Effect Of Life Stress During Pregnancy On Baby Colic
In 2006, another study investigated a similar subject. The study included 86 pregnant mothers . The scientists analyzed if life stress during pregnancy can cause excessive crying in babies during the first six months of their life.
Side Note: What is life stress?
They contained questions about negative life events of the mothers during pregnancy. For example, an expecting mother may not have the support of a caring partner, which is considered a negative life event.
Accordingly, life stress was defined as the sum of all negative life events. The more negative life events, the higher the life stress levels in the mother.
They too found that babies of mothers with higher levels of stress were crying more / were more fussy during the first 6 months. Crying and fussing was particularly severe in babies between 3 to 6 months of age.
Please note: technically, excessive crying alone may not necessarily qualify as colic. However, I still decided to include this study.
Tips To Prevent Gas And Colic In Babies
I was advised by my pediatrician to supplement breastfeeding with bottles of formula as my son was dehydrated due to my low milk supply, however, I never got any tips to prevent gas and colic. The minute I introduced baby bottles , he turned into a bag of gas every time I fed him. He and I suffered through hours of crying due to painful gas pains, leading to colic and spit-ups. After spending hours, days, and weeks of research, I concluded that air swallowing is the number one cause of gas and colic. Babies can swallow air when they cry when they suckle, and while they feed. Most air ingestion is caused when bottle-feeding due to the air retained inside the baby bottles. Here are six tips to prevent gas and colic by minimizing air-swallowing while feeding.
Avoid Cheese During Pregnancy
Moreover, the same study found a link between the perinatal consumption of cheese by the mother and the development of colic in her baby .
Note that the term perinatal is related to the time immediately before and after birth. Accordingly, it seems that it does not only pay off to avoid cheese during the weeks right before pregnancy, but also during the weeks after birth.
Please note that it is unclear why the consumption of cheese by a mother would lead to colic in babies. However, if there is the slightest chance that it helps avoiding colic in babies, why not giving it a try?
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Take Care Of Yourself Too
It can be stressful when your baby cries for no obvious reason and isnt easily soothed. Your baby needs you to be calm, too, and that can be hard if you are tired.
If you find yourself getting tense or angry as your baby cries, try breathing deeply to help yourself relax. If thats not enough, lay your baby down in a safe place and go into another room for 10 or 15 minutes. Lie down, listen to calming music, do a household chore or take other steps to calm yourself. When you feel ready, go back and pick up your baby.
Ask friends or family members to relieve you at times so you can go for a walk outside, take a nap or have some time to yourself. Its not selfish to take care of yourself. Restoring your ability to be calm can be the best thing you can do for your baby.
Colic Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a crucial period for the infants. Mothers need to be careful about their diets, as the milk they produce has a direct influence on the health of the child. Children often develop colic, or aches in the belly at particular times of the day. This happens due to the accumulation of gas in the digestive system of the mother. In order to prevent this situation, mothers need to be careful of their diets. Well, here we present thirteen foods that mothers should avoid to prevent colic in breastfeeding babies.
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Key Points About Colic
- Colic is when a healthy baby cries for a very long time, for no obvious reason.
- It affects some babies during the first 3 to 4 months of life.
- Colic usually begins suddenly, with loud and mostly nonstop crying.
- Colicky babies can be very difficult to calm down.
- Changing how your baby is fed, and using different calming methods, can help to soothe a colicky baby.
- Colic goes away on its own, sometimes by age 3 months. In most cases it is gone by age 6 months.
My First Baby Had Colic Will No2 Also Suffer
The good news is that no two babies are the same. If your first baby was colicky, your second will be different and often this means less colicky.
Also, as an experienced mum, you will be more likely to read the warning signs next time. This means youll find it easier to deal with, especially if you follow the steps above.
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Here Is What You Can Do:
Avoid active and passive exposure to tobacco smoke, and nicotine in general, during pregnancy! Also, keep in mind that nicotine replacement therapies may not be the solution to the problem. That is, because the problem is not only the tobacco, but the nicotine too!
Next, avoid stress during pregnancy! If avoiding stress is impossible, keep in mind that self-efficacy or the trust in your own abilities that you will be able to cope with the great challenge of having a baby could still prevent colic in your baby!
If you have emotional problems, suffer from anxiety or have gone through childhood traumata, seek professional help!
Moreover, tell the father of your baby to be there for you! Bearing the physical challenge of having a baby is your burden to carry. However, this does not mean that your partner cannot do everything in his power to support you throughout this difficult period!
If the father suffers from depression, tell him to seek professional help! It could help decrease the likelihood of your baby to suffer from colic.
Furthermore, be careful with iron supplementation during pregnancy and the consumption of cheese during the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy. Both could promote colic in your baby.
Also, if your body mass index is above average, you may want to lose weight before getting pregnant!
And finally, if you or the father of your child suffer from migraine, go seek treatment! Migraine in parents could cause infant colic .
What Is Colic In Babies
Colic is frequent, prolonged, and intense crying or fussiness in a healthy infant. Its when an infant who isnt sick or hungry cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. Colic can be particularly frustrating for many parents because the babys distress occurs for no apparent reason and no amount of consoling seems to bring any relief.
When does colic start and end?
Most bouts start when a baby is 2 to 3 weeks old or later in premature infants, peak at 6 weeks, and usually begin to taper off by 10 to 12 weeks. It affects approximately 10% to 40% of infants around the world.
Babies with colic spend long periods unsettled or grizzling, but they might also cry very loudly, especially in the evening and during nights. They might draw their legs up, strain, squirm and turn red. It looks like they are in pain, and its very difficult or even impossible to settle or comfort babies when they are in this state.
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Things That Probably Wont Work With Colic
Medications and mixturesOver-the-counter colic mixtures from pharmacies have no scientific basis. These mixtures arent recommended as a way to deal with colic because they dont work and/or havent been thoroughly tested in young babies.
And although many babies who have colic also have reflux symptoms, theres no evidence that reflux medication reduces crying and fussing.
Doctors dont recommend naturopathic or homeopathic medications to treat colic, because theres no evidence to say they work or are safe for young babies.
Chiropractic treatmentChiropractic treatment doesnt help with colic, and spinal manipulation can be dangerous for young babies.
Changes to mothers dietIf youre a breastfeeding mother, changing your diet is unlikely to reduce crying unless your baby is diagnosed with an allergy to something in your diet for example, cows milk, egg and soy.
If allergy is the cause of your babys excessive crying or colic, your baby will usually have other red flags in addition to colic. These red flags include:
- diarrhoea, especially with mucus or blood
- poor weight gain
If You Suspect Overstimulation:
- Respond. Crying is a babys only way of communicating his needs. But its also his only way of wielding any control at all over a vast and bewildering new environment: He cries, you come running to his side powerful stuff when youre otherwise completely powerless. In fact, studies show that responding promptly to your babys cries will reduce his crying in the long run.
- Excise excitement. Limit visitors and avoid exposing your baby to new experiences in stimulating environments, particularly in the late afternoon and early evening. Watch how your baby responds to certain stimuli and steer clear of any that seem to offend.
- Create calm. Trying to make your babys environment peaceful might help him relax. Dim the lights, speak or sing in soothing tones and keep other noise and distractions to a minimum.
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Fathers Make A Difference
To sum up, fathers seem to have an influence on the development of colic in babies too. And that influence does not only just start once the baby is born! Therefore, tell your partner to be there for you! Not only just once the baby is born, but from the very first day of your pregnancy!
If the father of your baby suffers from depressive symptoms, he should seek professional help! Although support groups and organizations mainly focus on expecting mothers, more and more professional help is offered to daddies who need psychological care! Ask your doctor or a member of staff of the hospital in which you expect to give birth!
And finally, keep the following in mind: you will have to take care of one baby already! You dont need an even bigger baby additionally in your household! It is important for the father of your baby to stand his man!
The moment he fathered the child, he committed to his own needs being inferior to the needs of his offspring. It is important that he remembers that!
Looking for ways to help your baby with colic?
Check out my Shonishin Baby Colic Massage Courseand learn how to help your little one!
Avoiding Your Babys Triggers
Foods that are passed through your breast milk to your baby may trigger colic. If your baby is colicky and you are breastfeeding, avoid eating or drinking the following foods for a few weeks to see if that helps.
- Stimulants, such as caffeine and chocolate.
- Dairy products and nuts. Your baby may have allergies to these foods.
Some breastfeeding moms avoid eating broccoli, cabbage, beans, and other gas-producing foods. But research has not shown that these foods can have a negative effect on your baby.
Other possible triggers include:
- Medicines passed through breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your own doctor about the medicines you take.
- Baby formula. Some babies are sensitive to proteins in formula. Talk to your babys doctor about switching formulas to see if that helps.
- Overfeeding or feeding the baby too quickly. Bottle feeding your baby should take about 20 minutes. If your baby is eating faster, use a nipple with a smaller hole.
Talk to a lactation consultant to learn more about the possible causes related to breastfeeding.
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Be Careful With Iron Supplementation During Pregnancy
A recent study compared babies of mothers with and without iron supplementation during pregnancy . Interestingly, they found that the babies of mothers with iron supplementation had a higher risk of suffering from colic.
If you are on iron supplementation, make sure that the GP who prescribed the supplementation is aware of your pregnancy! Ask him/her for advice on how you should proceed given the fact that you are pregnant!
However, never just cut down your dose or refuse to continue the therapy by yourself!
Keep in mind that there is most likely a good reason for your GP to prescribe iron supplementation in the first place! Discontinuing the supplementation could cause negative effects for yourself and also for your baby, if your body urgently needs iron!
Fizzy Drinks And Energy Drinks
Fizzy drinks such as soda are already full of gas and cause lots of bloating. They are also not a healthy option due to the amount of chemicals, sugars and preservatives that they contain.
Consuming these in high amounts while breastfeeding may be the cause of gassiness in your baby. They may also give you gas and cause discomfort for you as well. Instead of these, drink water and plenty of fruit juices and healthy smoothies. These are excellent for weight loss and will keep your babys tummy pain free.
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How To Minimize Reflux:
- Hold your baby in an upright position, not lying down, while you feed them and burp them several times during each feeding.
- Keep your baby upright for 30 minutes after feeding
- Baby wearing can be beneficial during times of fussiness
- Check with your GP if you can elevate the mattress to avoid your baby laying complete flat.
While youre here, check out Chantals guide to baby sleep and why your newborn might be crying.
Complementary And Alternative Therapies
Eliminating foods that cause gas and using supportive herbal or homeopathic therapies may help your baby’s colic. In some cases, colic may be caused by a hidden food allergy and you may need to switch formula or food. A qualified natural health care provider can help you find nutritious hypoallergenic foods for your child. If you are breastfeeding, eliminating foods that may cause gas or allergies from your diet may help. In addition, playing soft music, rocking your baby, or using “white noise” may help soothe your infant. Placing your baby in a dim, quiet room may help calm the baby. Use alternative therapies only under the supervision of a trained provider, and always inform your baby’s pediatrician of any dietary changes or therapies you may be considering. If you are using any supplements for your infant, make sure they are from a trusted source and a brand the doctor is familiar with.
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