Tag Archives: stomach pain

Pyloric stenosis in Babies…

Pyloric stenosis (also called infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis or gastric outlet obstruction) is a narrowing of the pylorus – the passage leading from the stomach to the small intestine. When a baby has pyloric stenosis, the muscles in the pylorus have become so thickened and enlarged that food or milk are prevented from emptying out of the stomach into the small intestine. This usually happens in the first six weeks after birth. In this article you will read all the information about Pyloric stenosis. Continue reading

Stomach pain in babies

Stomach pain or Colic is a common problem in newborn babies. In this article you will get all information related to this problem.

 Coping with stomach colic  or stomach pain  :

Colic means stomach is full of wind or gases which leads to the stomach pain. Babies with colic often pass a lot of wind; this may be due to extra inhalation of air during breast feeding. But no one sure what causes colic, although many doctors believe that its stage in the development of nervous system. About one in the five babies develops colic.A colicky child often cries for 3 to 5 hours a day, beginning in late afternoon to evening. This difficult stage will pass eventually. Consult your Doctor to rule out medical causes for the crying. You may want to avoid some dairy products, caffeine, and food that cause wind. Now your baby feels soothing to be held close in a baby sling or any cloth and keep in infant sling. Offer them breast feeding, after some time lay the baby on his tummy and gently rub his back, the touch is soothing and the pressure of the abdomen may relieve discomfort. Quietly sing a song or any rhythmical tune this will help for baby to sleep.

What is colic?

  • The word colic means spasm, or painful tightening of muscle. Crying due to infant ‘colic’ is often thought to be due to pain coming from the baby’s tummy and bowel – but the bowel of babies with colic seems healthy.
  • It is not known why many healthy young babies under 3 to 4 months of age cry so much in the late afternoon, evening or during the night. It may happen because it takes time for very young babies to adjust to the world.
  • The common pattern of colic is:
    1. The baby cries or screams for some hours, often at the end of the day.
    2. The baby is hard to comfort.
    3.  The distress comes in waves – the baby seems to calm then suddenly starts screaming again.
    4. The baby may arch backwards and either draw the knees up or stretch the legs out stiffly.
  • A baby with colic is usually calm at other times of the day, and is healthy and growing well.
  • Colic usually gets better between 3 and 4 months of age.
  • If a baby is very miserable at other times of the day, it may have other problems such as reflux or lactose intolerance, but many babies with these problems also have a period of evening crying which seems like ‘colic’. See our topics Reflux’ and ‘Lactose Intolerance in babies’.

What parents can do?

  • Check with your doctor to be sure your baby is well.
  • Prepare for the difficult end of the day – for example, by getting the evening meal ready early.
  • Look for ideas in the topic ‘Crying Baby’. Write out a list of things that sometimes work for your baby, and put it in a place you can see easily. Try these one by one.
  • Get some support. Share caring for your baby with someone else if you can. It is good for the baby and good for you.
  • If everything has been tried and your baby still cries, try to just hold him. He will sense that you are offering comfort, even if the crying goes on. A rocking chair is great for this.
  • Sometimes the crying may really get to you. If this happens it is important to give the baby to someone else or put him down somewhere safe and take a break. Do something that relaxes you, have a cup of coffee or tea, play some music, read a bit. Then you will have fresh energy to go back to your baby.
  • Sometimes going outside helps – for example, take your baby for a walk in the pram.

Medicines: It is not clear how useful medicines for colic are.

  • Colic gets better by itself, often quite suddenly, whether you use any medicines or not.
  • If you use them, you should follow carefully the directions on the pack about how much to give and the age of the baby to use them for.
  • Many medicines used for colic have a warning on the packet that they should only be used for babies under 6 months if you have medical advice. See your doctor for a check of your baby’s health before using them.
  • Most colic medicines have not been shown by research to be a risk for babies, but most have also not been shown to help them either. Always check before you start these medicines.

Diet:

  • It is common to blame the baby’s feeding or the mother’s diet (if breastfeeding) for colic. However this is only rarely the cause.
  • Occasionally babies are helped by removal of cow’s milk and dairy products from their (or their mother’s) diet. This should only be done with the help of a doctor.
  • It may be useful to reduce the amount of caffeine a mother is having through coffee, tea, cola or other drinks and foods.
  • Breastfeeding mothers often try to avoid foods they think upset their babies. There are no particular foods to avoid. Most mothers can eat most foods in moderation.

Probiotics:

In recent years there has been a lot of interest in the type of bacteria that grow in the bowel and the benefits of having a correct balance of ‘good’ bacteria (such as Lactobacillus acidophilus) versus ‘bad’ bacteria.

  1. Babies, especially it they are breastfed, are likely to have plenty of Lactobacillus acidophilus.
  2. There is no evidence that giving acidophilus powder to breastfed or bottle fed babies helps them be more settled.
  3. We do not recommend its use, but if parents are keen to try it, it is not likely to be harmful.
  4. It is important to only give the recommended amount for young babies, mixed with cooled boiled water.
  5. Some infant formulas now have probiotics added. Have a look at the topic ‘Additions to baby formulas‘ for more information.