WAAAAHHHHHy Won’t My Baby Stop Crying?!
What is Colic?
Colic is described as an unexplained, extreme fussiness, not related to eating, that occurs within the first 3 months of life. Typically, it begins at about 2-3 weeks of age and gradually declines by the third month. Episodes are more common in the late afternoon and evening hours. Colic is known to occur in 20-30% of infants and can be quite distressing for new parents.
-sudden onset of intense crying for no particular reason
-stomach bloating and flatulence
-drawing of the legs upward toward the chest
-infant has no trouble eating or gaining weight
There is no known cause for colic, but it has been speculated to be associated with immaturity of the central nervous system, gastrointestinal intolerance to milk, and/or family distress. Formula-fed infants have not been found to be more prone to colic than breast-fed infants. The birthing process can be quite traumatic on your baby’s spine, bones and joints, especially if your delivery included a prolonged pushing stage, forceps or vacuum extraction, or other forms of assisted delivery. The resulting spinal misalignment can compromise the functioning of major systems in the body, which can lead to colic.
Typically, parents are reassured that they are handling their baby well and that the condition will resolve within a few months. Holding, rocking or patting the infant may be of some help. If the child feeds quickly, using a smaller nipple on the bottle can be tried. The use of a pacifier or feeding the child upright may help as well.
The medical treatment of colic is openly acknowledged to be limited. In some cases, a colicky infant is given drugs, most commonly Dramamine and/or Donnatol and less commonly Simethicone or Methylpolysiloxane. The results of studies evaluating the use of these drugs have been questionable. In most trials, the use of these drugs has been no more effective than that of a placebo.
Your chiropractor will perform a full physical examination of your infant to determine the reason for the incessant crying. The infant should be checked for vertebral subluxations or restrictions, with particular attention to the upper neck and the mid-back. These subluxations or restrictions could conceivably occur anywhere along the spine, necessitating a thorough spinal examination.
Many new parents are wary of bringing their little baby to a chiropractor. In actuality, pediatric adjustments to your baby’s spine are gentle and use little force. These are not the same adjustments you may be used to receiving yourself! The use of gentle, prolonged pressure with the fingers on your child’s spine is the typical mode of pediatric adjustment.
Do you have a prenatal or newborn chiropractic question for Dr Shaila Goldsman? Email her.