What is colic?

This article is by eglantine Hallo one of the osteopaths at Islington’s Angel Wellbeing Clinic. Eglantine has a busy clinic treating mums and babies. Click here to read a testimonial from one of the mum’s.

Colic is an umbrella term for a collection of symptoms and finding the right diagnosis can be difficult.

Your baby may have colic if he or she presents with:

  • Flatulence with explosive stools

  • Paroxysmal inconsolable crying or screaming particularly in the evening for a minimum of 2 hours

  • Arching of the back or drawing of the knees

  • Distended stomach

Colic usually begins in the first few weeks of life but often resolves by the time the baby is 4 to 6 months old and It can occur in breastfed or bottle fed babies.

There is not enough conclusive research to confirm the possible causes of colic but there are a number of suggested theories:

  • Hormonal changes affecting peristalsis (gut movement)

  • Immature gut enzymes

  • Trapped wind

  • Bacteria imbalance in the gut

However, a colicky baby is a healthy thriving baby so it is important to visit your local GP if there are any other signs like fever and vomiting and It is essential to exclude other conditions such as reflux, hernia, lactose intolerance or thrush is essential for finding the appropriate treatment.

The osteopath can help you find the right diagnosis with a thorough case history and examination.

Treatment consists of cranio-sacral osteopathy where light pressure is applied to the baby’s body to release strains and tensions that have been acquired in utero or through the birth process.

Here are some tips to try and settle your baby:

  • If breastfeeding make sure your baby has a good latch (silent) and in a more upright position

  • If bottle feeding check the teat flow is not too strong.

  • You can massage your baby’s abdomen in a clockwise motion

  • A warm bath

  • Changing your holding positions i.e their abdomen across your knees, along your forearm face down, sitting position holding your baby’s thighs with his or her back against your chest.

  • Gentle rocking either side-lying or on their back

For more information on how osteopathy can help your baby or if you are a mum or mum to be, contact Eglantine at Islington's Angel Wellbeing Clinic on 0207 288 2999 to speak to her or to make an appointment.



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