So, you're dealing with some really bad stomach pain. You have a bit of a headache. Sleep you say? That isn’t working out too well because of the pain. You’re not in the best mood from all this and to top it off, every time you try and let someone know, they are not listening or helping!
To be honest, I would cry … would you?
For many newborns, this is how they start life in the first few months. And for many new parents, the frustration can be overwhelming. As a father of 4 little ones, I’ve felt the most helpless when I’ve failed to calm my children.
Years ago, colic was first thought to be merely indigestion. The most widely accepted definition of colic today is unexplainable and uncontrollable crying in babies from 0 to 3 months old, more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for 3 weeks or more, usually in the afternoon and evening hours.
Does this sound familiar in your household or someone you love?
In the conventional medicine world, things still haven’t progressed much further than this way of thinking. A quick search online shows that there isn’t much help, other than waiting it out or is there?
What is the Root Cause?
The cause of colic is usually multifactorial and the issues that I see in practice most often are a combination food sensitivities, digestive imbalance and nerve system irritation from the birthing process.
This list below of easy, natural methods have a great track record in helping babies and parents who are suffering with colic.
Tips for Mom
- Food - The food that mom is eating determines the quality of the breast milk including macronutrient composition for fat, sugars and protein. For best results, the first things to eliminate from mom’s diet are dairy, eggs, grains, raw veggies, spicy foods, nuts and seeds, and caffeine. What the heck is left!? I usually recommend starting one by one, keeping that particular item out of rotation for up to 3 weeks and seeing how baby responds before moving on to the next. While not perfect, food sensitivity testing can make this process easier.
- Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes - The bacterial balance of mom’s gut one of the most pivotal factors in a newborn’s health. Boost the opportunity for positive changes by rotating the probiotics regularly by trying different brands and styles (our favorite). Digestive enzymes also provide support by aiding in breaking down proteins, sugars and fats in the gut (our favorite). A comprehensive stool test from labs like Genova can prove how helpful or necessary these additional supplements are.
- Leaky Gut – Knowledge and concern about leaky gut (intestinal permeability) has been gaining momentum for years now, and unfortunately the list of people affected by it is also growing. If you haven’t had a chance to get tested or take action to correct it, it just may be the missing piece to baby’s colic and your health woes. Many labs can do the test, but Cyrex is an industry leader and a wonderful supplement called Restore has been clinically shown to help along with along therapies.
- Stress – Known as the silent killer, if mom’s stress level is high (you just had a baby, c’mon!), it will change the composition of the milk, hormones, bacterial balance and energy levels that baby is exposed to. There are a million ways to go about this, but finding a balance in your life with a newborn isn’t easy. Finding support from your spouse, family, a community of like-minded folks to meditation and prayer are all great places to start. Our organic CBD tinctures and organic essential oil rollers are a great place to start.
Tips for Baby
- Breastmilk vs. Formula - Nursing is the best choice, but it can be difficult due to latching troubles, supply issues and more. As parents ourselves, we’ve been there and don’t let it destroy you. If you must use a formula, choose a natural one and get familiar with all the ingredients and know it’s not about being perfect!
- Probiotics - Yes, you should be giving baby probiotics right from the start … those little bugs are that important in building a healthy foundation. They come in an infant powder and are somewhat easy to give baby; just put the desired dose on a spoon, dip your finger and let baby take them right off the end of your finger. Dosing isn’t standard, so feel free to go up and down based upon the results (our favorite).
- Massage - For a baby? Absolutely, and you’ll both enjoy every minute of it. One of the best options for colic is the “I Love You” massage that focuses on increasing the motility of the digestive tract. The CBD in our Tummy roller work great to reduce the pain and discomfort for your little one.
- Essential Oils- Hidden in the some of the most unique spots in nature, essential oils have been safely used for hundreds of years. Who would have thought that the oil from the melaleuca tree has anti-biotic effects or the sap from boswellia trees have anti-mutagenic effects? Getting back to colic, essential oils like lavender, chamomile, fennel, ginger, and peppermint can all have calming effects on the gut…all of which are organic and found in our Tummy roller along with organic CBD.
- Chiropractic – Gaining more and more traction in recent years, pediatric chiropractic care can be a game-changer. The stress of the womb and the birthing process (whether vaginal or via c-section) leaves an impact on every newborn. A pediatric chiropractor can help reduce stress on the nerve system, naturally helping the body find balance and even prevent a possible spinal / neurological issue from turning into something bigger down the road. Here is a great directory to find a practitioner near you.
As always, we hope this article helped you and your family get healthier naturally and to promote a lifetime of family wellness.