By Melissa LeBreton
Most babies have some form of wind that can cause colicky symptoms. This often peaks at 6-8 weeks and subsides between 3-4 months when the digestive and nervous system start to mature. Most babies strain, turn red in the face or blue around the mouth and cry. It can be caused by a number of things:
- Sensitivities to foods via the breast milk. See foods that improve digestion of breast milk.
- Too much foremilk ingestion when breastfeeding resulting in high levels of lactose ingested causing intestinal gas.
- Overactive letdown of breast milk that makes it difficult for the baby to swallow and so takes in air while feeding.
- Sensitivity to formula feeds.
- Too much air in the bottle while feeding.
- Poor positioning while bottle or breast feeding.
Suggestions to reduce wind:
– If breastfeeding, it is important to look at the foods you are eating as well as the way you are feeding to avoid too much foremilk. A fussy baby may be offered the next breast before a full feed is given. It can be best to feed on one breast for each feed to ensure the right balance of fore and hindmilk. Lactation consultants as well as the Australian Breastfeeding Association have expert advice in this area.
– If bottle feeding, selecting the right formula will be important. Some formulas are more digestible than others. You need to try a formula for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference. Bottle and teat types also need to be chosen carefully. As well, feeding at a 30 degree angle is important for colicky and reflux babies for both bottle and breastfeeding mothers.
– Ensure proper attachment when breastfeeding or a wide mouth over the teat if bottle feeding.
– Baby probiotics are clinically proven to be effective against colic.
– Always burp during and after feeds if you see any straining or even reluctance to feed. An audible burp is not always needed for gas to clear. Feeding on top of a gas bubble will only increase their intestinal pain.
Vive Health Naturopaths recommend the following product:
- Bioceuticals Babybiotic – 1 scoop provided mixed with breastmilk or formula at each feed or at least 3 times daily