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What is infantile colic?

By guest, Jan 28 2013 08:30PM

Colic is the general name given to a range of infant digestive disorders that include

- Reflux

- Infant gut irritability

- Lactose intolerance

- Allergy.

Each of these types of colic has different signs and symptoms, and needs to be managed or treated in different ways therefore it is helpful to distinguish between them.


- The earliest signs of colic is that the baby is very flatulent (farty), and the stools are explosively delivered

- The baby is obviously uncomfortable and often seems in considerable pain

- The stomach is distended or swollen and loud gurgling sounds can be heard in the abdomen

- The baby may arch his back during a colic attack, and bring his knees up to his stomach

- The baby may cry inconsolably for several hours and nothing seems to pacify her

- The baby may also suffer from low level colic, when he is restless and uncomfortable but not crying.


Facts about colic

It is the most common and sometimes the most distressing affliction of young infants, affecting up to 30% of babies. Research has shown that approximately half of all affected babies improve naturally by 3 months, and by 6 months nearly 9 out of 10 babies have improved.


Signs of colic appear soon after birth but rarely after the first month. At 6-8 weeks after birth the symptoms seem to peak. Generally those infants that display the earliest symptoms will be the ones most severly affected.


Stress that affects the mother in pregnancy, during labour or after the birth, has also been shown to be a cause of infantile colic. Reseach studies have shown that if a baby suffers from severe colic then other brothers and sisters are more likely to be affected.


Julie is currently undertaking her PhD research into investigating the possibility of underlying mechanical causes of infantile colic and will continue to feed this blog with more information on how the symptoms of colic can be most effectively managed.

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