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What is colic? / FAQs / Pregnancy information from midwivesonline.com

What is colic?

Colic is common in newborn babies, affecting around 20% of infants. There are many theories about what colic is caused like swallowed air when feeding or crying, or gas in babies tummy by but none are definite. It is traditionally worst around three months of age. Babies cry for a long periods, often at the same time each day, and often draw their legs up in pain. Although this crying can occur at any time, it usually gets worse in the late afternoon and evening. Your baby may look uncomfortable or appear to be in pain. Babies may lift their head, draw their legs up to their tummy, become red in the face and pass wind. Colic usually appears in the first few weeks after birth and the cause isn't known. It generally lasts for three to four months. It is more common in bottle-fed babies, but also occurs in breast-fed infants.

Colic is not a serious condition but it can have a big impact on the family. Research shows that babies with colic continue to eat and gain weight normally, despite the crying. There are plenty of remedies which may ease the symptoms. Colic drops containing simethicone, may help break down bubbles in milk feeds in the stomach, allowing swallowed air to be brought up more easily by the baby. Trying different teats or bottles may help. Homeopathic colic granules are available from a chemist’s, or you may prefer to visit a homeopath. A dummy may satisfy the baby’s need to suck and reduce the level of crying. Gentle massage over the tummy, in a clockwise direction with a little almond oil may comfort some babies and may relax the parents a little, too!

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