Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms
1. Is there a hernia or evidence of some other medical problem on exam?
2. Is your child stooling too much or too little? Is there any blood or mucous in the stool?
3. Is your child eating too much or too little?
4. Are the stools abnormally colored (clay-colored, frothy or very green)?
5. Is weight gain below what would be expected?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, further medical investigation is required. If no medical problems are identified, the main issue is minimizing the colic. There is no agreement about whether breastfed babies have more or less colic than bottle fed babies. There is also controversy about the foods (in either the mother or infant) that might predispose to colic. Although there is no scientific evidence that any treatment reduces the symptoms, the following should be considered.
1. If the mother is breastfeeding, she might consider eliminating cabbage (and other cruciferous vegetables), milk products, caffeine, onions, chocolate and garlic from her diet. There is one study that suggests that these foods increase the risk of colic. If this makes a difference, the mother should add those foods back into the diet only one at a time and slowly to identify the offending food or foods.
2. If the mother is bottle-feeding the infant, consider changing to a non cow milk-based formula. However, there is no good data to support changing formulas as a treatment for colic.
3. Motion seems to help. Consider rocking her or placing her in a body carrier.
4. If breastfeeding is well established, you might consider a pacifier.
5. Try laying the baby down across your lap and gently rubbing the back.
Since this is almost always a self-limited problem, the treatment should not involve significant risk. Again, checking with your doctor's office for suggestions is the smartest way to go since your doctor will be involved if the problem worsens or there is a complication from the potential remedies.