If your new baby is pulling up their legs while they are crying they may be suffering from infant gas. This is particularly common in a colic baby and it can be very painful for your baby.
There are a few things you and your partner can do to help to ease the pain and ensure the amount of gas is reduced and passes easily.
- When feeding your baby, ensure that he is lying with a straight spine and that their whole body is in the same direction. In other words, if breast feeding, the baby should not be lying on his back with his head turned towards your breast. This can make swallowing very difficult, and can cause additional gas build up in their system. Use a feeding cushion to help you position your baby correctly. A new feeding cushion has just been launched in South Africa and we hope to have it listed on our site shortly, so keep checking back!
- Burp your baby frequently during feeding. The Chiropractic profession recommends gentle but firm upward stroking to help your baby pass wind. They suggest that patting can cause the diaphragm to stiffen which prevents the gas from escaping.
- A Chiropractors can help your baby to pass winds more easily.
- Try eliminating dairy from your own diet, to ensure that the baby is not reacting to cow’s milk protein in your breastmilk. If there is no difference in symptoms after 1 week, go back to a dairy-containing diet. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you are considering any other eliminations from your diet. See the section on Food allergies and Intolerances for more information.
- Consult with your Health Care Practitioner about a change in formula, if a lactose intolerance, or milk allergy, is suspected or diagnosed.
- Get advice from your doctor or a Lactation Consultant on how to manage an over active milk ejection reflex when feeding.
- Get advice from a Lactation Consultant on how to ensure you do not have a fore and hind milk imbalance, which could be causing your baby to experience digestive discomfort.
- Try a new type of Anti-Colic bottle which reduces the amount of air your baby swallows while feeding.
- Give your baby a warm bath, which will relax him and hopefully release the trapped air.
- Tummy time, not directly after a meal, not only helps with your baby’s development, but can also help your
- baby to pass gas.
- Perform a bicycling action with your baby’s legs. Lie her on her back and gentle cycle your baby’s legs in the air, as if riding a bicycle. This can help your baby to pass wind. Never force your baby, and stop if your baby looks to be in any form of discomfort.
Please be sure to take your baby to your Health Care Practitioner to confirm that the crying is as a result of Colic and not some other medical condition.
I will however try to give you some practical suggestions on how to get through this very difficult phase in your baby’s life!