You have probably heard of colic before and pray that your baby will never suffer from it. However, up to 25% of all babies do so you should be aware that it is a possibility. As a new mother you might not be an expert on babies or what symptoms of colic might be, but it helps to educate yourself so that you are aware what is happening with your baby in case he does develop colic. Remember as well that most families have as difficult a time dealing with colic as the baby does so try and identify the symptoms as early as possible in order to help find your baby some peace.
Many times doctors won't tell you that your baby has colic because it is difficult to diagnose simply because it is frequently a mixture of symptoms rather than one condition. In fact, some doctors don't even have the term "colic" in their vocabulary, but if your baby is suffering from it you will know it. There are a variety of symptoms that might represent colic that include red faces and clenched fists, reflux, grunting, hiccups, moaning, pushing and grunting, spasms, contractions, and lots and lots of crying. If your baby presents some of these symptoms or even others accompanied by inconsolable crying then your baby just might have colic.
Another sign of colic is these symptoms are frequent after a feeding and can last until the next feeding seeming like a never ending period of suffering and crying for your baby. Most doctors don' use the word colic, but do acknowledge that after eating many babies experience digestive problems due to kinked intestines that have not straightened out enough for easy digestion. Most parents that have babies with colic are sick with worry because their babies are obviously miserable and they can do nothing to soothe them or take the pain away. However, babies with colic are simply miserable with gas and do not have a fever, diarrhea, weight loss, or other symptoms at all. Because of this your baby is not really sick, but has a problem with digestion that makes them feel awful. Knowing this is important even if it doesn't make you feel much better as a parent of a colicky baby.
If your baby is one of the up to 25% of babies that develops colic you probably will become aware of the condition around six weeks of age. Then at three months the problem usually resolves itself. Of course, this seems like an impossible length of time for you and baby to go without any good sleep or comfort, but many babies and families have survived and yours will too if colic happens.
You will hate that your baby has colic and neither you nor your doctor has a miracle cure. However, knowing that your baby is not really sick and should be better in a few months will help you deal with the situation even if you feel awful about not being able to help your new bundle of joy. So, do everything you can to bond with your child and let them feel your support and do your best to make it to the three month mark when hopefully your baby is cured. If not, visit your doctor for additional tests of other potential digestive problems.
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Vickie Barnes is a colic veteran of two colicky babies. Please visit her website ColicHelp.com, for more support and resources for dealing with colic.
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