans, tinned seafood, eggs, avocado, homemade mayonnaise using a good quality cold-pressed oil (preferably olive), pâté, hommus, nut butters, nut and seed mixes, (care needs to be taken with peanuts) crackers, corn chips or vegetable pieces for dipping.
Lunch: Quiche (or other egg dishes), chicken, beef, lamb or pork, fish (especially oily tinned fish), a generous serving of salad or steamed vegetables complemented by home-made mayonnaise or salad dressing or butter mixed with oil, home- made pies, soups, casseroles or “fresh leftovers”, pasta or vegetarian dishes that incorporate protein and vegetables, protein and salad sandwiches or rolls.
Pm/snack: Same as am/snack; or: home-made biscuits, cakes and slices such as Anzacs,fruitless muffins;, carrot or zucchini cake, pumpkin scones or pikelets.
Dinner: Same as lunch, excluding the sandwiches.
Try to keep your food intake wholesome and simple; and preferably home-made and fresh.
You will know that your baby is coping better with lactose when the dirty nappy count drops to one or two a day, and the consistency resembles thick gravy or whipped cream.
So - to RECAP:-
1. Choose one of the remedies that best fits your baby's colic. Some pharmacies have made combinations to give in drops.
2. Stop eating fruit, drinking fruit juice or alcohol.
3 Change the feeding position so that the baby is not drinking too fast. The 'sitting more upright at your side' position allows the baby to control how much milk they take in and to take a breath when they need to.
4. Adjust your diet , eating smaller amounts, more regularly, and boost the (good) fats and protein content of each of your meals.
Follow these simple guidelines and within a couple of days you will find that the colic symptoms reduce.
Look on the nav bar for the breastfeeding Mums diet.
Of course, bottle fed babies diet can be adjusted by using non lactose formula.
I must acknowledge and thank my dear colleague Patricia Hatherly for her wonderful work on colic and lactation.I have quoted directly from her book and research. She has found a reliable pathway to reducing and eliminating the symptoms of colic.
JUDES RELIABLES: Chamomila and Colocynthus both work so well but if you are getting desperate, look in your health food shop or ask the pharmacy, you will find that they make a combination colic remedy. Often these work well - its just one of the ingredients that fits, but saves time sorting through them one at a time. I don't recommend that you do this often though. Its just that colic is so stressful for everyone! Happy Mumming!