I know what you’re thinking….and no this is not some new cosmetic thing to aesthetically change the tummies of babies. This maneuver was shown to me by Dr. Elizabeth Berg from Nourish Family Wellness and it is so simple and practical to implement!

Many moms deal with colicky babies and this technique can be an incredible tool to help them achieve some sort of sanity. To be considered “colic” as a diagnosis the criteria say that a baby with colic is one that violently cries for 3 or more hours a day at least 3 days a week for 3 weeks or longer. I have yet to meet a mom who has wanted to wait the full 3 weeks of enduring this before seeking some sort of help whether it be reaching out to friends and family or taking their newborn in to a healthcare provider to seek some sort of assistance.

If you aren’t wanting to wait 3 weeks to see if your baby has official “colic” signs to look for would be:

  • does your baby have difficulty breastfeeding?
  • do they favor feeding from one breast compared to the other?
  • do they seem uncomfortable when feeding?
  • are they irritable?
  • do they spit up or have reflux?

If you answer yes to any of these then your baby may have colic.

How did this happen? What caused my baby to have colic?

This can be due to several things in conjunction with one another or any one of them individually which include: gas, constipation, food allergies or intolerances and nerve dysfunction/vertebral subluxation. Subluxations can be a result of birth trauma and result in poor communication between the brain and digestive organs.

Certain foods may contribute to fussiness in babies. This happens when mom eats something that baby cannot properly digest for whatever reason. Examples of these foods include: dairy(especially cow’s milk), coffee, cruciferous(green leafy) vegetables, chocolate and alcohol. Dairy in particular can be an issue for both breastfed and formula fed babies as many formulas contain some form of dairy.

What are the current treatment options for babies with colic?

  • traditional methods of treatment include drug therapy
    • these may include Prilosec, Nexium or Dimethicone
  • gripe water or gas drops
  • dietary modifications for mom
  • wait for baby to outgrow this stage
  • probiotics
  • chiropractic care

There are risks with taking any type of drug and one interesting one in particular with proton-pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Nexium is that a study has shown that utilization of these drugs may be linked with a higher incidence of broken bones in children.

Chiropractic care is a great alternative method of treatment that can achieve great results. I highly encourage you find a practitioner who is certified in pediatric chiropractic near you here. Adjustments on a newborn are nothing like those done on an adult and typically include the use of sustained light pressure or vibratory motion to achieve the desired result of a balanced nervous system. This study, which was originally published in The Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, showed that 94% of the infants showed a successful rating in comparison to the other group of babies who were given medication alone with all of the babies who were adjusted showing improvement after one month. These results were maintained by all adjusted babies 4 weeks later.

Quality probiotics can be helpful with the immature gut of an infant. I encourage mom, baby or both to utilize a quality probiotic like Klaire Labs to help with gut colonization with good bacteria. You can find this brand from a healthcare professional.

While probiotics are a great way to colonize the gut of baby the best method is with breastfeeding. Baby will not only receive bacterial communities from their mother’s milk but from the areolar skin as well. You can read more about this here.

How would an adjustment help my colicky baby? How do I know if my baby needs an adjustment?

The nervous system is composed of the brain, spinal cord and all of the nerves that go out to communicate to every organ, muscle and tissue within your body. Having them evaluated by a chiropractor prior to showing any signs of distress is always my recommendation to help reduce the stress of welcoming a new baby into your routine of life but chiropractic care can be beneficial even after you’ve started another method of treatment for your little one.

The birth process itself is reason enough to have your baby evaluated by a trained chiropractor. Even in an uncomplicated, medication-free vaginal delivery there is an enormous amount of pressure that is required to effectively contract the uterus so that baby can travel through the vaginal canal. If baby is positioned improperly in any way (ex. asynclitic head) it can put stress on their spine and potentially lead to injury and or compensation of surrounding muscles and tissue.

When babies favor feeding from one breast over another it can be due to misalignment of the atlas (the first cervical vertebrae in the neck) or dysfunction in the atlanto-occipital joint not allowing them to rotate their head like they need to in order to effectively nurse and have a good latch.

Okay. So what if you’ve taken your baby to be adjusted and you’re still having problems?

This is where we would want to look at baby’s latch and make sure that baby is not taking in any extra air during nursing sessions as well as check for any lip or tongue tie issues. A lactation consultant, IBCLC, is a great resource for this and can evaluate whether or not they think there is an issue. They can also help determine if this may be an oversupply or undersupply issue. Baby sometimes only gets foremilk and thus can lead to irritability from only having that high sugar content(lactose) milk instead of the protein and fat packed hindmilk which is what people know as a “milk coma” baby.

There are also exercises that can be done to help with lip and tongue ties and you can view those at this link that is done by Dr. Elizabeth Berg at Nourish Family Wellness. (There is a $25 fee to enroll to have access to the video)

Alright! Here is the video that I have been referencing. I know this post is a bit wordy this time but I get carried away when I talk about things that I’m passionate about so bear with me.

I suggest following up with your child’s primary care physician if you have any sort of hesitation about performing this maneuver or if you would like their opinion prior to trying it out.