Knowing that I helped someone keeps me motivated to keep raising awareness about the effects of food on people’s health and happiness. Yesterday I received an email from a friend of mine thanking me. Here is what she said:
Now you’re probably wondering what I’m thanking you for. Well, in the last 2 weeks, my son has been an absolute angel. He is like a different child. Last night, he slept 8 hours and he’s not even 8 weeks old yet. After cutting dairy out of my diet, he was still a little bit fussy, so I experimented a little more and cut out soy & nuts (I was eating a lot of both) too and it’s been a miracle AND I would have never done any of that if it weren’t for you. He’s not congested anymore either. It makes me so happy that my little guy isn’t uncomfortable anymore. So that is why I’m thanking you.”
That makes me so happy! And confirms why I don’t believe in colic or that some babies are just really “fussy” (I never liked that word!)
Colic is a term that describes a set of symptoms in an infant with no apparent cause.
Characteristics of colic:
- episodes of uncontrollable, extended, shrieking crying often after a feeding
- episodes occur at a predictable time of day, usually late afternoon or evening (“the witching hour”)
- physical changes during the episodes such as a distended belly, clenched fists, curled up legs or arched back
- passing of gas after an episode
- difficulty falling and/or staying asleep
Hmmm… what could it be? Nothing, nothing, nothing comes to mind… oh, wait, could it be something the baby is eating?? No, that’s silly. It’s probably just NOTHING. You just need to jiggle the baby for a few more hours and he’ll be fine.
Why doesn’t every new mother get some forewarning: if your baby has excessive or uncomfortable gas, or reflux, or excessive spitting up, has congestion, or is cranky or crying all the time or not sleeping well, you may think about the possibility that something in your diet is affecting your baby.
I don’t expect the pediatrician to have the time or the ability to work with the mother on identifying the problem foods and changing her diet, but rather than automatically switching from breastmilk to formula (which often doesn’t solve the problem), or telling the mother that it’ll all get better eventually, how about at least giving a heads-up, and then handing out a list of resources, either for local dietitians, breastfeeding experts, or even websites that offer help in this area.
Being a mother for the first time is hard enough as it is, and then you are left to think that you and your baby being completely miserable is normal, expected and incurable! Don’t believe it!
Thanks, Beth, for the inspiration for this post!