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Colic and Breast Feeding

Written By onci on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 | 8:56 PM

The Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Colic

When a newborn baby comes out of the womb, doctors encourage mothers to breastfeed the infant. This is because the milk that comes out has nutrients in the right concentrations. It also has antibodies, which becomes the first line of defense against harmful bacteria and viruses.

Studies show that a mother can continue to breastfeed the child until it reaches 4 years of age. But because the teeth have already been developed, many decide to use a pump or change this for artificial milk.

One of the first challenges parents will face in the first six months is a condition where the baby becomes colic. This is when the infant will cry for no reason at all that will take months to subside.

Some doctors believe that the reason why a baby will behave in this manner is due to the milk that is fed from the mother’s breast.

There are two theories that explain this. The first is because babies who suck milk also take in a certain amount of air. Mother’s are encourage to let the infant burp before going to sleep so he or she won’t wake up later on.

The second is from the types of food that the mother eats. Gaseous foods, which are digested, are passed on to the infant in the form of milk causing the colic to happen.

Until now, there is insufficient proof to prove there is a relationship between breastfeeding and colic. Believe it or not, this happens more often to bottle-fed rather than breast fed infants. This means the mother should just watch out the food being eaten so this condition does not happen.

Those who are unable to do it can ask help from a dietitian so certain dishes can be substituted for something else.

Watching the food and making sure the infant burps are just two ways to handle a colic baby. The mother can also carry the child onto the shoulders or in a swaying motion. Some even sing a lullaby making the infant go back to sleep.

The parents can also put a CD player near the crib that will play nursery rhymes. This will serve as background so the baby will not wake up from the sounds coming from outside the room or the house.

During the daytime, a colic baby can also be remedied with a warm bath or a massage. This is because adults who are stressed sometimes use this to release the tension in the muscles, which makes this also work for the child.

If the infant has grown some teeth already, perhaps giving a pacifier can help. Some babies’ cry when he or she is not sucking onto something and this device can work as a substitute for the mother’s breast.

There is nothing wrong if the doctor classifies the baby as a colic. In fact, this is a blessing in disguise because this means that the little boy or girl is normal. The excessive crying or shouting are ways for the infant to ask for attention that will serve as a wake up call for first time parents.

The parents should just persevere through this phase. After all, colic babies are hereditary which means the same thing happened to the mother and father many years ago.
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