Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Colicky Baby

I have mentioned before how naive I was about breastfeeding, even once quoting "I don't know what I'll do, maybe I'll breastfeed, who knows, I'm not going to stress about it!" Yeah right, that worked. When Zack arrived, I really wanted to breastfeed him but I soon realised he had terrible wind, colic, cramps, whatever you want to call it. After feeding him for hours I would then wind him for hours. He would burp...a lot, but still seemed to have pains.

If you have a baby who is unsettled, waking up after a short time or they seem 'uncomfortable'; then this is colic. I knew Zack was uncomfortable because he would bring his knees up to his head (aren't babies flexible?) The only position he would be comfy in, was sitting on my knee, slight bent forward and me beating him on the back. This would work, but it was always short-lived.

I was predominantly breastfeeding Zack and was told by my midwife that Zack couldn't have colic because he was a breastfed baby - rubbish. When you get told things like this, and you are a new mum, you believe it because you don't know any different. Deep down, I did think my midwife was cuckcoo
but I'm a sucker for doing as I'm told. Remember to trust your instincts. It is amazing how 'in tune' you are, with your baby. Have faith in yourself and if you think something is not right with your child don't quit until you get a solution.

Despite my 'spot on' instincts'; me of little faith; 'like all new mums' googled my problem and bought lots of products from the chemist.

Colic products and methods results:

Winding - sit baby up and rub or pat their back until you hear some wind release. Hold their head, when they are really small.

Another 'winding strategy' I would use would be to lie Zack on his front and that would release some wind. It seemed to calm him.
Verdict - this is a given, you don't have a new baby and not wind so yes it works to bring some wind up but Zack had colic - I needed something a lot more hardcore that just winding.

Infacol - this is probably the most popular colic relief 'potion' and I used it religiously. It is a liquid that is bought in a small plastic bottle. Put a few drops on you baby's tongue before a feed. It contains an ingredient called Simethicone which has been clinically proven to relieve trapped wind and infant colic. It does say that it works best when used regularly and consistently. It can be used for breastfed or bottlefed babies.

I did think that Infacol helped Zack but it wasn't a complete solution. He still had terrible trapped wind and some days when was still in a lot of pain. However when I didn't use it, he was definitely worse.

Baby massage - this was great for Zack because it relaxed him. I would strip him down to his nappy and lie him on a mat (on his back). Grabbing his feet and knees, I would circulate his hips giving his intestines a massage. Keep the circular motion clockwise pushing his legs round to the right then rotate over to the left. Try and use some pressure while massaging this way to try and 'squeeze out' any trapped wind. Another method is getting some baby oil and massaging their little tummies. Again use a circular motion in a clockwise direction.

Much like the infacol, this worked but was short lived. Often when I was rotating his hips he would let out huge 'gusts' of trapped wind which was satisfying for both of us! He would seem less tight in the stomach and not irritable but it wouldn't take long before he was unable to get in a comfy position again.

Gripe water - a nurse friend of mine recommended gripe water, after I had mentioned Zack's colic. Again this is a liquid solution to relieve reflux, wind, tummy pain, hiccups. It is a sterile water that has been fortified with natural ingredients like peppermint, fennel, ginger and/ or chamomile which are known for their stomach relieving properties.

By the time I started Zack on gripe water I was also using infacol and massage, I was desperate! Much with the other solutions, I could definitely see some improvement, but not enough. I loved the fact that gripe water was all natural and I wouldn't be putting any sugar or chemicals into my baby's body but I was getting really tired of Zack's uncomfortableness and I'm sure he was too.

Colief - this is a liquid which contains lactase, an enzyme which already naturally occurs in our bodies. It is used for breaking down complex sugars lactose found in milk, formula milk and breast milk. It is a bit of a faff to use. When you are breastfeeding you need to pump off some milk onto a spoon or the like and put four drops of colief onto the spoon, feed it to your baby then breastfeed baby as normal. This gives the colief a chance to work on the tummy before you fill your baby's tummy with milk. If you are formula feeding, make formula up as normal then put four drops in the bottle then wait half an hour. This gives the colief a chance to break down the lactose. When I was formula feeding I would make Zack's milk up to hot, put the drops in, then by half hour hour it was the perfect temperature for him.

Amazing! Finally something that worked properly and fully. It was a bit of a faff to start off with but once I got into a routine of sorting the drops out then it didn't seem as much of a big deal. I bought colief in the UK and I know they don't sell it over in New Zealand, much to my panic. If you are in a country that doesn't sell it then look for something that contains the magic ingredients - Lactase.

Colic is a difficult, tiring and frustrating thing for a new mother to have to cope with. Make sure you are getting all the advice you need from your mw and try the colief! It really worked for me and I would recommend it to any of my best friends in the same situation.

Remember when you have had a enough and you feel like you are going to lose it, go down to the bottom of the garden and have a scream. Don't worry we have all been there! Then ring a friend or family member and ask them if they can take the baby out for a walk for twenty minutes. This phase of the baby's life will probably last no longer than 10 to 12 weeks, after this time their immune and digestive systems are more mature and less irritable, easing any colic pains naturally.

Good luck fellow parents. If you have any other top tips on colic please feel free to comment in the comment box down below!


Mums make lists said...

Love the blog - we really suffered with colic as well and this is list I came up with at time. Lots of stuff you have but also lots of diet changes.

Mums make lists said...

Oops forgot the link here you go -

Albert jett said...

Thank you for your great post. I really appreciate the efforts you have put in your blog .It is interesting and helpful.
Good luck with it!!!
Gripe water