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Colic: how you can help families cope

By Wendy Jones

lauriey/dreamstime.comColic has been defined as “spasmodic contraction of smooth muscle causing pain and discomfort” in an otherwise healthy, thriving baby. In studies it has arbitrarily been defined as lasting three hours a day on more than three days a week for at least three weeks, and this is sometimes called Wessel’s colic.

The prolonged high pitched crying can be distressing for parents who may feel unable to soothe their child or a lack of bonding. 

This article discussed the causes and risk factors for colic and its management, including behavioural interventions as well as pharmacy treatments such as lactase enzume and simeticone.

The author also presents frequently asked questions such as “how will colic affect my child?” and “can herbal teas help with colic?”.

To read the full article download the attached PDF.

See how it should be done Five baby massage techniques to relieve colic, demonstrated by a midwife. Watch videos

Ask the expert Wendy Jones will be available to answer questions online on the topic of this article until 13 August 2012 

 

Check your learning

 

 


Wendy Jones
, PhD, MRPharmS, runs the Breastfeeding Network’s Drugs in Breastmilk Helpline

Signposting

Cry-Sis (www.cry-sis.org.uk; 08451 228 667) is a national charity offering support for families with excessively crying, sleepless and demanding babies.
The following organisations also offer support and counselling for parents of babies with colic: National Breastfeeding Helpline (0300 100 0212); Breastfeeding Network (0300 100 0210); NCT Breastfeeding Helpline (0300 330 0771); La Leche League Helpline (0845 120 2918); and Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (08444 122 949).

References

  1. Wessel MA, Cobb JC, Jackson EB et al. Paroxysmal fussing in infancy, sometimes called colic.  Paediatrics 1954;14(5):421-35.
  2. Barr RG. Colic and gas. In: Walker WA, Durie PR, Hamilton JR, eds. Pediatric gastrointestinal disease: pathophysiology, diagnosis and management. Philadelphia: Decker; 1991.pp55-61.
  3. Lucassen PLBJ, Assendelft WJJ, Gubbels JW et al. Effectiveness of treatments for infantile colic;systematic review. BMJ 1998;316:1563-9.
  4. Talachian E, Bidari A, Rezaie MH. Incidence and risk factors for infantile colic in Iranian infants World Journal of Gastroenterology 2008;14(29):4662–6.
  5. Balon AJ. Management of infantile colic. American Family Physician. 1997;55(1):235-46.
  6. Reijneveld SA, Brugman E, Hirasing RA. Infantile colic: maternal smoking as potential risk factor. Archives of Disease in Childhood 2000 83(4):302-3.
  7. Saavedra MAL, da Costa JS, Garcias G et al. Infantile colic incidence and associated risk factors: a cohort study. Jornal de Pediatria 2003;79(2):115-22.
  8. Søndergaard C, Henriksen TB, Obel C e al. Smoking during pregnancy and infantile colic. Pediatrics. 2001;108(2):342-6.
  9. Shenassa ED, Brown M. Maternal smoking and infantile gastrointestinal dysregulation: the case of colic. Paediatrics 2004:114:497-505.
  10. Milidou I, Henriksen TV, Jensen MS, et al Nicotine replacement therapy during pregnancy and infantile colic in the offspring. Paediatrics 2012;129:652-8.
  11. Woolridge MW & Fisher C. Colic, “overfeeding”, and symptoms of lactose malabsorption in the breast-fed baby: a possible artifact of feed management. The Lancet, 1988; ii:382-38.
  12. Bergeson PS. Herbal teas for infantile colic. Journal of Pediatrics 1993;123(4):670.
  13. McKenzie S. Troublesome crying in infants: effect of advice to reduce stimulation. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1991;66(12):1416–20
  14. Erickson M, Wilson ME, Bravo K et al. Baby lost and found: Mother’s experiences of infants who cry persistently. Journal of Paediatric Health Care 2011;25(3):144-52.
  15. Lucassen PL, Assendelft WJ, Gubbels JW et al. Infantile colic: crying time reduction with a whey hydrolysate: a double-lind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatrics 2000;106(6):1349-54.
  16.  Savino F, Cordisco L, Tarasco V et al. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 in infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pedaitrics 2010;126:e526-e533.
  17. Bandolier Treatment for infant colic 2000
    (www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band79/b79-4.html)
  18. Bandolier Infant colic update 2004 (www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/family/colicup.html).
  19. Williams J, Watkins-Jones R. Dicyclomine: worrying symptoms associated with its use in some small babies. BMJ 1984;288:901.
  20. Seth  KS, Sethi JK. Simethicone in the management of infant colic. The Practitioner 1988;232:508
  21. Metcalf TJ, Irons TG, Sher LD et al. Simethicone in the treatment of infant colic: a randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Pediatrics 1994;94:29–34.
  22. Kanabar D, Randhawa M, Clayton P. Improvement of symptoms in infant colic following reduction of lactose load with lactase. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietectics 2001;14:359-63.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11104446

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