Breastfeeding and Colic in Baby

Colic in a Breastfed Baby

Colic is associated with excessive crying and periods of fussiness, caused by mostly gas, resulting in pain.

Some believe that certain foods eaten by a breastfeeding mother contribute to colic, but there are many possible causes of infant colic.

Colic babies should be gaining weight and producing a certain amount of wet and soiled diapers daily (different according to age), otherwise there might be other issues to address.

Breastfeeding and colic

~ Interesting fact ~

Colic occurs in about 30% of all babies and is most common during the first 3 months of a baby’s life.

Did you know that the way you change your baby's diaper could be causing his/her colic symptoms? Read more about the diaper changing method that prevents colic

Many people think that only formula fed babies experience colic, but this is not true, breastfed babies can become colic too.

What Causes Colic?

Remember, not all babies are the same. A mother should try some of the following, as to eliminate her baby’s specific colic and breastfeeding problems.

  • Acid reflux may sometimes be confused with colic. If your baby is spitting up a lot, it could be a sign of reflux.
  • It is rare, but colic may be caused by something in your diet. As soon as a mother removes the specific colic causing foods, the colic may subside.
  • The most common food allergen is cow's milk, which, if given to your baby before the digestive tract has matured, may cause some gut irritation. During the first few weeks of a baby's life (if Baby is showing colic symptoms), a mother should avoid eating anything containing: Lactoglobulin, casein, lactalbumin, sodium casienate and whey. Things that may also contain these milk products are; cakes, cookies, chocolate, butter, cheese and sausage. Read more about breastfeeding and food allergies.
  • An overactive let down can cause colic. This is when a mother's milk sprays into her baby’s mouth too quickly, and her baby chokes whilst breastfeeding. The overactive let down can cause a baby to swallow air, which results in tummy cramps. Mothers that have an overactive let down, can lie down whilst breastfeeding. This is done, so that the excess milk runs down the side of a baby’s mouth. Expressing some milk before breastfeeding, can also help decrease the force of the letdown.
  • Smoking causes colic. Read more about smoking and breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding and colic

~ Interesting fact ~

Intolerance to milk protein has nothing to do with being lactose intolerant. Babies suffer from intolerance of milk protein just because their digestive tracts are not fully matured yet.

 Breastfeeding and Colic Remedies

Things you can do

  • Do not time feedings. Feed your baby when he is hungry. Colic infants may swallow extra air, if feedings are left too late. How to recognize your baby's hunger cues.
  • Most babies with colic are easily consoled if they are rocked, walked around with or even taken for a drive in a car.
  • Infants gas drops: To treat colic the enzyme lactase can be given to a baby, in the form of colic drops before each feeding, which relieves colic symptoms by metabolizing lactose. 
  • The Windi, for baby colic relief is our recommended brand. The Windi is a rectal suppository that relieves gas and pain almost immediately. 
  • Burp colicky babies more often to release trapped air.
  • Babies with colic are often more calm in a special baby sling; the movement has been found to relieve pain and gas.
  • Try Dr Harvey's Cuddle cure to calm a baby. Watch the video here

Breastfeeding and colic

~ Interesting fact ~

The foremilk contains a lot of lactose, which may cause cramping, if Mom has an oversupply of milk.

  • Hold your baby upright for at least 20 minutes after a feedings. 
  • Boiron Cocyntal liquid is a “colic syrup” that is homeopathic; it relieves colic gas pain and irritability.

Breastfeeding and Colic Massage

Symptoms of Colic

Signs of colic pain

  • Your baby extends his/her legs while crying.
  • A well-known colic symptom is when a baby is very flatulent (gassy).
  • Baby does not want to be consoled and cries uncontrollably for no apparent reason. Reasons why your baby might be fussy.
  • Crying bouts are usually in the evenings.
  • A colicky baby is constantly clenching the fists.
  • Hard distended stomach. 
  • Your baby spits up often.

Breastfeeding and colic

~ Interesting fact ~

Baby massage used for colic relief, is one of the best methods used to relieve the pain.

Baby colic usually stops at about three months of age. Perseverance will be worth it in the end, when your baby is colic free, and you are still breastfeeding. A colicky breastfeeding newborn may put extra strain on Mom and Dad's relationship with each other.  

Breastfeeding and colic - Treatment for colic

Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with breastfeeding colic

The Windi is a single-use catheter that is inserted in the rectum to instantly relieve gas...

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breast feeding and colic 
Thank you, this information you've provided is practical and clear as I was able to quikly identify my babies struggles and also get solutions to it!

Greatful Grandmother advice and encouragement Not rated yet
Thank You for All this advice and encouragement - I'm passing it on to the New parents of my latest grandson. I had breastfed three for nine months, …

wonderful advise Not rated yet
This was wonderful advise, really needed this.

My Experience with colic Not rated yet
Hi there. I just thought i would share my experience that i have had so far. i have a six week old little girl called Abbie and she is my first child. …

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