Happy Healthy Babies IV: Colic
Colic is a word that puts fear into the heart of every exhausted expectant and new parent. And yet, what is colic really? If it is so common, then why is there not a clear solution? Do babies really outgrow it? I have quite a bit to say about this topic, however, before I share, I’d like to circle back around on the theme of Happy Healthy Babies in general and the symptoms that are typically addressed.
The truth is, that the cause of all typical baby symptoms such as infrequent bowel movements, reflux, colic, ear infections, eczema, sinusitis, and croup, is poor elimination. This less-than-optimal elimination is due to poor performance of either the kidneys or the bowel or both. It is exactly these organs that will need support for the symptom to clear. Unfortunately, the natural medicines that best support the healthy development of these organs are not known or practiced by the vast majority of pediatricians. MDs not trained in Homeopathy and/or Gemmotherapy are limited to offering a prescription medication to suppress the symptoms that will only weaken compromised organs and be a catalyst for further chronic conditions. Or, they will suggest that you, “wait the symptoms out,” until your baby matures.
These solutions are simply not what parents want to hear, especially when they believe there must be another answer for their child. And there is another answer. As a mother of three I too received this same message over and again from a variety of pediatricians over the span of twenty years! My son Sebastian probably holds the family record for a host of childhood symptoms that made the early years of parenting him quite a challenge. Even living in Germany, with the support of a knowledgeable Homeopath MD, the root of his symptoms was not uncovered. It was not until I began the pursuit of my new career in natural medicine and trained with a variety of mentors that the underlying cause became evident. Today, I can see with crystal clarity the start of all of the symptoms that plagued his early years were due to poor elimination. What I would have given at the time for such a simple straightforward solution to his years of sleeplessness, ear infections, and croup.
My firsthand experiences as a mother and the daily work I do with babies in my practice, is what drives me to get this message out far and wide. The answer lies in optimizing elimination. If an infant is solely breastfed then the protocol to address the symptoms will be only a Gemmotherapy extract. If however food or dairy has been introduced into the baby’s diet then the protocol will be a Gemmotherapy extract and modifications to the diet. Older babies and children whose elimination organs have been compromised for some time may also need a homeopathic remedy to support their overall constitution in the healing process. However, whether the answer is Gemmotherapy extracts alone or dietary changes or Homeopathy these solutions are simple, affordable and will positively impact the health and wellbeing of a child for a lifetime. We just need this message to reach more parents.
Let’s take a look at baby Emma who was, for the most part, miserable day and night. While her parents would observe brief periods of calm, Emma was pretty much always fretful. She fussed before nursing, directly after nursing, and just simply could not settle into a restful sleep day or night. Emma even fussed through her entire appointment here in my practice, arching her back in the classic pose of a colicky baby. Lucky for Emma her parents had a little experience behind them. Parents of a two year old as well they noted she never seemed to have these same problems. Due to this fact they sought help early on.
Of course like most parents today, they had performed several internet searches that provided them with a host of suggestions they had tried from infant massage, to movement, to feeding more often and white noise. While some provided momentary relief, none settled Emma for any length of time.
In our session together I performed the intake process I use for all of my clients that covers symptoms of elimination, vitality, and inflammation. It is symptoms of elimination that are the most relevant for young babies like Emma. What I look for in breastfed babies are several bowel movements daily that do not cause any discomfort and that occur across the day. Emma had a very changeable pattern with occasional “blow-outs” and days with no bowel elimination. Additionally, Emma clearly had pains and discomfort with digestion and reflux which are all symptoms that helped guide me to the right protocol.
Like Emma, all babies I have seen with colic seem to have problems with some reflux and always an inconsistency with the bowel movements. While this is traditionally attributed to immature digestive systems, waiting for maturity is not the answer. The problem with that, above and beyond the fact that it leaves Emma and her parents in distress, is that her body begins to compensate. That means other organs begin to work harder, making up for the lack of work by the digestive organs, and in this case it would be the kidneys. Over-worked kidneys lead us down another path with babies and we would begin to see respiratory and/or skin symptoms.
The answer for Emma, as in all babies I work with that have symptoms of colic, is a combination of Walnut and Fig Gemmotherapy. I combine equal amounts of these extracts in a small bottle and suggest parents give 6 drops directly in the mouth before feeding. To begin 4-5 doses are needed daily but as symptoms improve I reduce the dosage. The sooner a baby’s colic symptoms are addressed, the quicker the response to the protocol. Colic that has gone on for months may need further support and as a practitioner I will look for what other symptoms have also occurred due to poor elimination.
Since beginning this series I have been hearing from moms across the country and that is so exciting. We can put an end to a host of chronic conditions by directly addressing what is causing this baby’s distress today but we need to spread this information. Take some time, if you can, and pass this article along to a new parent or two you know.
While this is already the fourth post in this series, there is still so much more to discuss! Has this has piqued your interest in Gemmotherapy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! You can also find out more here about Gemmotherapy protocols for yourself or family. If you are a practitioner that works with babies you may be interested in my upcoming training on Gemmotherapy Support for Fertility, Pregnancy & Infants held July 9th in Austin, Tx. Additional trainings are available online.