Why there is no magic cure for all colic
To any parent reading my Blog heading, that there is no magic cure for all colic, please don’t pull your hair out in despair!
There is certainly plenty you can do to help colic. However I really do think from a naturopathic perspective, there is no one “cure-all” that will magically make colic disappear overnight. In fact natural health practitioners don’t like the word “cure” anyway, it implies taking something that fixes you, we prefer to say that only the body can do the real healing, we just help it on its way.
I say there is no one magic cure for all colic because I don’t believe there is only one type of colic. In my book Calming Colic – How to help the 10 causes behind colic I look in depth at 10 of them and I base these on both my 15 years experience as an osteopath and naturopath treating colicky babies and also on scientific literature that I investigated. I had already seen patterns in colicky babies and had a mental check list of what might be a factor when babies visited me for treatment. Later I decided to look into the medical research and I was pleased to find plenty to back up what I was thinking. And it didn’t really go along with the “colic is unknown and incurable” that most information sources tell you, particularly the NHS website.
Most parents are of course looking for the magic cure that will get their baby out of pain and let everyone get more sleep. I do believe there are instances where this over night success is possible but you have to hit the nail on the head with the correct solution for the type of colic your baby has. Let me explain: If your baby has a real lactose (the sugar in milk) intolerance then their “type” of colic may do really well by using a lactase enzyme in their milk, like Colief. This enzyme breaks the milk sugar down and stops the digestion discomfort. If another baby has colic that has nothing to do with a lactose issue then using this enzyme may not help at all.
Let’s look at another example: If another baby has colic because it has had it’s friendly bowel bacteria upset by a course of antibiotics then the breast feeding mother trying to help by avoiding known colic causing foods won’t give the desired results either. Only helping this baby replenish its friendly bacteria will help. In this case we can supplement this baby with a probiotic that research has found to be the particular strain that is dominant in newborns. I use Opticbac – For your Childs Health available from The Natural Dispensary on 01453 757792.
Most mothers consult me with their baby and say they have colic. Through questioniing I try and determine the underlying causes of their baby’s colic and use the correct solutions to help. Technically some of these babies don’t have colic at all, it is just an easy broad term to say your baby isn’t very happy! Probably the most common “not colic” problem I see is some trauma from the delivery which causes irritations particularly to the baby’s head. For this I perform cranial osteopathy with lovely results. I would recommend every baby to consult a cranial osteopath whether they have colic or not, but particular if the birth has been traumatic in some way, particularly with the use of instruments or after a c-section.
There are two important things I tell parents about cranial osteopathy. Firstly, it is extremely gentle and secondly it works WITH your baby. The osteopath is assisting something your baby is trying to do for itself, which will be to get better. Cranial osteopaths help ease the tensions that your baby has picked up during delivery. A very easy to understand example is the compression on the head that happens with a forceps birth. However all births will have some stresses and strains occurring, even a c-section sees the baby being pulled out by its head and neck rather than being pushed out as with a normal delivery. A cranial osteopath will take this into account and gently check the neck for any issues troubling the baby.
I have based as much as possible all the “causes” and solutions to colic in my book on scientific research. Very recently, in fact this research came after I published Calming Colic, some researchers looked at manual therapies, like osteopathy and chiropractic, helping colic. They actually looked at a number of studies, put the results together and found that having a manual therapy for your baby was successful. It actually reduced the crying time on average by one hour and 12 minutes. However, the researchers stated “but these therapies did not seem to help babies make a complete recovery from colic”. This statement I found so interesting and as a cranial osteopath who fully endorses using osteopathy for babies I would agree, it doesn’t help every baby completely. In a baby who has colic due to birth strains it will make a massive improvement, perhaps even over night.
However, as good as a treatment from a cranial osteopath will be it can’t fully help a baby who’s colic is predominantly caused by having antibiotics or a number of other causes as explained in Calming Colic. The ideal treatment in this scenario is both cranial osteopathy and the supplementation of probiotics. I always advise parents to just do every piece of advice I have, it doesn’t really matter which one works the best as long as their precious baby gets better and they all start to sleep more.
In Calming Colic you won’t find any advice on shushing your baby to sleep, or other common tips like taking them for a walk or a car drive at two in the morning. Of course can do do these to help settle your little one, but these aren’t actually fixing the cause behind the colic as far as I’m concerned. I also haven’t ever found any research that has looked into colic and late night car drives!
I hope this Blog gives you a simple insight in to colic as I have discovered it. It is not a complete mystery, although it might need a little unravelling. And by unravelling I mean finding the cause or causes behind your babies particular colic. I have found 10 of these, a few I see in nearly every baby and others are a bit more unusual but came along often enough for me to notice and decide they were a factor in colic. I have written about all of these 10 causes in more depth in Calming Colic and I have scientifically referenced them where possible. If you have a colicky baby and you read my book I hope I can help your baby sleep like a baby.
The book Calming Colic is the definitive guide on why your baby is upset and crying and how you can help them. When you purchase Calming Colic you will receive for free another 6 e-books on baby and mother health written by Christian Bates. These will help you improve yours and your baby’s health right now and into the future.
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